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unnamedA common justification people use to avoid eating clean is that “it tastes too bland.” Unfortunately, the American diet relies so heavily on artificial flavors and ingredients that most people do not have a lot of experience cooking with herbs and spices and are unfamiliar on how to flavor meals. That does not (and should not) be the case. Artificial flavors mask real tastes; herbs and real seasonings enhance your food. Incorporating a weight loss program based on real, unprocessed food necessitates a little creativity and knowledge when it comes to adding flavor. However, once you get into the habit of cooking with herbs and spices, you will find that real food tastes even better.

 With the GreenLite weight loss program, you can use herbs to your heart’s content. This is a great opportunity to play around with different seasonings to bring new life into your tried and true recipes. Or use an herb that you’ve never tried before as an inspiration for a new recipe! With this list below, you could have ground turkey 10 different ways. The possibilities are endless with herbs.

We have compiled a cheat sheet to help get your creative kitchen juices flowing. Bookmark this page to use as a handy guide when meal planning.

Traditional Food Pairings
Caribbean flavor: allspice, cilantro, garlic, ginger, hot red pepper flakes
Chinese flavor: basil, garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, sesame seeds, soy sauce
French flavor: capers, garlic, herbes de Provence (a mix of thyme, marjoram, fennel, basil, rosemary, and lavender used in traditional French cooking), lemon zest, parsley, tarragon
Indian flavor: anise, cardamom, cloves, cumin, curry, ginger, saffron, turmeric
Italian flavor: basil, Italian parsley, oregano, rosemary
Japanese flavor: garlic, ginger, miso, sesame seeds, wasabi
Latin flavor: cilantro, chili, cinnamon, cumin, lime
Middle Eastern flavor: cumin, nutmeg, sumac, turmeric, za’atar (a mix of thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame, and sumac used in traditional Middle Eastern cooking)
Moroccan flavor: cinnamon, ginger, paprika, saffron, turmeric
Thai flavor: cumin, curry, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime, tamarind, Thai basil, Thai chili, turmeric

Tips:
-Garlic and ginger are common among many different ethnicities and key ingredients for our weight loss program. Always have them on hand and ready to use.

-Specialty and ethnic markets are great sources for dried herbs. They will have a better selection than a traditional grocery store and tend to have better prices.

-Consider using fresh herbs at home. You can find small, 5-inch live herbs at your local nursery, Home Depot, or Lowe’s for around $3. If it is an herb you use on a regular basis, the cost and convenience will beat buying at the grocery store. You don’t have to have a green thumb to have fresh herbs! Leave them in the plastic containers if you must and follow the watering directions.

-If you are following a low-sodium diet, be sure to use ingredients that do not contain sodium or salt.

-Utilize the recipe tab on the GreenLite Medicine website for ideas!

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