When creating dinners with essential oils, I learned the hard way that cooking with oils like ginger, basil, oregano, rosemary, cilantro, and black pepper can ruin a dish if you use too much. Even one drop of lavender in your cupcake frosting can be disastrous.

Unlike fresh or even dried herbs, essential oils are highly concentrated and extremely powerful. Did you know that one drop of peppermint oil is equal to 28 cups of peppermint tea? That drop packs quite the punch!

So, how do you add essential oils to recipes a little at a time when 1 drop is too much? A toothpick! That’s right! Simply dip the end of the toothpick into your bottle of essential oil and stir into the recipe a little at a time.

Happy cooking and, in the meantime, check out this lettuce wrap recipe I made with a toothpick of ginger.

lettuce wraps



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 “toothpick” ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
  • 1 (8-ounce) can whole water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head butter lettuce


  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the chicken as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  • Stir in garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha until onions have become translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chestnuts and green onions until tender, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style.

Serves 4

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