A HomeGrown Meal

Looking for a fun and tasty summer activity? We’re kicking off the week with healthy, herb-filled recipes for a fresh summer meal. Each of the recipes call for herbs and ingredients that you can grow right at home or in your dorm room! This full home-grown meal is the perfect activity for a rainy summer day spent indoors or for a fun potluck meal with friends.

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Salad: Tomato with Green Beans and Basil

basil salad

Recipe from Saveur


Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 oz. green beans, trimmed

8 oz. romano beans, trimmed

1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 lemons, zest and juice

4 medium heirloom tomatoes (half sliced 1⁄4″ thick, half cut into 1⁄2″ wedges

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1⁄2 cup basil leaves, preferably a mix of regular and Thai basil, torn


Boil green beans and romano beans in a pot of salted water for 1-2 minutes (until they are bright green and yellow). Strain the beans and transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Keep them there until they are chilled. Drain beans and spread on paper towels to dry. Create your own dressing: whisk vinegar, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Place beans and tomatoes on a plate, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with basil leaves, salt, and pepper.

Herbal Health Benefits: Basil: DNA Protection, Antibacterial, Anti-Inflammatory, Cardiovascular Health

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Main Course: Grilled Tuscan Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

herbal chicken

Recipe from Martha Stewart


2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary

¼ cup of olive oil

1/3 cup of water

2 garlic cloves

1 chicken (3 ½ to 4 pounds) cut into 8-10 pieces

¼ cup of fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper


Boil rosemary in 1/3 cup of water in saucepan – heat to medium. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes, then transfer the mixture to a blender, adding oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth and let it cool. Combine chicken with rosemary oil mixture in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag and turn it over to coat the chicken. Cover and let marinate for at least 15 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator, turning occasionally. Then, remove chicken from marinade and place on grill or saucepan on stove. As the chicken is cooking, frequently add lemon juice and turn to prevent burning. Do this until it is cooked throughout – about 20 to 30 minutes. You can serve with grilled zucchini and squash if you like!

Herbal Health Benefits: Rosemary: helps with digestion, heartburn, cough, headache

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Dessert: Blueberry – Lavender Coffee Cake

herbal bread

Recipe from Healthy Delicious


For the filling

1 cup blueberries

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon dried lavender

For the cake

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), softened

⅔ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

For the glaze

¼ cup confectioners sugar

1 lemon, juiced


To make the filling, combine blueberries, water, honey, and lavender into a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until it is thick and syrupy. Then let it cool. Heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix butter sugar, egg and vanilla. To prevent the batter from becoming too thick and doughy, stir in half the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk first, then repeat with the second half each. Then pour half the batter into the loaf pan. Spread blueberry filling and then on top, add the remaining batter – the pan will be ½ to ¾ full. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes and then let cool. Add sugar and lemon juice to a small saucepan on medium heat. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring throughout until sugar is melted. Immediately drizzle over the cake when finished cooking.

Herbal Health Benefits: Lavender: helps with headache, digestion issues, and nausea

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Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. of Rutgers U

Ready to start cooking!? Share your recipes, tips, and of course pictures of your meal with us on Instagram and Twitter! @BNCollege


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