Jen’s Favourite Herbs and Spices

I find that herbs and spices help to keep my food interesting so I thought I would share them with you as I know it might help others to keep their food varied too.

Paprika – Great to add a smoky type taste to many foods such as chips, casserole, baked beans and roasted vegetables. My favourite way of using it is adding a little to baked beans to give them a different flavour!
Cumin – Adds a gentle warming spice to curry or casserole. My favourite way of using it is with paprika in Sausage Casserole. When combined with coriander it is great in curries.
Rosemary – Lovely when cooked with roast potatoes or other roasted vegetables to add a nice herby flavour. I also use it in quiches with red onion which is very nice.
Basil – Great in pretty much any pasta dish but also a lovely way to flavour fresh tomatoes a little. If you cut fresh tomatoes and leave in a bowl with fresh basil for a couple of hours they taste lovely.
Sage – Great in mashed potatoes with onions and when making Stuffing. I use a lot of sage with Linda McCartney Rosemary and Red Onion Sausages and extra onions all mixed together with an egg to help bind it to make stuffing for Christmas dinner!
Bay Leaves – I use these in the stock when making risotto, just adds a nice flavour. They are very aromatic and can be used in curry too and various other dishes eg soups. Just remember to take them out before you eat your meal as they don’t taste great in my opinion!
Ginger – I love ginger as its so easy to grate a bit and add it to stir fried vegetables to add a little flavour. I put it in carrot cake too or even in plain fat free yoghurt, I do like ginger but nowadays avoid the caramelised stem ginger as its not overly healthy really is it.
Mustard Powder – When baking with quark or fat free cottage cheese adding a little mustard powder really helps bring out the cheesy flavour without making it less healthy. It is also great in one of my favourite meals Gardeners Pie
Black Pepper – It is such a simple thing but actually a little bit in omelette or scrambled eggs can actually make a lot of difference I find. Worth adding to foods I think just to add a bit of something!
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