Staff Favorites: Healthy Cooking Tips


Savory Spice Team
Savory Spice Shop

The New Year is often seen as an opportunity for a fresh start. At Savory Spice, we couldn’t agree more. Like many, I hope to use this new beginning to make positive changes in my cooking. After baking (and eating) hundreds of holiday cookies, I am ready to get back into a healthy cooking routine. Luckily for me, this is easy to do when I am surrounded by so many knowledgeable cooks and tasty recipes. I decided to ask some of my coworkers for their healthy cooking advice and inspiration. Hopefully their suggestions will inspire you too! (Pictured above: Chicken Tacos made with Chimayo Chorizo Sausage Spice)

Start the year off right with some of these suggestions and comment below to let us know how you use spices to create healthy dishes.

Adriana Soto
Manager of our Rice Village store in Houston, TX

Portrait of Rice Village Manager, Adriana
Adriana Soto

As a professional chef, Adriana loves to prepare and share healthy meals. “People say to not play with your food but in our shop, we encourage you to play with your food and make it as fun as you want,” she said. Adriana says that when cooking healthy foods, “you don’t have to be boring, you just have to be creative.” Challenge accepted.

Recipe Recommendation

Mediterranean Spiced Cucumber Medallions
Adriana loves this recipe because it is easy, simple, and refreshing. Not only does she prepare this dish as an appetizer, she also likes to make it a salad. Instead of slicing the cucumbers and bell peppers, Adriana suggests cubing them and mixing with lettuce. Then she mixes the Greek yogurt, goat cheese, and Mt. Olympus Greek Style Seasoning with olive oil for a dressing. Adriana loves to make this recipe in different ways “because it has basic ingredients.”

Spice Recommendations

California Citrus Rub
Adriana loves this blend because it has so much flavor, with no salt. She uses it on salmon, chicken, lamb, grilled vegetables, and salad.

Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning
Another trick Adriana has up her sleeve is to use blends that are typically used on meat to amp up the flavor of other foods. She loves this BBQ blend on tofu.

Chimayo Chorizo Sausage Spice
It may be called a “sausage spice” but Adriana enjoys using this to give veggies, especially mushrooms, that classic chorizo kick.

Rich Hamlin
Spice Blender

Portrait of Spice Blender, Rich
Rich Hamlin

As an experienced chef and original Savory Spice customer, Rich has become very educated in spices and their uses for healthy cooking. Fresh, quality ingredients are very important to him, and he explained that because our spices are freshly ground daily, that makes a huge difference in the quality. On an average day, Rich grinds about 400 pounds of spices that are sold on our website and in our stores. When it comes to keeping your spices fresh, Rich recommends storing spices in cool and dark places. This helps the nutrients and flavor last longer. Rich believes that our fresh, high-quality spices can make any healthy dish delicious.

Spice Recommendations

Greek Oregano & Mexican Oregano
Rich loves to cook with oregano because it’s versatile and allows you to incorporate herbs into many dishes. Rich says that Mexican Oregano has a stronger flavor and is less minty than the Greek variety, but he enjoys experimenting with both. If you’re looking for blends that contain oregano, Rich recommends our Italian Herbs blend, which is great for pasta and sauces, or our Mapuche Style Merken Seasoning, which he uses for meat and vegetables.

Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning
Rich’s go-to seasoning blend is this longtime customer favorite. He loves it because it “has the right amount of spice and the tartness from the lime salt.” Rich typically uses this blend on chicken to give it an exotic, spicy kick, but it’s also tasty on everything from salad dressing to popcorn.

Kate Wheeler
Owner of the Savory Spice in Santa Fe, NM

Portrait of Santa Fe Shop Owner, Kate
Kate Wheeler

As a professional chef and one of Savory Spice’s first employees, Kate knows a thing or two about using spices to create delicious healthy dishes. Kate also regularly does presentations to wellness groups about our many spices and blends. She always suggests cooking with herbs which are an especially great way to spruce up quinoa or brown rice. She also recommends adding Saffron to give grains a luxurious look and taste – a little goes a long way. Kate also believes that adding heat can make any healthy food more interesting and rich with flavor. Whatever’s on the menu, Kate believes that “cooking with spices and herbs helps add flavor without adding extra fat and salt.”

Recipe Recommendations

Chicken Fajita & White Bean Chili
Kate gives presentations for Weight Watchers and always recommends this recipe because it is high in flavor, but low on points.

Pomegranate and Barrier Reef Glazed Salmon
Our Barrier Reef Caribbean Seasoning is one of Kate’s favorites. This salt-free blend is showcased in this unique recipe that gives salmon a whole new taste.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Kate doesn’t think that eating healthy means you have to skip dessert, especially when it’s this sweet treat packed with healthy ingredients.

Ashlee Redger
Test Kitchen Chef

Portrait of Test Kitchen Chef, Ashlee
Ashlee Redger

While earning a degree in Culinary Nutrition, our Test Kitchen Chef Ashlee discovered many tips and tricks for healthy cooking. I often reach out to Ashlee for cooking advice and recommendations because she always has amazing ideas. Ashlee has also tested and developed hundreds of recipes in our Test Kitchen. If you have a recipe you’d like Ashlee to try, submit your recipe here. If you would like a recipe suggestion, try one of Ashlee’s favorites.

Recipe Recommendations

Smoky Kale & Peach Salad
Before you skim over this part because of the word “kale,” give this a shot, you won’t be disappointed! Ashlee explained to me that “kale gets a lot of hate, but if you treat it right, it can be delicious.” This recipe teaches you how to use salt, maple syrup, and vinegar to “massage” the kale, taking away the bitterness and sweetening it. This recipe is a delightful way to get a dose of vegetables and fruit.

Fermented Chile Hummus
Ashlee’s go-to snack is veggies with hummus, and this recipe is her favorite version when she needs a mid-day bite. It’s got a unique umami flavor and just the right bit of heat. If you want to up the spicy flavor, Ashlee recommends our Calabrian Hot Pepper Hummus.

Spice Recommendation

Park Hill Maple & Spice Pepper
Ashlee doesn’t think you have to sacrifice sweetness to eat healthy. Use this blend to transform vegetables into a sweet and savory dish. Ashlee particularly loves this pick on Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.

Joseph Garcia
Graphic Designer 

Portrait of Graphic Designer, Joseph
Joseph Garcia

When it comes down to it, Joseph believes that moderation is the key to healthy eating – and moderation is easier with spices because “they can turn what can be considered bland food into something delicious.” Eating healthy has gotten even easier for Joseph since joining the Savory Spice team. He loves perusing the “hundreds of Healthy Eating recipes on our website.” While he hasn’t gotten around to trying them all yet (step it up Joseph!), he does have a new favorite…

Recipe Recommendation

Caribbean Grilled Fish Tacos with Lime Crema
Joseph loves fish tacos and this recipe is an easy way to achieve mouth-watering flavor. “Eating the tart-fully tasty lime crema is like dying and going to lime heaven,” he explained. If that doesn’t encourage you to try this recipe, I don’t know what will.

Spice Recommendations

Hatch Green Chile Powder
When Joseph isn’t in lime heaven, he loves to cook healthy dishes with this spicy addition. It’s salt-free and sugar-free so it’s a great way to add a kick to chicken, pork, and turkey. Joseph uses this spice for many things because he feels “most things should be Hatch Chile flavored anyways.”

Capitol Hill Seasoning
Joseph and his wife, Melissa, make mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes to avoid starches. To bring life to mashed cauliflower, they add this seasoning which is so good, they “don’t even miss mashed potatoes.”

Remember to submit your recipes to our Test Kitchen here. You can also tag #savoryspicetestkitchen in your original recipe photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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