While juicing is my go-to method for getting high doses of green vegetables and herbs into my diet, I have recently become a bit obsessed with another method for absorbing mass quantities of healing greens. Chimichurri sauce.
This chimichurri sauce is a lot like a green salsa, except instead of being packed with hot peppers, which can sometimes be pro-inflammatory, it’s packed with tons of fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, and ginger. It’s the perfect complement to grilled fish, roasted pork, steamed vegetables, salads, lettuce wraps, et cetera. I literally eat it on everything and love the punch of flavor that it adds to an otherwise ordinary meal.
As a Lyme patient, I believe that one of the most important aspects of healing is proper diet. It has been said that nutrition is the cornerstone of health, which is why I stick to a clean diet that is high in nutrient-dense foods. Let’s take a look at the benefits of three of the most healthy ingredients in this recipe: garlic, parsley, and oregano.
Garlic: Touted as one of the most powerful cancer preventatives, garlic is one of the healthiest foods that you can eat. It’s high sulfur content makes it ideal for warding off the common cold and flu, and in extremely high/potent doses, garlic is even used to fight virulent infections like Lyme (for instance, Allicin, the powerful herb created by Dr. Zhang to fight Lyme and co-infections). Garlic is also a great anti-fungal and anti-parasitic, making it a helpful component to fighting off Candida or parasitic infections. Garlic is packed with healing vitamins and minerals, reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, and is a wonderful anti-aging remedy. In order to reap the full benefits of garlic, be sure to purchase fresh, organic garlic cloves and stay away from the canned, jarred, or powdered forms.
Parsley: If you think that spinach delivers loads of iron and oranges carry gobs of vitamin C, then you are absolutely right. But this herb has even these vitamin-rich foods beat. Parsley also carries more vitamin K than virtually any other source, making it a wonderful combatant against degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. As far as detoxification goes, parsley is wonderful at cleansing the blood of mercury and other toxins and also promotes intestinal health, due to its high fiber content. One of my favorite healing teas to sip on throughout the day is a fresh parsley, it’s another great way to get a bit more parsley into the diet while soothing the intestinal tract and gently detoxing.
Oregano: If your immune system needs a boost, then adding some extra oregano to your diet could be just what you need. Oregano is rich in Vitamin A, which contributes to a healthy immune system and vision. It’s also loaded with Vitamins C, E, and K, and contains a fair amount of folate, magnesium, calcium, B6, and potassium. All of these vitamins and minerals contribute to oregano’s health benefits and anti-oxidant power, which help to fight cancer. In addition this this, oregano is a super powerful anti-fungal and antibacterial. And there’s more good news- oregano is one of the easiest herbs to grow on your own! Our backyard is currently boasting an enormously healthy bush of pesticide-free oregano, making it a cheap and accessible addition to any meal or juice.
Now let’s dig into this recipe.
The below recipe has been adapted from a recipe that my uncle found several years ago on The Food Network (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/pork-tenderloin-with-chimichurri-recipe.html). I’ve made a few changes to fit my diet and food tolerances, and in my next batch I plan on experimenting by adding a tsp or two of fresh ginger. The sky is the limit, so feel free to make any changes you see fit for your diet.
6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (add an extra if you are up for a super hot kick)
1/4 Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 Cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
Combine garlic, jalapeño, and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in parsley and oregano. Whisk in olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper into mixture. Mix well and let it sit for an hour or two before refrigerating so that the flavors marry.