Sometimes falling into a rut isn’t a terrible thing when it comes to meals. If you have a few healthy dishes that you can whip up without too much trouble, rotating through the same four or five meals every week can feel kind of freeing.
But that doesn’t mean you always want them to be exactly the same every single time. You’ve gotta mix it up!
Lately, we’ve been playing around with all kinds of spices over here, and we’ve got a few products and ideas that just might inspire you to spice up a few of your favorite healthy meals!
The product: Sharwood’s, a UK line of Indian foods and spices that’s also available in the United States, just earned a permanent spot in my meal prep rotation. While I have not (yet) mastered authentic Indian cuisine, I’ve found that using their hot curry powder in place of, say, garlic and red pepper flakes on roasted veggies (with a little olive oil to make it all stick, of course) is my new favorite thing. And adding just a bit of their korma sauce to a regular stir fry? Coconutty magic, right there.
The lesson: Don’t be afraid to try a spice that’s not super traditional for the meal you’re preparing. You could be ever so pleasantly surprised! —Kristen
The product: Just Cook Foods offers a variety of gourmet spice blends that will turn your normal healthy eats into spiced-up fit foodie goodness. Their blends — which includes deliciousness like Ancho Chicken Rub, Any Day Chicken Blend, Herbed Coffee Rub, No. 19 Salmon Blend, Close to Curry Blend, Gimme Steak Blend, Taco Night Blend — will transform your usual meat, fish and veggie dishes into flavorful perfection. Try six of them for $45.
The lesson: You don’t have to be a chef to create chef-like flavors at home. —Jenn
The product: Ground 2 Table has a motto: Buy small, use it all. The company is taking a stand against food waste by encouraging people to grocery shop mindfully — buy what you need and what you’re going to eat, but don’t feel like you need to buy a pound of cardamom if you’re only going to use a pinch of it for one specific recipe (even if it is a great deal). Their spice blends, which are all organic, non-GMO, salt-free, sugar-free and kosher, are tiny little packets of flavor that are budget-friendly and take the guesswork out of seasoning just about any recipe. They have 12 different spice blends (Chinese 5 Spice, Steak, All Purpose, Taco, Mesquite BBQ and more), so you can purchase a few of a specific spice blend for a dish you want to add a little oomph to, or get the Buy Small Try Them All package of all 12. —Kristen
The lesson: It might be easier to perfect a dish with just the right blend of herbs and spices, and finding that perfect blend doesn’t have to be as difficult (or crazy expensive) as it once was! —Kristen
The product: RawSpiceBar is a subscription box of spices that sends three freshly ground spices and blends (enough for three dishes serving six to 10 people!) each month for just $6. Plus, they provide recipes as well as the origin and history of a new region with each shipment. I haven’t tried it yet, but you’ve gotta admit, it’s very tempting.
The lesson: Why sweat the spice aisle if grocery shopping and meal planning isn’t your fave? Let the spices (and foodie inspiration) come to you. —Kristen
The product: Colman’s Dry Mustard Powder may not sound exactly, well, sexy, but it kind of is. (You know how we feel about condiments, after all!) Without any dyes, chemicals or preservatives, this stuff just delivers big mustard flavor in dried form. It’s great sprinkled on meat, mixed into salad dressing and — as you’ll see in the coming weeks as we share a recipe — it’s even extra good on veggies.
The lesson: Sometimes, you just need the basics. —Jenn
Do you have a go-to spice, or a meal you’d love to try making with some different spices? Let’s hear about it in the comments! —Kristen & Jenn