Spice it up!


Do you long for the day when all the family are all eating the same meal?  I often hear from parents who can’t get to this ideal as although they have progressed through the textures, the adults like some spice and flavor to their meal, whereas the children definitely prefer bland.  And only bland.  The hint of spice or herbs is met with instant rejection.

So how do you get to the happy median of one meal per family?  Just like any introduction, start with a small amount and build up.  Don’t make the mistake we did one night when master one wanted to try what dad was having, and without a second thought dad offered a spoonful of his very hot Indian curry.  This caused a lot of tears….  However, since then, we have made a concerted effort to add a diluted amount of herbs and spices when ever possible, and whilst hot curries are still out of the question, herbs and spices are used to add variety to many dishes, especially vegetables.  Here are some to try:

Basil: fresh is better, but use dried if need be.  However, it does loose its flavor on cooking, so add it at the end.  It goes great with tomato, so if you have a tomato based dish, add some basil at the end.  Or vegetables such as courgette or peppers – add these to a homemade pizza and sprinkle some basil on top.  It is a fresh taste, so add it to fresh tomatoes and it can be a salad in itself.

Chives:  Not only are they good for adding to egg, but any root vegetable.  Snip them up with scissors and add them to mashed vegetables such as carrots, potato, parsnip, or beetroot.  Add them into potato salad, or into sour cream or cottage cheese for a dip.

Rosemary:  strip the little leaves from the stem and add them to your roast vegetables

Mint: easy to grow, and often used with potatoes, however, try it with other vegetables that you may boil such as carrots and peas.

Garlic: can be added to most savoury dishes – add it to stir fries, stews and casseroles.  Make Bruchetta by adding it to the top of bread with chopped tomatoes and grill with a little olive oil.

Ginger: a great addition to stir fries

Paprika: a good introduction to spice as it a sweet peppery flavor without the heat that you get from chilli.  Add it to stews or sprinkle a little on the roast vegetables when cooking.