Don’t Be Afraid: Spice It Up!
Posted August 3, 2010on:
Do you have a fear of fire? Pepper-phobia? Wasabi-weary?
These condiments want to help you! They want to be your friends. When used in small amounts, you can start developing a casual relationship. You see, if you have an otherwise-boring soup, casserole, or… frankly anything, you can liven it up with a tiny bit of heat—with minimal calorie expenditure!
I developed habits when I was young to use butter and cheese on any item that needed more flavor. But the thing is, you need an awful lot of butter to flavor your pile of otherwise-dreary baked potato. (Calories! Fat! Aieeee!!!) What if, instead, you used a tiny bit of butter, a minced garlic clove (ohhhh, heaven), and a tiny pinch of hot pepper flakes? We’re talkin’ flavor!
OK. If you stopped reading there because you would “never” buy or use hot pepper flakes… gimme a chance. Please. You’re not dumping on the whole container, or even a teaspoon! When I started adding just a pinch of them to my dishes, it added such a small amount of heat that I couldn’t even identify what the new addition was. I didn’t even notice any heat! I just noticed that the flavor was perkier, and I liked it.
So, aside from any health benefits you attain from eating hot peppers alone, I encourage you to try some heat. Buy a container of hot pepper flakes or, if you prefer, a bottle of hot pepper sauce to keep in your fridge. (Both will last a long time.) The next time you make something like a soup or chili, do me a favor and add half a pinch of flakes—just the amount you can hold between the tips of your index finger and thumb. Let this simmer along with the rest of the ingredients. You may be less tempted to add mounds of cheese to your serving.
And this all equates to calorie and fat savings, in the end!
I’d love to hear all about anyone overcoming their fear of spice! One baby-step at a time!