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Spice Up Your Cooking

Want more flavor in your healthy meals? Just add spices to make cooking more delicious, more satisfying and more fun.

You’ve embarked on your wellness journey—but you’re worried about keeping your enthusiasm high and wondering if your meals still can be interesting and flavorful.

No need to worry! Healthy eating should not be bland and boring. If you’ve been enjoying Mindful in your café, you know it’s all about full meals with full flavor. We want to help you have that same experience at home, too. So, open your spice drawer and bring flavor to your meals!

“Spices are flavor,” say Andreas Pias, Senior Research Chef at McCormick. “The more you add flavor, the more your meal satisfies.” Spices impart aromas, colors and taste—and delicious variety—without adding calories, making them perfect for healthy cooking and tasty dishes.

And that’s what the Mindful philosophy is about—creating foods that balance nutrition with enticing flavors to create an indulgent way to enjoy healthy eating. Cooking with spices adds interesting and new tastes without adding calories. As a bonus, spices add intense and lasting flavors, reducing the need for salt in your dishes.

If you want to bring maximum flavor to your ingredients, Chef Pias suggests that you check out these never-fail pairings:

Beef: Try black pepper, celery seed, coriander (cracked), curry powder, granulated garlic, paprika or red pepper flakes

Chicken/Poultry: Combine black pepper, dry mustard, garlic powder and paprika

Fish: Season with anise seed, lemon-pepper, or white and black pepper (freshly cracked)

Pork: Add coriander, cumin (for Latin dishes), ginger (for Asian dishes), or rosemary

Vegetables: Almost every vegetable has a great spice partner—or two! Try chipotle (for root vegetables), turmeric and garlic powder (for stewed tomatoes), or cumin or coriander (for roasted broccoli).

Chef Pias notes that the best place to store spices is at eye level because you’ll use them more often. Exposure to light or moisture will cause spices to lose their flavor. The ideal condition for spices is in a dry, dark place that’s between 65°F to 75°F (and not in a lazy Susan cabinet next to the dishwasher). If you can’t remember when you bought a spice or if it no longer has fragrance when you open the cap, it’s time to replace it. To get maximum flavor from whole spices, you can toast them lightly over medium heat in a dry skillet until they start to release their aroma. Or you can grind them fresh for your recipe, using a spice or coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

Many Mindful dishes feature spices like ancho chili powder, fennel seed and paprika that add zip and excitement to meals. You can find many interesting spices flavoring these Mindful recipes, available on mindful.sodexo.com: Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup, Curry Crunchy Cabbage and Turkey Sausage & Fennel Manicotti.

So, if you’re ready to change up your menu, use spices to create a new flavor adventure every time you cook.

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