How To Use Spices To Make Food Tasty
If you’re used to slathering your meat, fish and veggies with salt or sauces to make them taste good then lean lifestyle cooking can seem kinda dull and uninspiring.
At Corio we enjoy our food, I mean...we really heart fabulous delicious grub! If it tastes like cardboard you won’t want to eat it for very long.
Good news, you can spice up your plate in a flash without adding bloat-inducing salt or calorie and sugar-laden sauces that will mess with your hormones and hinder your progress.
One word. Spices.
THE SPICE GUIDE:
PRINT THIS AND STICK IT ON YOUR FRIDGE.
If you are cooking:
Try flavoring it with:
Bay leaf, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme
Curry powder, garlic, rosemary, mint
Garlic, onion, sage, pepper, oregano
Bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, marjoram, oregano
Ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, poultry seasoning, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme
Curry powder, dill, dry mustard, marjoram, paprika, pepper
Cinnamon, cloves, dill, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage
Cumin, curry powder, onion, paprika, parsley
Dill, curry powder, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme
Dill, garlic, onion, paprika, parsley, sage
Cloves, curry powder, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage
Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, onion
Basil, bay leaf, dill, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, pepper
chives, dill, garlic, vinegar
green pepper, mint, fresh mushrooms, onion, parsley
chives, green pepper, onion, paprika, parsley
How To Use Spices and Herbs (The beginners go-to guide)
- Use no more than 1/4 teaspoon of dried spice (3/4 of fresh) per pound (or 500g) of meat, so you’ll need to grab your scales.
- Add ground spices to food about 15 minutes before the end of cooking time
- Add whole spices to food a least one hour before the end of cooking time
- Crush dried herbs before adding to foods
Common Spice Conundrums:
Your recipe calls for fresh herbs and all you have are dried herbs.
Follow this rule:
1 tablespoon finely cut fresh herbs =1 teaspoon dried leafy herbs =1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground dried herbs
Help the recipe says Add X to taste! How much do I use?
Use more herbs if using a leafy or fresh form - start with 1 tsbp if fresh. Begin with 1/4 teaspoon of most ground spices or ground dried herbs, or 1/8 teaspoon for cayenne pepper and garlic powder; per:1 pound of meat; 1 pint (2 cups of soup or sauce).Red pepper intensifies in flavor during cooking; add in small increments.
When do I add spices?
Pop fresh herbs near the end of the cooking time (within the last 5-10 minutes or use as garnish) as prolonged heating can cause flavor and aroma losses.
For uncooked foods, add spices and herbs several hours before serving to allow flavors to blend. For example, mix your oil and herbs then marinate your meat for at least 30 min, or overnight.
You’ll want to take out whole spices and bay leaves at the end of cooking; pro-tip: secure them in a tea ball so you can find them fast.
Cajun Spice Blend
2 Tbsp cumin2 Tbsp coriander2 Tbsp paprika1 ½ tsp salt1 ½ tsp black pepperCayenne pepper to taste 1 Tbsp dried oregano
This spice blend is great on grilled chicken, tofu, or even salads.
Greek Spice Blend
1 Tbsp garlic powder1 Tbsp dried basil1 Tbsp dried oregano1 ½ tsp salt1 ½ tsp pepper1 ½ tsp dried parsley1 ½ tsp dried rosemary1 ½ tsp dried thyme3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Use this on Greek salads, when roasting vegetables with olive oil, or in hummus.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend
1/4 cup ground cinnamon2 tsp ground ginger2 tsp nutmeg2 tsp all spice1 tsp ground cloves
Some fun uses for this blend are: in oatmeal, on yogurt, or even on a peanut butter sandwich with sliced bananas.
Zest from 3 lemons2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp black pepper2 Tbsp salt
This is great on chicken, prawns, on salads, or on popcorn.
2 Tbsp cumin powder2 Tbsp ground coriander2 Tbsp turmeric1 ½ tsp ground cardamom1/2 tsp cinnamon1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
I’d recommend using this any time you want to give dishes an Indian flair.
Italian Spice Blend
2 Tsbp dried basil2 Tsbp dried oregano1 Tsbp dried thyme1 Tsbp dried rosemary1 Tsbp garlic powder1/4 tsp onion powder1/4 tsp salt
This works well on sautéed vegetables with fresh garlic.
2 Tbsp chili powder1 tsp cumin1 tsp coriander1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder1/2 tsp garlic powder1/4 tsp cayenne pepper1/2 tsp salt1 tsp regular paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika (or use 2 tsp regular paprika if you can’t find smoked)
2 Tbsp chili powder2 Tbsp ground cumin1 ½ tsp onion powder1 ½ tsp garlic powder½ tps cayenne pepper½ tsp black pepper (optional)½ tsp salt½ tsp oregano
In addition to using this for taco meat, you can also mix it into refried beans, use it to flavor enchiladas, or stir it into Greek yogurt or coyo as a substitute for a “spicy sour cream.”
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