This past year, I searched for new additions to my cooking staples to liven up the limited diet I can consume. Rather than being frustrated by it, I considered it to be an endeavor, one that required much taste-testing and creativity. I thought I’d share some of the new inspirations that reside in our kitchen now.
1. Pomegranate vinegar–wow, what a difference it makes for salad dressings, especially salads with fruit like pears and apples, and for sauteed greens (recipes here). I especially like the pomegranate vinegar from Trader Joe’s as it has a floral highlights that add another layer of flavor.
2. Tumeric–in an effort to find anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, and spices, I came across turmeric. I add it to everything–soup, tuna or chicken salad, and stir fry. I love the savory flavor it adds without overriding the flavor of food.
3. Turnips–In an effort to find some substitutes for nightshade veggies, I have discovered turnips as a great option instead of potatoes. I cube them and add them to the slow cooker with chicken, carrots, and celery or roast them with root vegetables and maple syrup (recipe here). Plus, what a great vegetable to grow in the cooler weather.
4. Root veggies and winter squashes–I’ve always eaten root veggies and winter squashes, but when I realize that nightshade veggies don’t sit well with me, I began to rely on roots and squashes as my primary source of vegetable matter. I experiment with them regularly, from including them in frittatas (recipe here) to creating new and interesting juice recipes.
5. Raw honey and cinnamon and lemon–in my effort to find more holistic forms of healthcare, I’ve started taking a daily tablespoon of raw honey and cinnamon. It’s a bit sweet, but when I start feeling something coming on, I up the dosage to 3x per day plus adding it to green tea with lemon. I have found that my colds have been shorter and less intense.
6. Candied ginger and raw ginger–I’ve been eating a piece or two of this every day and find that it not only settles my stomach but in general, supports my overall health. I chop it and add it to dishes, I stir fry it, I add a few pieces to brew with tea, and I juice it. It has become one of my top 10 staples in my kitchen. (making candied ginger here)
7. Apple chips–one of our new favorite snacks around here. Easy to make, delicious to eat. They’re great for salads and trail mixes too. (recipe here)
8. Homemade chicken broth–until I started making my own, I had no idea how flavorful homemade broth could be. If you have a slow cooker, it is well worth the time it takes to make your own broth for soups, etc. Rarely do I buy box brands anymore. (recipe here)
I’m looking forward to continuing my search for “new favorites” in 2014. Hope to hear from you and what may be stocking your shelves in the months ahead.