Spice Up Your Diet

Do you like spicy foods? Flavor food with chili pepper, black pepper, or cayenne red pepper rather than with animal fat.  Research suggests that spicy foods provide many positive benefits for the body.

For instance, seasoning food with chili pepper stimulates circulation, increasing the body’s temperature.  This allows the body to burn more calories throughout the day.  Spicy foods also act as a appetite suppressant, reducing the urge to snack throughout the day.  Eating hot foods may take some getting used to, but the effort is well worth it.  Research shows that hot chili peepers actually protect the stomach lining, preventing gastric damage.  Additionally, they are high in nutrients such as calcium and vitamins A and C.  Using spices to boost flavor in foods, cuts out the added salt, sugar, and fat. So next time you are needing a flavor enhancer try: cinnamon, chili peppers, turmeric, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, or rosemary!

Try incorporating these spicy recipes in your meal rotation.

by: Analisa Podgorski

Spicy Chicken Breasts

Ingredients

4 servings…

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of this seasoning mixture for the chicken; store the remainder in an airtight container for later use (for seasoning fish, meats, or vegetables).
  2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Rub some of the reserved 3 tablespoons of seasoning onto both sides of the chicken breasts.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the grill, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear.

Spiced Quinoa 

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 2 cups…

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 cup quinoa

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth (or vegetable)

1 (15 ounce) can organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts)

1/2 cup raisins

Directions

  1. Stir together the olive oil, onion, and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, curry powder, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes until the quinoa is tender.
  2. Once the quinoa has finished cooking, stir in the drained garbanzo beans, toasted pine nuts, and raisins. Serve warm or cold.

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