I have always enjoyed cooking. However, I do believe that my interest in experimenting with different seasonings emerged after writing an article years ago about the value of having different herbs and spices on hand in our kitchen. The information I gathered while interviewing people like Tony Hill (author of The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices) and Rosie Daley (co-author of The Healthy Kitchen: Recipes for a Better Body, Life and Spirit) helped me complete my assignment, as well as taught me how to spice up the meals I enjoyed preparing for my family.
I know there are a lot of herbs and spices to select from in local grocery stores. However, I believe we can create a lot of meals by simply having the below herbs and spices in our pantry or kitchen cabinet.
- Forms: Fresh or dried leaves (Stems are tender and can also be used in recipes.)
- Uses: Pesto, omelets, chicken, fish, burgers, pork, spaghetti sauce, pizza, pasta, rice, salad dressings and vegetables (e.g., green beans, potatoes, etc.)
- Forms: Whole or ground*
- Uses: Meats, pasta, vegetables, fruit (Daley suggested sprinkling it on oranges and dried mango), and salads
- Forms: Sticks or ground
- Uses: Applesauce, oatmeal, carrots, sweet potatoes, pancakes (in the batter), lamb, ham and desserts
- Forms: Whole seeds or ground
- Uses: Chicken, chili, tacos (ground beef or turkey), corn, as well as Mexican, Latin and Indian dishes
- Forms: Fresh or dried (if used in hot dishes, add toward the end of the cooking process)
- Uses: Stuffed eggs, beef, fish (especially salmon), potato salad, rice and vegetables (e.g., potatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and carrots)
- Forms: Fresh (leaves), dried, and ground
- Uses: Egg salad, chicken, beef, meat loaf, pizza, spaghetti sauce, and vegetables (e.g., lima beans, cabbage, zucchini, and tomatoes)
- Forms: Fresh or dried leaves
- Uses: Meatballs, Italian pasta dishes (lasagna and spaghetti), scrambled eggs, lamb, chicken, fish, pork, and vegetables (e.g., corn, roasted potatoes, zucchini, stewed tomatoes, and green beans).
*If you desire to grind up the peppercorns on your own, experts suggest that you use a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee mill.