A picture of a LEGO chef using spices

Let’s learn to use easy spices to make your meals superior!

Possibly you’re simply getting comfy cooking within the kitchen.

Or perhaps you’ve been consuming the identical hen and broccoli for weeks and it’s time to spice it up.

Both approach, you’re in the fitting place.

Not solely can we program exercises in Nerd Health Teaching, however we additionally talk about low-calorie recipes which are scrumptious (we use them ourselves!). Right this moment, we’ll share our ideas for making any meal scrumptious, utilizing solely a handful of widespread spices.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

Seize your apron and let’s do that!

Our Insurgent Chef, Noel, will take it from right here:

Why Your Meals Doesn’t Need to Be Bland and Boring

A picture of a bunch of spice bags

Bear in mind these diagrams of the tongue that you simply discovered about at school?

They advised you the tongue tasted totally different flavors relying on the part. The again tastes bitter, the entrance tastes candy, and the perimeters style salty and bitter.

1. Bitter 2. Bitter 3. Salt 4. Candy

Most of us now know that is flawed.

Your entire tongue tastes all flavors, and it’s not simply your tongue! The roof of our mouth and your nostril assist out too! In reality, there are extra than simply the 4 flavors we discovered about at school.

There may be one other lie that has been circulating within the health world for years. It’s a lie that claims wholesome meals is boring and bland.

It drives me loopy.

A gif of Homer going crazy

And on this nerd’s opinion, it’s probably the most damaging lies advised about getting wholesome.

We all know food regimen is 80% of the battle relating to attaining our well being and health objectives. And once we inform ourselves maintaining a healthy diet meals is boring, flavorless, and downright gross, we put ourselves on the quick monitor to failure! Identical to train can and ought to be enjoyable, cooking meat and veggies ought to be scrumptious.

Right this moment we’re going over some fundamental expertise that can assist you to see maximal profit for minimal effort.

How? Easy flavors. 

Listed below are 6 foolproof spice combos that can assist you degree up your cooking expertise, discover the world along with your tongue, and (hopefully) get you out of your meals rut!

6 Spice Mixtures for Tasty Meals

A picture of some LEGO captains looking for spice

Tons of rebels seeking to degree up their cooking have requested about re-creating their favourite dishes from world wide. I’ve obtained excellent news for you! It’s not as troublesome as most individuals suppose.

Regional dishes style the way in which they do as a result of they’re created from the spices and components native to that neighborhood. Your ancestors didn’t want Tremendous Processed Stir Fry Sauce™ to make dinner. They used entire meals to create scrumptious dishes, and we’re going to do the identical. 

Listed below are 6 simplified spice combos that you need to use to take your wholesome meals from bland to daring. Every is measured for a pound of meals:

A picture of NF spice recipes

#1) Mexican:

  • Chili powder: 1 Tbsp (15ml)
  • Lime (Juice from 1 lime)

#2) Greek:

  • Oregano: 1 Tbsp (15ml)
  • Olive Oil: 2 tbsp (30ml)
  • Lemon juice: 2 tbsp (30ml)

#3) Italian:

  • Oregano: ½ Tbsp (7ml)
  • Garlic: 3 Cloves (½ tsp or 2.5ml powdered)
  • Basil: ½ tbsp (7ml)
  • Tomatoes: 1 diced can

#4) Indian:

  • Cumin: ½ Tsp (2.5ml)
  • Curry: 1 tbsp (15ml)
  • Coriander: ½ tsp (2.5ml)

#5&6) Chinese language/Japanese (this makes a marinade or stir-fry sauce):

  • Ginger: ¼ tsp (1ml)
  • Tamari: ¼ cup (59ml), can even use coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • Rice Vinegar: 2 Tbsp (30ml)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves (½ tsp/2.5ml powdered)
  • Sprint Crimson Pepper Flakes
  • Sugar (Honey): 1 tbsp (15ml)

 Bonus flavors! 

#7) Thai (this makes a marinade or stir-fry sauce):

  • Coconut milk: 1/2 cup (118ml)
  • Tamari: 1/4 cup (59ml) (coconut aminos is also used)
  • Fish Sauce: 2 tbsp (30ml)
  • Inexperienced or Crimson Curry Paste: 1 Tbsp (15ml)
  • Cilantro: Handful of contemporary chopped

For the whole set, add these to your purchasing checklist (herbs and spices are dried): 

  • 2 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • Can or jar of diced tomatoes
  • Coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Chili Powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Crimson Pepper Flake
  • Garlic Powder (or contemporary bulb of garlic, your alternative)
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Ginger powder

If you happen to go to the shop and purchase these 15 objects, you’ll be set to make all kinds of dishes from everywhere in the world.

The Street Fighter II menu in gif format

These spice combos can be utilized for hen, fish, eggs, beef, or pork; roasted, sauteed, steamed, or microwaved veggies; stir-fries, and extra!

For a really minimal financial funding and one journey to the grocery retailer, you may have a special dish from world wide daily of the week!

Find out how to Add Spices to a Meal (7 Easy Recipes)

This woman knows gaining muscle relies on a proper diet...like seafood!

Okay, you’ve obtained your spices.

Now how do you place them to work?

Glad you requested!

We’re going to take one in all your favourite recipes and put your new spices to the take a look at! Seize one in all our many recipes and take one of many above spice combos and put them collectively.

My suggestion is that you simply omit the urged spices from the unique recipe posts and substitute them with the ingredient measurements above. Bear in mind, the above recommendations are by the pound, so in case you’re utilizing two kilos of hen or veggies, double the spices!

Listed below are just some examples of how one can these spices for nearly any dish:

  1. Roasted veggies – Anybody up for some Mexican chili lime or Indian curry-spiced veggies?
  2. Rooster Stir Fry – Attempt the Asian spices out to degree up this basic!
  3. Shepherd’s Pie – Indian curry shepherd’s pie feels like an sudden and pleasant mixture.
  4. 7 Ingredient Fish and Veggies – Remove the spices from the unique recipe and check out an Asian twist!
  5. Lettuce Wrapped Burgers – Make some Italian spiced burgers, and prime with contemporary mozzarella, tomato, and contemporary basil!
  6. Scrambled Eggs and Veggies – Attempt a special spice combo on plain previous scrambled eggs every morning this week to see how the flavors differ!
  7. Best Rooster Ever – Toss the hen in some Greek spices, lemon, and olive oil as a substitute of the spices prescribed within the unique recipe.

After some time, you’ll study which spices you want in a dish and which of them you may reside with out.

Possibly you want cinnamon in your curry or perhaps you may’t stand the style of ginger. That’s completely cool! Your meals is YOURS!

Quickly you’ll be capable to spice your dishes with out having to measure them each time. Be sure you use your nostril and mouth to scent and style what you’re making as you go! (Except it’s uncooked meat. By no means style uncooked meat.)

5 Ideas for Utilizing Spices Whereas Cooking

This is a picture of a spice rack

So that you’re heading to the shop, or you have already got your spices. Superior! Listed below are some tricks to make purchasing and cooking a little bit bit simpler.

1. Does shopping for particular person spices and mixing them sound intimidating? The spice corporations make this straightforward for us. Try the spice aisle in your grocery retailer. Plenty of corporations make pre-mixed spices for regional dishes:

  • Italian Seasoning
  • Greek Seasoning
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Taco/Fajita seasoning
  • Curry powder
  • Chinese language 5-spice powder

To experiment with these, purchase a pair and check out a brand new one each time you prepare dinner one thing. Put it on one thing fundamental like eggs or baked hen so you may start to style the distinction between spices from totally different areas of the world.

2. Salt and pepper don’t do the identical job. 

A gif of a Stormtrooper holding up salt and pepper

Salt makes your meals style MORE like what it’s. It enhances the flavors of the meals which are already there. If you happen to over-season with salt, in fact it should make your meals style salty, however that’s not salt’s operate within the culinary world.

If you happen to’re feeling adventurous and have a little bit additional money, purchase some fancy trying sea salt. There’s Hawaiian pink sea salt, fleur de sel, coarse sea salt, effective sea salt. There’s even bizarre stuff like truffle salt, gray sea salt, and black pyramid salt!

One of the best recommendation for pepper is to purchase entire peppercorns and a pepper grinder. They even promote disposable ones with peppercorns already in them on the grocery retailer. You don’t should get fancy. That is what I’ve. Recent floor pepper makes all of the distinction on the planet. If you happen to like pepper in your meals, that is the way in which to go!

Typically the most straightforward mixture of coarse sea salt and coarsely cracked black pepper is all I take advantage of to season a steak, and it’s freaking scrumptious. By no means low cost simplicity.

3. Purchase a pre-stocked spice rack. I’d get some flack for this tip from seasoned (pun supposed!) cooks. However once you’re first beginning out, as a substitute of shopping for all of your spices individually, typically it’s good simply to have all of it executed for you. Spice racks are comparatively low cost, they offer you quite a lot of spices and herbs that you could be not have thought of selecting up on the retailer, however you’ll be glad you’ve gotten it when a recipe requires paprika and voila! You have already got it!

Admittedly, spices and herbs that are available a pre-stocked spice rack from a division retailer could also be older and due to this fact much less flavorful, however it’s higher than having no spices in any respect!

4. Get acquainted with acid. By acid, I imply vinegars and citrus juices. You’ll be amazed at how a lot including a little bit little bit of vinegar to a plate of sauteed veggies or your paleo spaghetti sauce makes it pop.

Acids brighten the flavors in your meals and assist reduce among the bitter flavors in sure meals (like darkish leafy inexperienced veggies). An acid can even provide help to deliver down the warmth in case you added an excessive amount of purple pepper flake to a dish.

5. Fry the spices first. That is known as “blooming” your spices. When your oil is heated in your pan, add your spices to the oil first and blend them round for 3-5 seconds, then add your veggies or meat or no matter you’re cooking in that oil. It is a fast and simple solution to deepen and intensify the flavour of your spices.

Getting Began Spicing up Your Meals (Subsequent Steps)

This photo shows "bored" written in pasta

We’ve all heard folks say maintaining a healthy diet meals is boring and bland. If you happen to ask me, the people who find themselves telling you this are doing it flawed.

Once we drive ourselves to eat the identical meals time and again (like plain baked hen and steamed veggies with minimal seasoning), it could deplete our willpower bar if we crave extra flavors and selection.

Firms design Frankenfoods to make us crave the sugars and chemical compounds they’ve created, to allow them to revenue off of us indefinitely.

How can we battle in opposition to that?

By mastering the artwork of utilizing spices and sauces!

Wholesome consuming doesn’t should be boring. Armed with these fundamental ideas and combos you may defeat cravings and really take pleasure in and stay up for your wholesome meals!

Simply roll up your sleeves and get going!

The Swedish Chef knows how to eat a plant-based diet.

If you need some extra assist, Nerd Health is right here for you.

Now we have three choices on methods to proceed with us. Choose the choice that greatest aligns along with your objectives:

Choice #1) Our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching program: a training program for busy folks to assist them make higher meals selections, keep accountable, and get more healthy, completely.

All of the coaches from our movies at this time are a part of this system, they usually’re prepared that can assist you degree up your kitchen expertise, apocalypse or no apocalypse. 

You possibly can schedule a free name with our workforce so we will get to know you and see if our teaching program is best for you:

Choice #2) If you need an actual blueprint for methods to eat higher and get in form, try NF Journey. Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra continuously, eat more healthy, and degree up your life (actually). We even have fairly a couple of “Find out how to Cook dinner” adventures.

Attempt your free trial proper right here:

Choice #3) Be part of the Revolt! We’d like good folks such as you in our neighborhood, the Nerd Health Revolt.

Enroll within the field beneath to enlist and get our Insurgent Starter Package, which incorporates all of our “work out at dwelling” guides, the Nerd Health Food regimen Cheat Sheet, and way more!

Alright, now I need to hear from you:

What flavors are we lacking?

Are there every other spices in your cupboard that you’ve got NO IDEA what to do with?

Tell us within the feedback! Possibly we may also help!


PS: Be sure to catch the remainder of our Cooking 101 sequence:


Spices: Gavin BellWikipedia: Tongue Map, Boring: Strevo, Pirates: Pascal, Bored Spaghetti: Steven Feather, Spice Jars: enigmachck1; stavos: fish soup; 4 Bricks Tall: Sea spray and crab claws on the Shrimp Shack.

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