Go from ho hum to WOW !!
Want to know how you can spice it up ?!?! (in the kitchen, of course! Where else would you spice things up?? lol)
Spices rank high on the list of antioxidant-rich foods, but never mind the health benefits; they can turn boring into exciting ! Spices can bring color to the canvas of your dish.
ADD FLAVOR AND AROMA
Spices can transform a meal by adding a range of flavors, from a hint of sweetness to a kick of heat. They also give beautiful aromas that are often our first determining factor for whether we want to eat a meal or not.
ENHANCE TASTE OF FOOD
We always think of salt as our go-to when a meal tastes too bland, but there are other spices, like cumin, that bring out the natural flavors of food.
CHANGE OR ENHANCE COLOR
If you’ve ever eaten at an Indian restaurant, you may have noticed that many of the dishes have a deep yellow, orange, or red color. That’s because the spices used in typical Indian cooking, such as turmeric and paprika, give color to the foods, making them more bright and appealing.
Spices to always have on hand in your pantry: Basil, Cinnamon, Dill Weed, Garlic, Rosemary, Thyme. Onion Powder, Vanilla Extract, Oregano, Chili Powder, Ginger, Parika
Mexican Cuisine: Garlic, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Oregano, Cilantro, Chipotle
Italian Cuisine: Oregano, Garlic, Basil, Marjoram, Sage, Thyme,
Asian Cuisine: Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric
Thai Cuisine: Cumin, Curry, Turmeric, Basil
Remember, becoming a culinary artist takes practice, so don’t be afraid to experiment, trust your taste buds, and get cooking!
Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, cut into cubes
5 medium sweet potatoes, diced
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (5 oz ) can tomato paste
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp curry powder
1 jalapeno, seeded and halved OR 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the chicken and potatoes on the bottom of slow cooker.
Place the rest of the ingredients (except water and corn starch) in a food processor and process together until mixture is mostly smooth. ***If your food processor is too small to hold everything, process everything but the coconut milk. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl then mix in the coconut milk.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and carrots, mix well, then cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.
An hour or so before serving, mix cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour mixture into the slow cooker, stir to combine, and continue cooking for another hour. **This will thicken up the sauce. When the sauce is to your desired thickness, turn slow cooker to warm setting until ready to serve.
Serve over rice, and garnish with cilantro.
*if you want you can chop the bell pepper into larger pieces and place in with the chicken and carrots rather than processing into the sauce.