A picture of a LEGO chef using spices

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

Perhaps you’re simply getting snug cooking within the kitchen.

Or possibly 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 precise place.

Not solely will we program exercises in Nerd Health Teaching, however we additionally focus on low-calorie recipes which might be scrumptious (we use them ourselves!). At the 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 Must Be Bland and Boring

A picture of a bunch of spice bags

Keep in mind these diagrams of the tongue that you simply discovered about in class?

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 unsuitable.

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

There’s 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 one of the vital damaging lies advised about getting wholesome.

We all know weight-reduction plan is 80% of the battle in the case of reaching our well being and health targets. And once we inform ourselves maintaining a healthy diet meals is boring, flavorless, and downright gross, we put ourselves on the quick observe to failure! Identical to train can and must be enjoyable, cooking meat and veggies must be scrumptious.

At the moment we’re going over some primary expertise that may assist you to see maximal profit for minimal effort.

How? Easy flavors. 

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

6 Spice Combos for Tasty Meals

A picture of some LEGO captains looking for spice

Tons of rebels seeking to stage up their cooking have requested about re-creating their favourite dishes from around the globe. I’ve obtained excellent news for you! It’s not as troublesome as most individuals assume.

Regional dishes style the best way they do as a result of they’re produced 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 mixtures that you should utilize 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), may also use coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • Rice Vinegar: 2 Tbsp (30ml)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves (½ tsp/2.5ml powdered)
  • Sprint Purple 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 Purple Curry Paste: 1 Tbsp (15ml)
  • Cilantro: Handful of recent chopped

For the entire 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
  • Purple Pepper Flake
  • Garlic Powder (or recent bulb of garlic, your selection)
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Ginger powder

When you 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 mixtures 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 possibly can have a special dish from around the globe on daily basis of the week!

The right way 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 set them to work?

Glad you requested!

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

My suggestion is that you simply omit the recommended spices from the unique recipe posts and exchange them with the ingredient measurements above. Keep in mind, the above solutions are by the pound, so if you happen to’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 stage up this basic!
  3. Shepherd’s Pie – Indian curry shepherd’s pie feels like an surprising and pleasant mixture.
  4. 7 Ingredient Fish and Veggies – Eradicate the spices from the unique recipe and take a look at an Asian twist!
  5. Lettuce Wrapped Burgers – Make some Italian spiced burgers, and prime with recent mozzarella, tomato, and recent 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 authentic recipe.

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

Perhaps you want cinnamon in your curry or possibly you possibly can’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. Remember to use your nostril and mouth to odor and style what you’re making as you go! (Except it’s uncooked meat. By no means style uncooked meat.)

5 Suggestions 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 slightly bit simpler.

1. Does shopping for particular person spices and mixing them sound intimidating? The spice firms make this straightforward for us. Try the spice aisle in your grocery retailer. Numerous firms 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 take a look at a brand new one each time you cook dinner one thing. Put it on one thing primary like eggs or baked hen so you possibly can 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 might be already there. When you over-season with salt, after all it’s going to make your meals style salty, however that’s not salt’s perform within the culinary world.

When you’re feeling adventurous and have slightly additional money, purchase some fancy wanting sea salt. There’s Hawaiian pink sea salt, fleur de sel, coarse sea salt, superb sea salt. There’s even bizarre stuff like truffle salt, gray sea salt, and black pyramid salt!

The most effective 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 need to get fancy. That is what I’ve. Contemporary floor pepper makes all of the distinction on the earth. When you like pepper in your meals, that is the best way to go!

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

3. Purchase a pre-stocked spice rack. I would get some flack for this tip from seasoned (pun supposed!) cooks. However while 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 finished for you. Spice racks are comparatively low-cost, they provide you a number of spices and herbs that you could be not have thought of choosing up on the retailer, however you’ll be glad you will have 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, nevertheless 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 slightly 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 decrease a few of the bitter flavors in sure meals (like darkish leafy inexperienced veggies). An acid may also show you how to deliver down the warmth if you happen to added an excessive amount of purple pepper flake to a dish.

5. Fry the spices first. That is referred to 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. This can be 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. When you ask me, the people who find themselves telling you this are doing it unsuitable.

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

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

How can we combat in opposition to that?

By mastering the artwork of utilizing spices and sauces!

Wholesome consuming doesn’t need to be boring. Armed with these primary ideas and mixtures you possibly can defeat cravings and truly get pleasure from and sit 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’d like some extra assist, Nerd Health is right here for you.

Now we have three choices on find out how to proceed with us. Choose the choice that finest aligns along with your targets:

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

All of the coaches from our movies in the present day are a part of this system, and so they’re prepared that can assist you stage up your kitchen expertise, apocalypse or no apocalypse. 

You may schedule a free name with our group so we are able to get to know you and see if our teaching program is best for you:

Possibility #2) If you’d like an actual blueprint for find out how to eat higher and get in form, take a look at NF Journey. Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra regularly, eat more healthy, and stage up your life (actually). We even have fairly just a few “The right way to Prepare dinner” adventures.

Attempt your free trial proper right here:

Possibility #3) Be part of the Riot! We want good folks such as you in our neighborhood, the Nerd Health Riot.

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

Alright, now I wish to hear from you:

What flavors are we lacking?

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

Tell us within the feedback! Perhaps we can assist!


PS: Be sure you 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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