Spice Up Your Life – benefits of spices in nutrition – Brief Article – Recipe

Say good-bye to bland with spice-filled dishes that have it all–healthfulness and flavor.

Variety is the spice of life, and spices put variety in our meals. But herbs and spices do more than that. By adding flavor to foods, they also help reduce the desire for dietary fats and salt, making recipes more healthful. In addition, spices have health-protective properties. Studies show chili peppers, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin, and other spices contain phytochemicals that can lower cancer risk. Ginger is used to treat nausea and indigestion; garlic lowers cholesterol and boosts the immune system; peppermint has antibacterial and antiviral effects.

By carefully blending herbs and spices, any cook worth his salt can turn ordinary foods into exotic dishes. The following are some delicious examples.

Across the Border Vegetable Salad (Makes 4-5 servings)

Salad Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon cilantro leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

l/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt (if desired)


2 green onions, chopped in 1/2″ pieces

1 zucchini, cut into 1/2″ cubes

2 cups black beans, cooked, or 2 cups

canned, rinsed and drained

1 cup fresh or canned low-salt

whole-kernel corn, drained

1/2 red bell pepper, cut in 1/2″ cubes

1/4 cup chopped red onion

In bowl, combine dressing ingredients. Add vegetables and toss with dressing to coat. Cover and chill 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight. Toss before serving.

Per Serving (1-1 1/4 cup): Calories: 228 Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 203 mg Fiber: 8.6 gm Carbohydrate: 31.9 Protein: 7.4 gm Fat: 7.8 gm Diabetic exchange: 2 bread + 1 1/2 fat

Chunky Chili (Makes 4 servings)

1 1/2 cups soy chunks

1 1/2 cups low-salt beef broth

2 cups kidney beans (prepared from

dried no salt)

2 cups fresh or 1 can (16 oz.) low-salt

tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup chopped onion

1-2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon favorite seasoning blend

1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves

1 cup water

Reconstitute soy in broth. Add remaining ingredients. Stir. Cook 30-45 minutes. Add more water if desired. Serve.

Per Serving (about 2-2 1/2 cups each):

Calories: 267 Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 608 mg Fiber: 13.7 gm Carbohydrate: 36.0gm Protein: 24.9 gm Fat: 2.6 gm

Diabetic exchange: 2 bread + 1 vegetable + 2 1/2 very lean meat

Szechuan Chicken Salad (Makes 4 servings)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken


1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 can (8 oz.) pineapple slices

(reserve 2 tablespoons juice)

1 head leaf lettuce

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

1/2 red onion, sliced


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix black pepper, ginger, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in small bowl. Sprinkle onto both sides of chicken.

Grill over medium heat 10-14 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Remove from grill and cut into 1/2″ strips; keep warm.

Meanwhile, drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons juice for salad dressing. Combine reserved 2 tablespoons pineapple juice with oil, soy sauce, honey, ginger, and cayenne pepper in small bowl; let set 10 minutes.

Grill pineapple slices 2-3 minutes, cut in half. Place lettuce on large serving plate. Arrange pepper, onion, chicken, and pineapple over lettuce. Top with salad dressing.

Per Serving (1/4 plate, about 2 cups): Calories: 308 Cholesterol: 80 mg Sodium: 315 mg Fiber: 2.3 gm Carbohydrate: 19.4 gm Protein: 27.4 gm Fat: 13.3 gm

Diabetic exchange: 1 fruit + 1 vegetable + 3 lean meat + 1 fat

COPYRIGHT 2000 Saturday Evening Post Society

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

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