Cathy Fisher is the author of the spiral-bound cookbook Straight Up Food: Delicious and Easy Plant-based Cooking without Salt, Oil or Sugar.
Recipes are made with only vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, with no added refined salt, oil or sugar (and gluten-free). Given that no salt or sugar is used, Cathy regularly relies on dried herbs and spices to help provide great flavor to her dishes! Some of her favorites are listed below:
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Ancho Chile Pepper$5.50 – $11.50
The Ancho Chile is the dried version of the Poblano Pepper and the most popular dried chile in Mexican cooking. The sweetest of dried peppers, with deep, rich berry flavors, mild bitterness, and mild to medium hotness, Ancho is frequently used as the base flavor of sauce and spice mixes like dry rubs or mole. We stem and partially seed our Anchos by hand before milling to provide the strongest Chile flavors without being overpowered by excessive heat. Try replacing paprika with Ancho Chile Powder in any recipe to bring a fuller, earthier Chile flavor and beckoning for you to take another bite.
Bay Leaf, Turkish$6.75 – $13.60
Rejected in love, Apollo changed the nymph Daphne into the tree, ordering that all who excel in courage, civil service and the creation of beauty be crowned with the evergreen leaves of the bay laurel. Such wreaths crowned the winning athletes of ancient Olympics.
With a sweet balsamic-like aroma and a bitter yet spicy kick, the flavor adds the perfect touch to slow-cooked dishes, such as stews, soups, stocks, sauces, beans, and gravies.
Bistro Blend Chile Flakes$10.00 – $13.50
This blend of four Central American chile flakes delivers a balanced spectrum of flavor with medium heat, and surprising complexity. Replaces cracked red pepper in any recipe to make your meal memorable. Serve as a finishing spice sprinkled on top of pizza or pasta, or add to olive oil as a dipping blend.
Bo Kaap Curry$10.50 – $28.35
Mild aromatic curry from South Africa for fish, chicken and veggies. Named after an area of Cape Town, Bo-Kaap Curry dishes are generally made using fresh vegetables, fish or meat. Not as hot as traditional Indian curries, the rich and full body flavor of Bo-Kaap Curry is enhanced by fresh flavorful ingredients. Serve with rice.
Hand blended in small batches with: coriander, fenugreek, cardamom, turmeric, cumin, pepper, Chiles, mustard seed, clove, ginger, and fennel.
California Chile Pepper ~ Sweet Anaheim$5.00 – $23.00
Very sweet, with no heat, this Chile is the dried version of fully-ripened Anaheim Chile. Substitute for Paprika or Ancho Chile. Provides additional depth in Chili powders while modulating heat.
Cardamom Pod, Green$22.00
Though India produces more Cardamom than Guatemala, it consumes most that it produces, making Guatemala the world’s largest supplier. The Cardamom Pod is typically transported in small batches from the mountainous regions in which it grows.
While cardamom seeds hold the flavor, once the pod is opened, that flavor begins to dissipate. For full cardamom flavor, use the whole pod (or a slightly crushed pod), in dishes like soups or stews.
Part of the ginger family, Cardamom means grains of paradise. Historically, Cardamom has been used to flavor foods, as an ingredient in perfumes, and even for medicinal purposes.
Known for its sweet and spicy taste, Cardamom seed is used equally in sweet dishes such as breads and cakes and in savory dishes such as meats and curries. Use in baked goods, sprinkle on oatmeal, ice cream, or iced melon, and add to curry. Cardamom has a sharp aroma and distinctive flavor that can be compared to anise or eucalyptus. For a Middle Eastern treat, sprinkle in your coffee.
Cinnamon ~ Indonesian Cassia$7.50 – $21.60
The Greek poet, Sappho, referenced Cassia in 7th century B.C. Though not the “true” Cinnamon, Cassia (also called Chinese Cinnamon) is often sold as Cinnamon in the U.S., where it’s preferred for its strong, spicy and lingering flavor.
Use in both sweet and strong savory dishes: candies, baked goods, meats, preserves, curries, and hot beverages. Cassia, with its intense aromatic qualities and taste, is the popular choice for Cinnamon Rolls.
Available whole in 6-inch quills (5 sticks per package) or milled to a powder.
Cumin$8.50 – $24.30
Native to the Mediterranean and South Asia, Cumin is also a signature flavor for Central American and European cuisines. As a symbol of love and fidelity during the Middle Ages, wedding guests carried Cumin in their pockets, and wives of soldiers added it to baked bread for their husbands. Our Cumin is hand harvested, and has a high percentage of essential oils, delivering more powerful aromatics, and a slightly astringent, citrusy quality.
Curry Gift Box$35.00
Curry, from the Tamil word Kari, meaning sauce, generally refers to a dish cooked in a blend of aromatic spices. Although originally from the Indian Subcontinent, Curries are culturally significant throughout Asia, Africa & the Caribbean.
To prepare a simple curry sauce:
Sauté chopped onions on medium heat until softened.
Add curry powder and chopped tomato, if desired; cook until soft.
Add liquid or combination of liquids, (coconut milk, stock, yogurt, tea infusions or water) and simmer to reduce. Pour over your preferred protein and/or veggies in a casserole dish.
Cover and place in a 375° oven until cooked, usually around 45 minutes.
Lovely striped Kraft gift box contains four unique curry spices (Bo Kaap, La Kama, Madras, Vadouvan) in our standard jars. Gift is complete with a tailored message (above) and tied with a Local Spicery bow.
Dill Weed$7.25 – $19.60
A flavorful complement to foods, dill was also added to magic potions in the Middle Ages to protect homes and people from spells.
The flavor of dill has been described as citrus, fennel, and mint combined, and it’s best when added at the end of cooking to preserve the flavor. Add Dill Weed to salads, soups, fish and shellfish, vegetables and sauces.
Fennel$7.25 – $19.60
Used for hundreds of years, fennel has been credited by some to increase the flow of milk in nursing mothers and aiding diets by calming hungry stomachs.
Fennel is best added at the end of cooking to preserve its flavor. Use in meat and vegetable dishes, starches and grains, sauces and herbed butter, salads, eggs, baked goods, and even beverages such as tea and wine.