Friday, May 7, 2010

Mountain Rose Herbs Recipe Contest

Mountain Rose Herbs is one of my favorite sources for spices, herbs and oils for my own personal consumption and herbs and essential oils for my business as well. They are having a recipe contest, which requires the contestant to post the recipe entry on the web. (Blogs count.) The recipe will then be linked to their Facebook contest page. Here is mine. It is intended as an entry in the Culinary Recipe Category.

Several months ago I discovered Mountain Rose Herb's Pumpkin Seed Oil. A rich, thick, dark oil it stands up well to the addition of strong spices and garlic. It has ant-inflammatory properties, which was what drew me to it.

For some time I have been cooking with a spice mixture of turmeric, ginger, chipotle powder and celery seed powder. All of these also have anti-inflammatory properties, as does cinnamon, which I have recently included in the mix. Here are the ingredients (not including the cinnamon, but I also have that from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

The recipe for the spice powder mix is equal amounts of the five spices. I could call this Peggy's Five Spice Powder. For a single serving of salad dressing use about 1/8 teaspoon each of the spices or 1/2 teaspoon of the combined spices. (Measure about a tablespoon of each into a small jar that will give you enough room to stir and shake the mixture to combine them well. Then you won't have to open and shut all the bags so frequently, which will save time and help to keep the spices fresh longer.)

For the dressing, measure out the spice mixture as described above, 1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese and one or two cloves garlic, slivered or minced as you prefer. The ingredients, in their little prep bowls, are shown below. For the purpose of illustration, I set the ingredients out separately, but it is quicker and more efficient for clean-up to use just one small bowl.

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. Assemble your salad using layers of greens, vegetables and fruits of your choice. Arrange the protein for the salad such as tuna, chicken, hard cooked eggs or sliced or shredded cheese on top of the greens and other ingredients. Sprinkle croutons, nuts or pumpkin seeds on top of the protein, if you wish. Drizzle the dressing over the plated salad.

I have used poached eggs for the protein on a chilly day and the warm eggs and rich yolks add to the salad and combine nicely with the dressing.

This dressing is also delicious drizzled over a plate of pasta with protein and veggies mixed in. Yummy.

Anti-inflammatory foods are of particular interest to me since I have post-polio syndrome and arthritis. A salad, as either my lunch or dinner, is a very healthy, low-cal meal. The pasta is an occasional treat because of its higher carbohydrate content.

Simple, nutritious meals that can be prepared easily and are attractive as well as delicious are also of interest, since I navigate my kitchen in a wheel chair. On the days when I do prepare pasta, I forego the large pot of boiling water, for a smaller quantity in a smaller pan. With a bit of stirring as it cooks, the pasta will not stick together. This makes it safe for me to handle by myself and also conserves water.

I am grateful for these lovely ingredients that make cooking for one person less of a chore. My affiliate link to Mountain Rose Herbs is to the right in my links section. Please do explore it for wonderful ingredients for your own healthy cooking.

My contest link to Mountain Rose Herbs Facebook contest page is

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