Cooking with Herbs and Spices
DIETITIAN ADVICE -
Using the right balance of spice unlocks the best flavor for any dish. Cooking with fresh or dried herbs will make a substantial difference to the flavor and popularity of a meal. With a growing number of people cooking from home, a wider variety of spices are becoming more commonly used. Learning how to use seasoning will have your dinner guests and family impressed. A healthy and filling meal always involves vegetables and lean protein.
Here are some combinations of dried spices that work well with cooked vegetable and meat entrees:
- Basil – consider dried basil for tomato dishes and sauces. Sautéed broccoli, asparagus and spinach also pair well with basil and garlic. Chicken is an excellent source of protein, but it can be boring if you cook it the same way over and over. Aromatic herbs like basil go well with chicken, pasta salads and cheeses.
- Parsley – this is the most commonly used herb. Parsley’s mild flavor makes it a good addition to vegetables, soups, eggs, poultry and fish.
- Rosemary – the pine-like leaves of rosemary help to improve digestion. The strong fragrant nature of this herb pairs well with stuffing, lamb, pork, steak and chicken. Cauliflower dishes and potatoes can greatly be enhanced by rosemary.
- Thyme – this spice goes well when paired with other herbs like parsley and garlic. Thyme is not typically the main spice in a dish, but it can add a lot of complexity to other ingredients to create a deep, rich flavor. It’s commonly used in soups, sauces, rice and potato dishes.
- Paprika – you will find this as a common ingredient in many spice blends, marinades and sauces. Paprika goes well in savory dishes and dips like hummus. The finishing touch atop most deviled eggs is usually paprika. This versatile spice goes well with steamed vegetables, shellfish and rich winter foods. In most recipes, paprika is added near the end of the cooking process because the heat can diminish the flavor and deep color of paprika.
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