There is garlic. There is ginger. Each is great on its own, but when they are used together, they are something far beyond fantastic. The same can be said about other spices; all of those wonderful flowers, seeds, roots, fruit, or bark that can be purchased whole, ground, or fresh, ready to come together in cooking to make delicious and healthy food. What’s your favorite spice? Most people think of the great flavor that comes with spices. They have such health benefits that historically they have also been used as curatives due to their powerful medicinal qualities. Spices are full of phytochemicals and antioxidants, and most have some combination of antifungal, antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also full of vitamins. This is why you gain so much when you include a daily dose of spices in your meals - you enjoy a fantastic taste and a huge nutritional benefit too. If you’re like me, you love eating wonderful meals and trying new and complex dishes. But unfortunately, all those meals don’t always benefit the waistline. What’s more, they don’t always benefit your body or skin. With warmer weather here and waistline awareness likely taking a more prominent role in your life, simpler, healthier meals are also on your radar. The good news is that, if you know how to incorporate spices correctly, you can make a very simple and waistline-friendly meal taste complex, exotic, and inviting. Yes, it’s possible to be healthy and to eat delicious meals, thanks to spices! A spice-filled recipe may look like it’s complex and that it has a lot of ingredients, but measuring spices is a snap. I encourage you not to be intimidated when you see a lot of spice ingredients in a recipe. Some people tend to balk at recipes that have what looks like a long list of ingredients. I have one client, in particular, who decides what dishes to make based solely on how long the list of ingredients is. She justifies it by saying she wants to keep her life simple, but measuring spices is simple and she’s missing out on the wonder spice adds to a dish and to health! You don’t need to be intimidated by the length of the recipe or the ingredient list. If you’re still skeptical, just give the following recipe a try. The ingredient list looks long, but it’s mostly measuring out spices, which goes fast. If I were to be super chef-ly, I’d tell you to toast the spices to bring out the flavor. But, toasting can be tricky, and it’d be easy to destroy the healthful benefits of the spices because many contain volatile oils that burn easily. We can cover the art of toasting in a later segment, but right now, the ground spices will serve the purposes that we need and will be delicious. I hope you enjoy this versatile “spicy” recipe (that can be used in two ways). What do you think of this recipe? Please let us know in the comments below. As I always say, I will never tell you what you should eat, only how to cook something to maximize its nutritional benefit. For more information on this topic, check out the following resources used in this article: Prescription for Dietary Wellness The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods Certified Natural Chef Monica Sallouti’s lifelong passion for delicious nutritious food comes from both her formal training and time spent in the kitchens of her two grandmothers as a young girl. She honed her culinary skills and nutritional education at the Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts program at Bauman College in Penngrove, CA. The specialty of nutrition for Chef Sallouti was sparked after a health crisis some 19 years ago. In her late 20’s, she was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. As part of her “treatment,” she developed a keen awareness of the inextricable link between food, cooking and health. Now, 19+ years later, Sallouti brings her knowledge, culinary creativity and care to both her clients.