In recent years I have been learning how my body can benefit enormously from the herbs grown in our garden. Bay leaves are a great herb for the garden. The bay leaf tree doesn’t need much light and can grow in very dense soil too. Our bay leaf tree doesn’t receive much sunshine and it’s thriving.
Bay leaves can be used in many dishes to help flavour the meal. They do make a great spaghetti bolognese but they are also full of nutrients that can help the body thrive too. The leaves are rich in vitamin A and C. They are packed with iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium. This herb can help to break down proteins and digest food faster as well.
When eaten as part of a healthy diet bay leaves can help to treat some cancers, gas, dandruff and joint pain. They can also help to support people with type 2 diabetes. The bay leaves are cooked with the rest of the dish and it’s normally removed before serving the meal. Below are five recipe that use bay leaves.
Now when the weather is warm and sunny outside, the last place you want to be is in front of the hob. However, you may have a hungry stomach or a ravenous little family to feed. During the year my slow cooker is well used. I’m ready to pull the slow cooker from the cupboard for any meal.
On this occasion I had forgotten to take the mince beef from the freezer. So I removed it in the morning. But that mean’t I couldn’t cook this in the slow cooker. So I let it defrost and I decided to make a mini slow cooked meal in the oven. The results were amazing and I just had to share this with you.
With a lazy day comes a very easy meal most of the time. I really enjoy using my slow cooker during the week but on weekends I love to use it too. For me a slow cooker makes a meal seem like the fairies have been and cooked the dinner. I like to prepare the ingredients the night before and leave it in the slow cooker. In the morning all I have to do is switch the cooker on and that’s lunch or dinner done.
Prawns are a favourite food of my son Ted. He’s 6 and just loves prawns. So when I decided to make this prawn chilli I knew Ted would eat this dish without too much complaining. As Ted loves fish I always try to include two fish dinners per week in our menu.
We love chilli in this house but if you read my blog, you will know that we only really have meat at the weekend. During the week I try to make vegan or vegetarian recipes. Also I will make soups and stews with chicken stock or bone broth. We all love meat in this house but I feel that we eat too much of it. Personally, I think this is having a knock-on effect on the planet and on people. So this is why we have cut back on our consumption of meat.
Plus my son loves legumes such as beans and lentils so this is a habit I want to encourage. Beans are a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As a mother, it really pleases me that my son Ted, touch wood, enjoys eating beans. He loves chilli as well so this is a perfect combination for a mid week meal. I always try to cook our chilli in the slow cooker as I find it tastes so much better. However, if you do not have a slow cooker the hob is also great.
My Dad was an experimental cook but he also loved his traditional meals too. I have a fond memory of my Dad cooking this dinner. There was always a delicious smell coming from the oven and when the meal was served it was just yummy. My Dad would always be able to have a sit down while the stew was cooking in the oven. I think this was his favourite part. He enjoyed listening to his radio and drinking a beer while cooking. So I think that’s why this dinner was one of his favourites too.
Here are five meals that you can cook with bay leaves. These meals are great as family dinners or you could cook them in batches and freeze them as a single meal. My family really love all of these dishes and we know you will love them too. However you decide to eat these dishes, as always, please enjoy.