Using Spices For Healthy Dinner Recipes – Try Soul Food Collards and Meat Loaf Recipes

 This Healthy Dinner Recipes Article:  

  • Use Fresh Herbs to Spice up Your Cooking
  • Delicious Turkey Meatball Recipe
  • Good Southern Collard Greens Soul Food Recipe

Use Fresh Herbs To Spice Up Your Cooking For Healthy Dinner Recipes

Fresh Herbs

A healthy way to spice up your cooking or your salads is with fresh herbs. You can grow them in a garden or container pot if you don’t have much space. Herbs grow in the spring, summer and fall in colder climates, and year-round in warmer climates.

The most common garden and container herb plants are basil, chive, cilantro, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme. I have all of these in my container herb garden. Rosemary grows as a ground cover or ornamental plant. In warmer west coast climates rosemary grows, and grows and grows all the time. It grows well now in my east coast home as an ornamental plant in the spring, summer and fall.

In the winter many of your herbs will go dormant, but in the spring they will grow back on their own. The following are a list of the most common herbs and many are easy to grow. This is important because herbs are expensive to buy.

Consider these commonly used herbs, and their uses:

Anise-Works well in salads
Basil– Use with vegetables, salads, tomatoes, eggs, and beef
Bay Leaf– Use in stews, casseroles, and sauces. Don’t eat them, remove before eating. Bay leaves grow on a bay leaf tree or bush. I have a bay leaf
bush in my yard. I just go out and get bay leaves as I need them. Ask your Gardner to order a bay leaf tree or bush for you. They grow year around.
The Bay Leaf Tree is the “Laurus nobilis”, this is what you give your nursery.
Chive– A type of onion. Good for potatoes, cheeses, dips, soups, and more.
Cilantro– eggs, salads, sauces, Latin American and Italian.
Cloves– Sauces and beverages
Cumin – Soups and spices, particularly good in Indian and Mexican cooking. I use it in turkey dressing at Thanksgiving also, along with sage,
other spices.
Ginger– Good in Asian stir fried vegetables
Marjoram – Good with salads, sauces, and vegetables.
Mustard – Good with a variety of food, good in sauces. This is the mustard seed.
Nutmeg – Used around Thanksgiving and Christmas in pumpkin pie. Goes good in eggs, deserts, and vegetables.
Oregano– Used a lot in Italian sauces, also good in soups.
Paprika– Good on eggs and potato salad
Parsley– Good in meats, sauces, soups
Pepper– Ground or dried peppercorns are used in a wide variety of foods.
Rosemary– Makes lamb taste great, also vegetables, soups, sauces and italian food.
Sage – The most famous use is with American thanksgiving turkey dressing, also use with salad dressing and beans.
Savory – Use in lentil soup, cabbage, tomatoes and beans.
Tarragon – Sauces, dressings, tomato, and egg dishes.
Thyme – Lemon flavor, good with tomato dishes, and a variety of soups and meats.

Delicious Turkey Meatloaf Recipe 

This turkey meatloaf recipe is one of my favorite healthy dinner recipes as well as economical. Prepare it in the morning before leaving for work. After work, place it in the oven and have it ready for meal time.

Healthy Dinner Recipes for Turkey Meatloaf 

2 pounds ground turkey
1 small onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 stalk of green onion finely chopped
1/4 green pepper finely chopped
1-teaspoon oregano
1-teaspoon thyme
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

l slice bread–moistened
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 370 degrees F/190 degrees C.

Finely chop the onion and garlic. Wet the bread and break it into small pieces. Mix the egg in a small container.

In a medium size bowl mix the ground turkey, onion, garlic, green onion, green pepper, bread, eggs, oregano, and thyme together vigorously. Remove and place in a square or rectangular pan. Shape into a rectangle, similar to a small bread loaf.

Place in the oven, cook for 1 hour 15 minutes at the temperature stated above.

Serves four

Serving suggestion:
Serve with brown rice or potatoes, and broccoli and carrots.

Good Southern Collard Greens Soul Food Recipe

A popular soul food recipe in the south is collard greens, mixed with proper seasonings and a few other types of greens, you have a dish that even royalty will savor.

Collard Greens Ingredients 

4 large stalks of collard greens
2 stalks of mustard greens
1 stalk of turnip greens
1 stalk of kale
2 drumsticks of smoked turkey (or 2 wings)
2 onions, finely chopped
1 whole garlic plant, finely chopped
3 stalks of green onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 T oregano
2 T thyme
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 extra, extra large pot

If the stalks are already separated by your grocer, then measure a stalk as 1 large bag.

Separate all of the large stalks, place them in a large sink full of water, let them  soak for 1/2 hour. Separate the leaves from the middle stalks. Throw away the middle stalk, keep the leaves only. Drain the dirty water from the sink.

Drain the sink, fill it with water again, soak the leaves, rinse again, and remove them, tear them into small pieces and place them in a large pot of water, filled to about half full.

Separate the smoked turkey from the bone and chop into small pieces. Place on top of the greens mixture.

Add all other ingredients on top of the greens–Onion, garlic, green onion, bell pepper, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper.

Let the mixture cook about 1/2 hour, then stir the ingredients on top into the greens.  The greens will cook down to about half the original size, at least. Let the greens simmer for another hour. You should have a large portion, enough for about 3-4 meals with 2-4 people. Place the leftover
greens in small containers and freeze until you need them for the next meal.

Collard greens are considered a cheap recipe because they are easy to grow in a garden as well as other greens.

This soul food collard greens recipe can be used as a side dish or a whole meal.

I have many more cheap and easy dinner recipes at

Bon Appetit!
Lois Center-Shabazz
author of, Live Rich Save Money! Budget Diary
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