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Our Blog: August 5, 2021

Cooking with Fresh Herbs

By Nicole Spain, Registered Dietitian

Many Americans have grown accustomed to using salt as one of our key flavor ingredients. However, too much sodium is not good for your health. While we all need some sodium in our diets, too much can cause you to retain water (bloating), increase blood pressure (hypertension) and cause calcium loss (osteoporosis).  And did the more you use it, the more you’ll want to have it!

It’s best to limit salt intake for your kids before they get too used to having it. This is easiest during the summertime when fresh herbs are more abundant and you can use them to flavor your recipes instead.

Try some of these Grow Fit inspired recipes that highlight fresh herbs! My kids love the Velvet Eggs with just about any herbs and sometimes we even throw in fresh tomatoes from the garden!  


White Bean Salad with Lemon, Garlic and Fresh Herbs
Serves 4


15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 Tsp mustard seeds
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Zest from 1 lemon
4 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ C plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil.  
  2. Add the beans to the bowl along with the red and green onion, parsley, and dill. Stir well to combine.
  3. Let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. 

Recipe Altered from:


Velvet Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Herbs
Serves 4

9 large eggs
¼ C milk (skim or 1%)
¼ C butter
1 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
1 Tbsp chives, minced
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk about 1 minutes.
  2. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a nonstick pan. Pour the eggs into and using wooden spoon or spatula, gently stir the eggs and cook over low heat. The eggs will turn creamy with soft curds.
  3. When the eggs have nearly lost the raw look toss in the basil, chives and parmesan cheese and stir to distribute.
  4. Once the eggs are no longer runny but still very creamy and moist, immediately pour a little splash of milk (1-2 teaspoons) on the eggs to stop the cooking and remove from heat. Serve immediately.  


Asian Pasta Salad
Serves 8

1 lb whole grain rotini pasta (or favorite shape)
4 ½ C fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 ½ C rotisserie chicken, shredded
½ C red bell peppers, chopped
1 can (15 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
½ C shredded carrots
1/3 C fresh green onions or chives, chopped
1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 C sliced almonds (optional)
½ C avocado or olive oil
1/3 C soy sauce (low sodium)
1/3 C rice vinegar
1 Tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp sugar
½ Tsp ground ginger
¼ Tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. 
  2. While pasta is cooking make dressing. Combine the avocado or olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, pepper, and sesame seeds in a bowl. Whisk together.
  3. Drain pasta, and rinse under cold water until cool. Transfer to a large bowl and immediately toss with 3-4 tablespoons of dressing.
  4. Add the coarsely chopped spinach, shredded chicken, red pepper, drained mandarin oranges, shredded carrots, green onion or chives, and fresh cilantro to the large bowl with pasta. 
  5. Toss all the ingredients together gently and then coat with the dressing to desired amount. Serve immediately. 

Recipe adapted from: