Spice it UP!
Need a little heat in the kitchen? There’s a vast array of condiments on grocery store shelves that will spice up any dish, from soups to entrees. Tabasco is the obvious choice, but what about Sriracha sauce, an oriental hot chili sauce, or Sambal Oelek, a ground fresh chili paste? A dab of either works wonders in stir-fries, mixed with a touch of mayonnaise for sushi dipping—or even in chicken noodle soup. A shake or two of red pepper flakes will transform a traditional pasta sauce into something that would make Emeril or Mario Batali rejoice. And, of course, nothing clears the sinuses like an extra-hot Bloody Mary.
Chile peppers, by the way, do have surprising health benefits. Capsacin is the name of the substance in these plants that is known to have important medicinal effects. For example, studies have shown that it can lower blood pressure, relieve headaches and arthritis pain, and even minimize depression.
So do your body and your family a favor by adding a little zing to the dinner table!
Previously published in the Independent magazine.
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