Do you drool at the thought of gourmet spices like black truffle salt and smoked paprika? Do you like free things? If you do, you’ll probably love our contest! More info on that at the end of this post. But first, a word about spices.
Spices are a surefire way to jazz up whatever you’re cooking without adding calories, sugar/carbs, fat, etc. Investing in high-quality spices will go a long way in helping you build a healthy but absolutely delicious kitchen. To save some cash, buy them in bulk from your local co-op or online (those little bottles from the grocery store are PRICEY!). To get you going, here are my favorite versatile spices:
- Cinnamon. Think outside the box with this one and add it to both savory and sweet dishes! Put some into your coffee grinds for an aromatic blend. Of course, it makes a great addition to yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies.
- Ginger. With as much antioxidants in a teaspoon as a cup of spinach, ginger can really do no wrong in my book. You can use dried ginger, but I love the fresh stuff. Try adding it to vegetable dishes, marinades, and sauces. Of course, it’s great on sweet dishes or even fresh fruit.
- Dried Red Pepper (like crushed red pepper, cayenne, and paprika). I find that adding just a little of any of these spices to a dish makes it instantaneously more complex and (of course) a bit spicy.
- The Italians: Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary. I’m no fashion expert, but these are like the Little Black Dress of cooking. They taste good with almost anything and are hard to mess up.
- Turmeric/Cumin. You can give any dish an exotic twist just by adding one of these spices. Stir it into egg, chicken, or tuna salad or add to simmer sauces. It’s also great in vinaigrettes and dips. Make a quick rub with some combo of cayenne, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.
All you have to do is share your favorite recipe that incorporates or features paprika by Monday, February 22, at 12am EST. Email all recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can, include a picture of the finished product! Then, we’ll poll you readers to find out which recipe reigns supreme in terms of deliciousness potential. The winner will get the gourmet smoked paprika. Happy cooking!