Sat04192014

Opinion

Spices for life: Endless possibilities

When you’re in the kitchen preparing a meal, what kind of spices, herbs or seasonings do you use to make that ordinary meal an extraordinary one?
 
 Dr. Timothy Moore
When you’re in the kitchen preparing a meal, what kind of spices, herbs or seasonings do you use to make that ordinary meal an extraordinary one? The answer could be found in your cupboard – that is, if you stock a variety of herbs and spices. But what can you do to spice up, let’s say, a hot pot of soup? Garlic, Marjoram, Parsley. The possibilities are endless.

When it comes to herbs and spices, it is always good to know that you can make the dish of your choice taste better. Well, the Chef, – that’s me – has come to your rescue with a special blend of herbs and spices that will help you to stay healthy and enjoy your food as it was intended for you to enjoy. I’ve put together some herbs for all types of dishes regardless of your food preference.

Let’s get you started. The following is a list of herbs and spices with some tried and true matches. Don’t be limited by traditional uses, though. Some of the most exquisite dishes come from unexpected seasonings.

Beans (dried) — cumin, cayenne, chili, parsley, pepper, sage, savory, thyme

Beef — basil, bay, chili, cilantro, curry, cumin, garlic, marjoram, mustard, oregano, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme

Breads — anise, basil, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, lemon peel, orange peel, oregano, poppy seeds, rosemary, saffron, sage, thyme

Cheese — basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chili, chives, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, horseradish, lemon peel, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme

Chicken — allspice, basil, bay, cinnamon, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, lemongrass, mustard, paprika, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme

Corn — chili, curry, dill, marjoram, parsley, savory, thyme

Eggs — basil, chervil, chili, chives, curry, dill, fennel, lemon peel, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme

Fish — anise, basil, bay, cayenne, celery seed, chives, curry, dill fennel, garlic, lemon peel, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, marjoram

Fruits — allspice, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, mint

Lamb — basil, bay, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, garlic, marjoram, mint, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme

Potatoes — basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, poppy seed, rosemary, tarragon, thyme

Salad Dressings — basil, celery seed, chives, dill, fennel, garlic, horseradish, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary, saffron, tarragon, thyme

Salads — basil, caraway, chives, dill, garlic, lemon peel, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme

Soups — basil, bay, chervil, chili, chives, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, marjoram, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme

Sweets — allspice, angelica, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger, lemon peel, mace, nutmeg, mint, orange peel, rosemary

Tomatoes — basil, bay, celery seed, cinnamon, chili, curry, dill, fennel,  garlic, ginger, gumbo file, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme

Complimentary Herbs

As a beginner, you may want to stick with herbs and spices that are known to complement each other. Common flavor families include:

Bouquet Garnis — basil, bay, oregano, parsley

Herbal — basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme

Hot — chili peppers, cilantro, cumin, garlic

Pungent — celery, chili peppers, cumin, curry, ginger, black pepper

Sweet — allspice, anise, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg

Spicy — cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, star anise

An easy method for testing herb and spice combinations is to mix them with small amounts of mild cheese, like cream cheese. Allow them to sit for at least an hour, then sample your blends, noting which flavors you most enjoy. Be sure to label the samples so you’ll know how to duplicate or modify each to suit your taste.

For every thing, there is a seasoning!

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit him on the Web sites at http://www.cheftimothymoore.com or http://www.twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)

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