In 2006, after moving from NYC to Rockland County, I started growing my own food on less than 1/10th of an acre. In 2 years my husband and I became one of 9 official farms in Rockland County and we called ourselves Hook Mountain Growers. It has transformed my life, how I approach food as medicine and impacts the way I provide treatment for my patients.
Below is an excerpt about one of my favorite herbs to grow, parsley.
Parsley is a packed powerhouse of health. Oftentimes it’s added to detox regimens because it is high in chlorophyll and acts as a mild diuretic and laxative. Its volatile oils contain high amounts of Vitamin K, C, thiamine, riboflavin and carotenes, in addition to the flavonoids and antioxidants apigenin, apiol, and myristicin. Some of these have anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Many cultures use parsley as a digestive aid and in combating garlic breath. Try eating a sprig of parsley the next time you consume a lot of garlic – it neutralizes the odor!
One classic parsley salad is Tabbouleh. I like the authentic Lebanese version where parsley dominates the salad rather than the Americanized version that has a higher proportion on bulgur or cracked wheat.
And now that I have gorgeous heirloom Boothby Blonde cucumbers and a bounty of tomatoes, this was the perfect recipe of the day.
1/2 cup bulgur, fine or medium cracked wheat (don’t use the large variety)
Juice of 4 lemons
3 bunches fresh parsley, finely chopped (leaves only)
Handful fresh mint, thinly sliced
3 medium tomatoes, diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced (with green stems)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Optional addition: though the authentic Lebanese recipe does not call for cucumbers, I couldn’t resist adding them in for another texture and crunch in the salad. Plus I had an abundance of beautiful heirloom Boothyby Blonde Cucumbers.
- Soak bulgur in the juice of 2 lemons until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. If you are using medium grade bulgur you may need to soak it in hot water but make sure the final product is DRY.
- Combine chopped parsley, slivered mint leaves, scallions and tomatoes with the bulgur.
- Add remaining juice of 2 lemons and add olive oil, salt to taste and mix once again.
Eat with romaine or cabbage leaves or just by itself. Delish!
*Visit Dr.Yee’s website www.hookmountaingrowers.com to learn more about her micro-farm and practice of food as medicine.