Have your garnish and eat it too

Parsley is not merely a garnish!

No, no! It is not a mere accoutrement as it is often relegated to being! It is a crisp, delicious herb with tons of flavor and immunity benefits to boot. I eat parsley as is, raw, and I love it. I admit it tastes a bit weird on its own, a bit like soap or grass, and people gaze at me oddly as I graze. Alas, I digress. My point is that if parsley is a mere garnish in your eyes, just that thing that they sprinkle on your plate at certain restaurants to make your plate of meat look less brown or beige, then you are missing out on some of its incredible utilities. Add it to salad. Chop it up finely and use it to liven up your meatballs. And, yes, at times, use it as garnish to liven up a dish. But when you do, eat it too! It actually does wonders for cleansing your palette (and it makes your breath smell nice and fresh).

How to cook with garlic to make your life easier

#1: Never “peel” garlic. It is a laborious, thankless task. To separate the garlic from the skin, the easiest way I’ve found that doesn’t sacrifice the essence of the garlic is to trim the rough edge of the garlic with a sharp knife and then place the clove under the flat side of a big knife and press down. This crushes the garlic in a second and you can remove the flesh from the skin. You can then mince the garlic, if the recipe requires it, or leave it in crude, naked pieces, which works great for many recipes, especially if you are using a food processor later anyway.

You can also put your garlic in a mason jar and shake it like Charmaine. Yaaas!

#2: When you’re done handling garlic, rub a few drops of lemon juice on your fingers to get the garlic smell off.

How to cook with ginger to pack a punch

Ginger is strong stuff. My grandma hates it. I can’t get enough of it. There are a million articles about the health benefits of ginger, but besides that I think it just taste so damn good! Here are some thoughts.

#1: The longer you steep ginger, the stronger the flavor. If you leave it for an hour, it will be too spicy for some people to handle. I find tremendous satisfaction in a strong brew of ginger and honey.

#2: The best way to get the most flavor out of ginger is to grate it finely. I use a microplane. Another good method is to slice it into thin cross sections. If you are using it as an addition to a salad or as a topping, you can cube it into small cubes. They add quite a pop, especially when raw!

#3: There is no reason to peel ginger! The peel is perfectly fine to eat and drink. In fact, if you are making spontaneous ginger ferments, you positively should not peel it. Why do extra work for no reason?