Seasoning's Greetings

Devin Brittain, Registered Dietitian
Seasoning's Greetings

Happy Seasoning’s Greetings!

Tis the season to once again spice up your health! Here are 5 seasonings that add a wonderful and unique flavor profile and have some great health benefits.

Although these spices all have proven benefits, it is important to remember that all spices should complement modern medicine, not replace it.

Cumin: Is a leafy plant that grows commonly in China, India, Middle East, and Mediterranean regions. The spice comes from the fruit of the plant which is what we call cumin seeds. Ground cumin is the seed grinded into powder form. Cumin has many anti-inflammatory characteristics and has been proven to help with diarrhea, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, weight loss, and memory function and fighting bacteria.

Coriander: The coriander plant is in the same family as your parsley, carrot and celery family. The seed is known as the spice we use, where your leaves are more commonly called cilantro. Coriander can help reduce blood sugars by promoting enzyme activity. It is also proven to help with lowering blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Coriander has also been used to stimulate appetite and lower feelings of anxiety while boosting memory.

Allspice: Allspice is made from the Jamaica Pepper and obtained its name because it combines flavor notes of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Allspice has been used to help with nausea, lessen menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, and tooth pain relief in over the counter remedies.

Mint: Mint is the name for over a dozen plant species from the Mentha family. It is particularly known for its cooling sensation it imparts. Mint is rich in nutrients s like vitamin A, and folate which help to promote brain, skin, and eye function. It can also help with indigestion and bad breath.

Cardamom: Cardamom is a seed in the ginger family. It has an intense slightly sweet flavor like mint. Cardamom has been researched to help with increasing airflow. It can also help with preventing bad breath and cavities. Cardamom can decrease ulcer risk and has anti-inflammatory benefits.

Try combining these spices in this recipe for Dhania Chicken. Dhania Chicken is from Bengali cuisine and is a very simple and delicious way to combine all these spices. I added carrot tops into the chutney to contrast the mint and has a taste like parsley. I also like to serve it with a grain like couscous and some roasted vegetables to complete the meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • 9-12 boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 t. Allspice
  • ½ t Black pepper
  • ½ t Cardamom
  • 1 T Coriander
  • 1 T Cumin
  • 1 t Turmeric
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • ½ cup chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1 White onion, chopped

Chutney

  • 2 T Garlic
  • 1 T Ginger
  • 1 bunch Mint
  • Bunch of carrot leaves tops
  • 2 T Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup chicken broth, low sodium

Couscous

  • 1 cup couscous to 1.5 cup liquid ratio
     

Dhania Chicken with Couscous

Instructions:

Blend in small bowl or jar: Allspice, black pepper, cardamom, coriander, cumin, turmeric. Massage blend into chicken and Marinate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

In a large pan, heat oil and sauté onions until translucent 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and sauté for 1 minute on each side.

Add fire roasted tomatoes and ½ cup chicken broth, bring to a boil, then simmer and cook covered for about 15 minutes or until cooked.

In a blender or food processor, blend the ingredients for the chutney. Add more chicken broth if you want a thinner consistency.

Stir in chutney to the chicken and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve over grain of choice! Couscous is a great and easy grain to have and cook.

In a pot, bring 3 cups of water or broth to a boil. Add 2 cups couscous and remove from heat. Cover and allow couscous to steam for approximately 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
 

Devin Brittain is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in the state of Louisiana. Born and raised in California, Devin obtained her Bachelors of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences with an emphasis in Dietetics and Food Administration from California State University, Fresno. She then moved to Louisiana and completed her Dietetic Internship at Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Devin is currently the Outpatient Dietitian for the Cancer Center at West Jefferson Medical Center where she assists patients and teaches healthy cooking classes. She is serving on the board for the New Orleans Dietetic Association where she strongly advocates for the dietetic profession and the health of her community. In her free time, Devin enjoys attending festivals, reading, developing recipes, dancing, and cheering on the Saints! She is passionate about utilizing her food and nutrition knowledge to benefit others and believes in finding innovative ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle that works for each individual.