The Rub on Spices

spicesFor thousands of years, spices have been sought after for their flavor, medicinal qualities, status, and novelty. And while spices no longer inspire the kind of exploration, trade, and wars they did in the 15th Century, researchers are now finding a different kind of value in these substances. Many spices and herbs, from cinnamon to oregano, cumin to turmeric, have high nutritional value and pack an antioxidant punch.

Bok Choy Stir Fry


1 pound baby bok choy
1 1/3 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or peanut oil
1–2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
3 tablespoons broth or water (or 2 tablespoons broth or water, plus 1 tablespoon wine)
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon tamari (soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


Crystallized Ginger


Asian Greens Stir-Fry

Courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop

1 tablespoon sesame or other high-heat oil; butter works as well
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger or ⅓ teaspoon of fresh ginger finely grated
1 bunch Asian greens such as Mei Qing Choy, trimmed & chopped
1 ½ tablespoons tamari or soy sauce


Winter Wellness Ginger-Citrus Tea

Gingered Winter Squash and Root Veggie Soup

Easy No-Cook Cranberry-Orange Relish

Iced Lemongrass Tea

  • Wash 6–8 lemongrass stalks well and discard green upper portions.
  • Gently smash stalks on a cutting board with a jar or the flat side of a knife (this will help release their flavor).
  • Add stalks to a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil; remove from heat and let steep (covered, but allow steam to escape) for 5–10 minutes.
  • Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup honey, agave, or sugar (optional) and stir to melt completely.
  • Strain tea and mix with 6 cups cold water; serve over ice.

Japanese Eggplant With Green Beans & Thai Red Curry

Adapted from Bon Appetite magazine, Courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop

1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 lb Japanese Eggplant unpeeled, cut into 3-inch-long, 1/2-inch-wide strips
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons yellow miso, mixed with 1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste