Most personal chefs have a standard repertoire of recipes in their back pocket for meal planning. While it makes the menu process simple, it can be easy to get trapped in a rut eating the same old things every day. How can you make changes without adding extra steps? By spicing it up!
With herbs and spices it’s easy to jazz up any ordinary meal or even a traditional cup of coffee or tea – without adding fat or calories. The experts at The Spice Hunter (www.spicehunter.com) offer the following tips on how to spice up everyday foods for maximum flavor:
- Spice the Unexpected: Enhance a turkey sandwich with a tomato basil mayonnaise or whip up a curried coleslaw (see recipes below).
- Make Veggies Enticing: Sauté a package of frozen carrots in 1 tablespoon butter and ½ teaspoon ground ginger.
- Create a Culinary Corn Treat: Stir 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence into an 8-oz. package of corn muffin mix.
- Dill-icious Mac & Cheese: Class up a classic by adding dill to macaroni and cheese (1/4 teaspoon per cup).
- Spicy Snacking: Popcorn’s tops for light snacking that fills you up fast. For a zesty twist, toss with a tablespoon of chili powder (AND, spicy foods help to decrease the appetite)
- Brownies with Bite: Create an extraordinary treat by adding ¼ teaspoon ground cloves and the juice of one orange to a traditional one-bowl brownie recipe or 2 teaspoons mixed spices (or pumpkin pie spice) to chocolate cake batter
- Tasty Toast: Substitute allspice for cinnamon with your sugar on the morning’s toast.
- Cuppa Joe: Add a ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg to coffee grounds in the machine for a rich, fragrant cup of brew
Tomato Basil Mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise (can use Light or Fat Free)
1 Tbsp Italian-style tomato paste
3/4 tsp dried basil
Stir all ingredients together; chill before use.
Duke’s Curried Coleslaw with Raisins and Almonds
1/2 cup mayonnaise (can use Light or Fat Free)
1/4 cup sour cream (can use lowfat)
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/3 cup golden seedless raisins
1/3 cup slivered blanched almonds
2 tbsp. thinly sliced green onions
2-3 cups shredded mixed red and green cabbage and carrots
Mix dressing ingredients together until combined and creamy. Pour over shredded cabbage and carrots and mix until well coated. Refrigerate overnight so flavors can blend.
This article was originally published in an issue of Personal Chef Magazine, a publication for members of the United States Personal Chef Association.