Fresh herbs not only enhance flavor, they're nutritious enough to count as vegetables.

Boost Your Veggie Intake with Fresh Herbs

Did you know that fresh herbs not only add flavor and zest to your cooking, but they’re good for you, too? That’s right, fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, and dill are rich in vitamins, minerals, and health-boosting polyphenols and antioxidants. Some herbs, such as cilantro and mint, aid in digestion, while others, like dill and basil, have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, and still others, like rosemary, protect against inflammation.

And there’s another benefit of cooking with fresh herbs that many people don’t know about: They count as a serving of vegetables, too!

In my next Thrive Kitchen class, to be held Tuesday, April 18th, I’ll be teaching you how to cook tasty, healthy dishes featuring spring vegetables like asparagus, peas, carrots and radishes, which are just coming into season.

And we’ll be learning to cook dishes that feature fresh herbs as a main ingredient. Some of these dishes have been chosen because they symbolize spring in the cultures they come from, such as
•    Thai Mixed Rice Salad with Herbs and Spring Vegetables
•    Chilled Pea Soup with Indian Spiced Oil
•    Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Rainbow Vegetables and Tofu
•    Indian Spiced Grated Carrot Salad
•    Bruschetta with White Bean Purée and Spring Vegetables
•    Asparagus with Gremolata

The Thrive Kitchen offers cooking classes once a month on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. In these fun and relaxed classes, you’ll receive hands-on instruction and practice in healthy cooking techniques. And you’ll get to enjoy a delicious, globally inspired meal you helped cook yourself. The Thrive Kitchen is located at 1600 Owens Street in Kaiser Permanente’s Mission Bay Medical Offices.

Register now by emailing or calling 415-833-3450. Fee is $30 for Kaiser Permanente members, $40 for non-members, and includes instruction, recipes, nutrition discussion and the meal. You can also register now for the May class, Healthy Chinese Cooking for Asian American History Month.

To learn more about Dr. Shiue’s cooking and see more of her recipes, you can follow her blog, Dr. Shiue also contributes recipes to the Kaiser Permanente’s Food for Health blog, which regularly features new recipes and meal planning ideas.

Dr Shiue also shares nutrition articles, recipes and details about her classes on her Facebook page.

Linda Shiue, MD, is a primary care doctor and professionally trained chef who believes that the best medicine is prevention, based upon a healthy lifestyle. As Director of Culinary Medicine at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, she is developing a teaching kitchen to empower patients with a new set of skills and knowledge to improve their health and wellness--nutrition applied through cooking skills. Classes are offered through the Health Education Department at (415) 833-3450. In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Shiue offers cooking demonstrations and hands-on workshops in which students learn to prepare seasonal produce lavishly flavored with spices and fresh herbs. Her food writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Remedy Quarterly, Salon, Culinate, and online editions of The New York Times and Smithsonian Magazine. She also has her own website,