Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spice is Nice !

Article by Liz yeh
Pics from web source

Bored with the condiments in your refrigerator? Here are our suggestions for spicing them up, and adding a little life to your meals.
While fat is the secret to buttery croissants and rich sauces, it's the other stuff — herbs, spices and aromatics — that adds a distinctive kick to food. Cut out the fat and keep the flavour, and you will still have countless low-calorie options for creating mouthwatering meals.
Spices, herbs and aromatics — such as ginger, onions and garlic — are some of the easiest ways to punch up your food. Acids such as mustards, lemon/lime juice and wine also wake up the taste buds and are key to expanding your flavour base. Mix and match, and you'll have a large array of flavourful food accessories to choose from!

Sauce Suggestions
At a loss? Here are some tasty suggestions. Some can be used as marinades, dips or sauces. Others are great as spice rubs. All are a cinch to make.
Tuscan Tang. Mix together 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon each Dijon mustard and minced garlic. This garlicky, tangy sauce makes a delicious marinade for chicken and red meat. Add a dollop to meats or steamed vegetables for extra flavour.
Double Pepper. Purée 1 roasted red pepper, a quarter of an onion, 1/4 teaspoon each red pepper flakes and salt. This mellow, spicy sauce is wonderful with fish and chicken.
Moroccan Spice. Mix 1 tablespoon each cumin and cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of cayenne. Rub on chicken, fish or meat before grilling.
Shortcut Savoury. Mix 1 crushed bouillon cube with 2 teaspoons lemon juice and rub on fish or chicken before grilling.
Aromatic Herb. Mince equal parts of herbs (such as dill, basil, cilantro, oregano, tarragon, sage, thyme or rosemary) with aromatics (chives, leeks, shallots, onions). A squeeze of lemon or lime juice will brighten up the flavour. Or, add a dash of hot pepper sauce for extra spiciness. Sprinkle on meats or mix into vegetables.

My Oh Mayo!
There are tons of fat-free or low-fat condiments and dressings shelved in your supermarket or available when you're dining out. Some of our favourites include the fat-free Caesar and Italian dressings, which tend to be lower in fat and calories. But if the sauce selection doesn't grab you, make your own. It's easy and all-natural — no preservatives or gummy aftertaste.

Just spice up some low-fat mayo or yogurt with whatever is in your pantry. Spread it on sandwiches, grilled meats, fish, chicken or vegetables. Thin it out with water and — voila! — it becomes a healthier, but still tasty dressing. Try adding these to mayo or yogurt:

Soy sauce and scallions.

•Wasabi (Japanese horseradish).

•Saffron and garlic.

•Roasted red pepper and parsley.

•Cajun spice mix and lemon juice.

•Capers and horseradish.

•Mustard and Worcestershire.

•Basil and garlic.

•Dill and tarragon (great with chicken!).

•Parmesan, extra sharp cheddar, blue, or feta cheese.

 These cheeses are very pungent so you need very little to spice up your food — about 1 teaspoon per 2 tablespoons of mayo or yogurt.

So go ahead — put a little added flavour in your food and tickle your taste buds guilt-free.

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