Cooking with Herbs and Spices
Cooking with both fresh and dried herbs adds flavor to your recipes, while often adding desirable health properties too. I incorporate fresh or dried herbs and spices daily in my recipes. I sometimes even use herbs and spices when cooking breakfast! Give it a try and you’ll be glad you did.
Buying and storing dried herbs and spices: Dried herbs and spices are all readily available at most local supermarkets. Purchase organic, non-irradiated herbs and spices whenever they are affordable and/or available. Store them in a cool, dark place, away from sunlight, stovetop or oven. Check your spice collection every three to six months for expired herbs and spices and replace them to ensure optimum aroma, taste, color, and texture in your recipes.
Using herbs and spices in your recipes: Incorporating herbs and spices into your daily dishes, enables you to create delicious meals without adding a lot of salt, sugar, or fat. Try creating your own signature seasonings by combining the herbs and spices that you prefer. This will result in personalized recipe creations that you, your friends and your family will savor.
Growing fresh herbs: During the summer months, think about growing your own fresh herbs and spices in your yard, in containers on your deck, or even in window boxes. I grow herbs in containers placed in a sunny spot on my back deck, all summer long.
Stocking your herb and spice cabinet: Here is a basic list of the various herbs and spices I like cooking with. Feel free to add or subtract to this list to suit your individual taste and creativity. Happy seasoning!
Jazzy Vegetarian Herbs and Spice List
All-purpose Seasoning (your favorite blend)
Black Pepper (milled, course, and fine ground)
Cayenne (ground red pepper)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Italian Herbs (blend)
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Sea Salt (course and fine ground)
Here’s an easy way to incorporate a bit of spice into a quick to prepare, tasty casserole!
Molasses Two-Bean Bake (Low fat Cooking)
Makes 3 to 4 servings
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium sweet onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (more or less, to taste)
1 heaping tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup organic catsup
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine. Pour into a medium casserole. Cover and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve with crusty bread, quinoa or brown rice on the side. A crisp green salad or steamed green vegetables such as broccoli or asparagus makes a nice side dish for this casserole too!