Condiments – Sauces – and Dips – Oh My!

Condiments - Sauces - and Dips - Oh My!

Supermarket-Condiments-Aisle

Image Credit: Fooducate

Depending on what you are going to eat, no meal is complete without condiments, sauces and dips.

You could become easily over whelmed as you stroll your shopping cart down the condiments, sauces, and dips aisles of your favorite grocery store, as there are so many choices.

Even on Pinterest, Instagram, and other social networks you can find amazing, delectable and tasty-looking condiments, sauces and dips that you can create on your own to enhance your meals.

In the United States alone, the production of marketed condiments was valued at 5.6 billion dollars (USA) in 2010 and was estimated to grow to 7 billion dollars (USA) by 2015. 

Condiments are the second largest bought specialty food with the first being cheese.

What Is A Condiment

A condiment includes a spice, herb, salt, pepper, and sauce. The word “condiment” was coined from the Latin word condimentum, which means spice, seasoning, or sauce. The Latin word condere, also means, to preserve, pickle, or season.

The preparation of a particular condiment is added to food to render a distinct flavor, and/or to intensify a culinary dishes flavor. The term originally described food items like pickles, tarter sauce, mustard, ketchup, or Tabasco sauce, but has shifted meaning over time.

Link here to check out a List Of Condiments referred to on Wikipedia.

What Are Sauces and Dips

ranch dip with vegtables, tomatoes and crusted bread

Ranch Dressing or Buttermilk Dressing Dip With Vegetables, Tomatoes and Crusted Bread

Sauces are a liquid plus some sort of thickening agent along with other flavoring ingredients served with food, usually savory dishes, to add moistness and flavor.

About Food says there are 5 Mother Sauces, and they include…

  • Béchamel Sauce
  • Velouté Sauce
  • Espagnole Sauce
  • Hollandaise Sauce
  • Classic Tomate Sauce

About Food explains that the term “mother sauce” in culinary arts, refers to any one of the five basic sauces just mentioned, which are the starting points for making various secondary sauces. They say that they are called “mother sauces,” as each sauce is like the head of its own unique family of sauces.

types of Mexican SalsasSalsa is the Italian and Spanish word for sauce, and in English speaking countries salsa usually refers to the sauces typical of Mexico’s cuisine, referred to as salsa picante, particularly those used as dips.

Salsas are most often prepared with a tomato-based sauce or dip which is heterogeneous or diverse in character, as it can include the addition of onions, chilies, beans, cilantro, corn, and assorted spices that are customarily piquant, ranging from mild to very hot.

Salsas can be runny or thick. Both types of salsas are also used as dipping sauces, such as platters that are prepared with corn chips, beans, sour cream, and salsa.

guacamole dip and corn chips

Guacamole With Corn Chips

Dips are a thick food item, for dipping other finger foods into.

Dips are usually dairy based, like a buttermilk based dip, or a sour cream or cream cheese based dip, as well as tomato based.

You can even mix a salsa with sour cream to form a dip.

Dips can be thick or a liquid, and they can include a spinach dip, fruit dip, like guacamole, or a pizza dip, such as a tomato sauce based dip, or a garlic sauce.

Creative Condiments – Sauces – and Dips

Add coconut to your curry sauce. This gives it a more south-east Asian flavor. Just sauté some onions, ginger, curry powder, and sugar. Add some coconut milk and allow to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Add fresh, frozen, or peach preserves  and spices to a favorite barbecue sauce. Mix in some peach preserves, a little sriracha, and your favorite barbecue sauce, and turn some yum into a wow in an instant.

You can create a great slider sauce or marinade for grilling meats by using Dijon mustard, key lime juice, Himalayan salt and pepper.

Here are some great Condiments – Sauces – and Dips prepared here at Splendid Recipes and More…

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Ingredients For Delicious Winter Salads

An younf woman eating a warm winter saladFood crops harvested in winter months with the use of hoop houses or hot houses (such as used in California, USA) and other methods that extend the natural growing season, and old-fashioned storage vegetables like cabbages and potatoes all mean that there are plenty of winter produce to choose from.

What winter produce that is available, is sufficient to enjoy delicious winter salads along with great homemade dressings and vinaigrette’s.

The different crops available in the winter months include among others:

Beets: Available in season from fall through spring in temperate climates, and those available during the summer months, are from storage.

Belgian Endive: This leafy green is forced to produce under artificial conditions, making them available year round. Their traditional season, as with all chicories, is late fall through winter.

When grown in open fields they are covered with sand for about 6 months to keep out the light. When grown in hot houses they are placed in darkness for 6 months before shipping to market for purchase.

Read more here about the endive (includes a recipe with video): Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken

Broccoli: This and all other cruciferous vegetables can be grown year-round in temperate climates, but broccoli tastes best when harvested in the cooler temperatures of fall in most climates.

salad plate with Warm Winter Salad with Apples Spinach Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Warm Winter Salad with Apples Spinach Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Brussels sprouts: These vegetables are part of the cabbage family.  They grow on stalks, and they last somewhat longer than when sold packaged or removed from their stalks.

Cabbage: This vegetable is crispy when raw with bitter flavor, though it mellows and sweetens the longer it’s cooked.

Sweet Potatoes: This root vegetable is often referred too or interchangeable with yams. The two vegetables are different though.

Most yams in the USA are sweet potatoes. Yams are dry and starchy, and grown mainly in Africa and Asia. They can weigh up too 100 pounds.

Sweet potatoes store very well and are available year round in warmer areas. Though their season is from late summer through winter.

Other vegetables available in fall to winter months include, radicchio, radishes, turnips, winter squash, rutabagas, parsnips, chard, collard greens, cress, spinach, kale, carrots, leeks, fennel, and celery among others.

There are also a verity of fruits in season during the winter months that you can enjoy in fruit salads, or as a snack. To view the available in season winter fruits link here: Fruits Info – Seasonal Fruits.

Salads To Enjoy In The Winter Months

Chilly temperatures, and dark winter days are traditionally suited to cheese, meat, and vegetable casseroles, including pastas. A salad filled with raw vegetables may not seem appealing in the cold winter.

But what if you could prepare a warm winter salad, like this one – Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts. This recipe is offered by a professional chef, author, recipe developer, educator and certified health coach at A Food Centric Life.

THE RECIPE

Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

1 large bunch of organic kale (Tuscan, Lacinato or Dinosaur)

a white salad plate with Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

Image Credit: A Food Centric Life

1 large shallot

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

Handful of dried cranberries

Small handful of chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (suggestion: infused balsamic fruit flavored variety like dark cherry)

Salt and pepper, to season

Bring a large pot (5 quart/liter) of water to a boil while you are trimming the kale leaves and slicing the shallot. Trim the ribs out of the center of the kale leaves, and then cut the leaves crosswise into ribbons. Slice the peeled shallot crosswise into thin rings.

When water boils, add 2 teaspoons salt, then drop the kale leaves into the water and cook for 2 minutes (called blanching). Drain well through a sieve and place kale on a clean kitchen towel. Alternatively you can steam your kale for 2-3 minutes, and then proceed with the recipe.

In a medium sauté or fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium low heat until warm. Add the shallot rings, then the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring until softened. Be careful not to let them burn. Add the cranberries, walnuts, and vinegar. Stir and cook for a minute, then add the cooked kale. Toss the kale ribbons to coat and warm, season up with salt and pepper, and then serve.

Make this a even more warm winter salad by either serving the warm salad as a side dish with roasted chicken, as Sally the author of “A Food Centric Life” explains, or as a foundation for roasted salmon. She also suggests placing the warm salad over a bed of quinoa for a vegetarian or vegan entree.

Sally says you can use a fruit flavored infused balsamic vinegar like dark cherry or fig when making the vinaigrette.

Another great warm winter salad you can enjoy is: Sweet Potato, Kale and Shrimp Skillet

2 tablespoons olive oil

salad plate with Sweet Potato, Kale and Shrimp Skillet½ cup onion, diced

Red pepper flakes, to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups sweet potatoes, diced

2 cups fresh shrimp

3 cups trimmed and coarsely chopped kale leaves

Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat a a ceramic coated cast iron pan over medium heat, add olive oil.

Next add onions and red pepper flakes, and saute until onions are soft and browned.

Next add garlic and cook about 30 seconds more.

Next add sweet potato and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes. If necessary add a 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to help cook the sweet potato.

Next add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they are pink in color.

Turn heat to low and add kale, stirring in until wilted.

Season to taste with salt and pepper (optional).

Plate and serve.

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Breaded Coconut French Toast

Breaded Coconut French Toast

The night before the plan was to have french toast the next morning with slices of sourdough and real maple syrup. The next morning the plan was followed through, but first a cup of coffee was enjoyed and a little of the Today Show.

For their recipe segment, they had featured taking restaurant favorites and making them healthier eating. They took the “Chicken Nuggets” recipe you buy at McDonald’s and made it into a healthier choice, “Coconut Breaded Chicken Nuggets.” Seeing that had given inspiration on how the planned breakfast that included french toast was going to be prepared.

Therefore our featured recipe: Breaded Coconut French Toast, and here is what you will need.

Keep in mind this recipe is not just great for breakfast, but can also be included as an item on your Sunday Brunch Menu.

The amounts of each ingredient will depend on how many you are serving.

1/4 cup coconut butter, divided

2 large eggs

1/2 cup coconut milk

4 slices of sourdough bread

1 cup dried shredded coconut

Real Maple Syrup

melting coconut butterIn a pie plate mix the eggs and coconut milk. In a separate pie plate add the dried coconut. Next heat a medium sized ceramic coated pan over medium-heat. Add some coconut butter and let melt.

dipping slice of sourdough in egg-coconut milk batterNext take a slice of the bread and liberally dip it into egg-coconut milk batter coating both sides. Next coat both sides with the dried coconut.

cooking slice of coconut breaded french toastNext add the breaded coconut slice of bread into the heated pan. After about a minute and a half turn slice of bread and continue cooking.

Breaded Coconut French ToastWhen all slices of bread are coated and cooked, plate, pour on real maple syrup, top with more dried coconut, and enjoy your Breaded Coconut French Toast for breakfast or brunch.

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Putting Breakfast at the Top of Your List

Breakfast has always been referred to as the most important meal of the day. Breakfast can make a big difference when it comes to your health. The Mayo clinic has said that eating a healthy breakfast means that you are more likely to consume more vitamins and minerals, and less fat. You can have better concentration and productivity all day long.

Fried Egg and Cheese over Mixed Vegetables - Putting Breakfast at the Top of Your List

Fried Egg and Cheese over Mixed Vegetables

A healthy morning meal can help you control your weight, lower your cholesterol, which in turn could lower your risk for cardiac problems. Let’s talk about Carbohydrates and breakfast.

There is a material call ‘gelatinous’ and it is found in foods that are rich in soluble fiber, which forms during digestion and slows the absorption of nutrients from these foods. Foods high in both soluble fiber and complex carbohydrates, break down more slowly as a result of their fiber content, which prolongs the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, a crucial source of energy for your brain and muscles.

A slower release of glucose results in a sustained release of energy and a less significant increase in your blood sugar. Eating foods that contain soluble fiber helps you keep your blood sugar stable, which may reduce your risk of type II diabetes.

Sunny Side Up Eggs in a pan with vegetables - Putting Breakfast at the Top of Your List

Sunny Side up Eggs with Mixed Vegetables

As several studies have reported, if we eat breakfast on a daily bases we can lose and maintain weight better than those of us who skip breakfast. The prior chapter spoke on protein for sustained energy to start your day. In addition to protein a complex, unrefined carbohydrate is also needed. It also provides energy and helps maintain steady blood sugar levels. Our brains are unable to function without a steady flow of carbohydrate-rich foods.

The carbohydrates not to include in your morning breakfast are donuts, sugary cereals and pastries, these are fast acting and do not provide the energy needed. Instead, they cause peaks in energy levels, followed by a sudden crash. Good carbs called complex carbohydrates to eat for breakfast prevent these energy peaks and sudden dips.

It has always been suggested to have a fruit with your breakfast, but now it is being advised to include vegetables instead. Fruit is a carbohydrate that gives you energy much faster than protein and vegetables, making fruit better to use as a snack in between meals.

Keep in mind that cookies, chips, candy bars, considered a snack will give you energy, but it will spike your glucose levels to only drop off fast. Your energy goes down as well, and the cycle starts again, because you will eat more. Stick with fruit for your snacks between meals.

Scrambbled Eggs with Apple Chicken Sausage and Vegetables -  Putting Breakfast at the Top of Your List

Scrambled Eggs with Apple Chicken Sausage and Mixed Vegetables with a Slice of Toasted Sourdough Bread

It is also good to note, juice is not the same as eating the fruit in its whole form. If you do drink fruit juice , it is better to juice it fresh from fruit you buy at the market. All bottled juices that state 100% juice, is true. But the juice has been pasteurized or heated to over 235 degrees and therefore killing the vitamin C. They re-fortify the juice, but it is not the same as in its original form.

If there some days in the week you are rushed for time, it can still be possible to get your protein and complex carbohydrates with two pieces of 100% whole grain toast and a hand full of almonds, about 24 whole almonds equaling 1 ounce.

There have been studies over the years on breakfasts, and the reports show that people who have a healthy breakfast will tend to follow healthy eating habits.

Breakfast can truly be a life saver.

 

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Be Health Wise Don’t Skip Breakfast

Be Health Wise Don't Skip Breakfast

Skipping breakfast is not a wise choice if you want to maintain a healthy body and healthy weight.

It is reported that if you skip breakfast you are 55% more likely to drink carbonated drinks, 40% more likely to eat candy, such as milk chocolate, and 45% less likely to eat vegetables, and 30 % less likely to eat fruits.

When you skip breakfast, you are creating a chain reaction within your body:

  1. You slow down your metabolism
  2. Fat is stored longer in your body
  3. Higher tendency to overeat at your next meal
  4. Gain weight a lot easier and your LDL cholesterol rises

Eating breakfast every morning or at the start of your day you can also:

  1. Give Yourself an Energy Boost to Start the Day
  2. Sharper Focus
  3. Reduces Moring Crankiness
  4. Metabolism Boost
  5. Lose or Maintain a Healthy Weight
  6. Prevents Unhealthy Habits

Download this FREE E Book from us (Splendid Recipes and More) and learn more about the benefits of breakfast: Breakfast for a Healthy You

Here’s a great breakfast to try this morning and if not tomorrow morning than:

Egg and Sauteed Vegetable Breakfast

1 large egg

1 small orange sweet pepper

3 snow peas

3 Brussels sprouts

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon water

Be Health Wise Don't Skip Breakfast

Chop all of the vegetables, and set aside. Next warm on medium heat a small coated ceramic pan (or pan of your choice). Add butter, allow to melt. Next add vegetables, and wait 30 seconds. Break egg over vegetables, add the water and place a lid over the pan. Let cook 1 minute, and 1 minute only.

 

Plate and serve.

Be health wise and enjoy the goodness of breakfast.

 

 

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High Protein Egg-Spinach Combo

 

High Protein Egg -Spinach Combo(2)Maybe your wondering why this would be a high protein breakfast combo? All you see is an egg, which everyone knows has protein. Of course the amount of protein depends on the size of the egg. A large egg has 6.29 grams of protein, a medium egg has 5.54 grams, and a small egg has 4.65 grams of protein. The protein is shared between the egg white and the yolk.

Single serve coffeeWhile we have the coffee going, let me explain more why this is a high protein breakfast. One cup of raw spinach has only 1 gram of protein, but when it’s cooked it has 7.6 grams. The protein in spinach though is not a complete protein, meaning it does not supply all 9 essential amino acids like as a complete source of protein would. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and there are more than 20 different amino acids.

So now that’s were the egg comes in. An egg with its protein provides all of the amino acids you need in your diet. Our bodies need  amino acids, as they are building blocks, making all the cells and tissues found inside of us.

But please don’t through your egg yolk out and only be content with an egg white omelet. The yolk contains 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamins B-6 and B-12.

Our featured breakfast –High Protein Egg-Spinach Combo- has 9 grams of protein, which will carry you right up to lunch, with no snaking on junk food before. The spinach provides fiber and with its protein as well as the eggs, your digestion time is slowed and your blood glucose doesn’t spike, giving you energy for a longer period of time.

Now for our featured breakfast and here is what you will need.

1 large egg

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 baby spinach leaves

4 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 cup jack cheese, shredded

preparing ingredients for High Protein egg-Spinach Combo

 

Heat a small frying pan with the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute, 1 to 2 minutes. Next add the tomatoes and saute 1 minute more. Now add the spinach leaves, then crack open the egg over the other ingredients in the pan. Next top with the jack cheese, which adds a few grams more of protein.

cooking egg one minute with lid on

Now place a lid over the frying pan and cook for 1 minute.

High Protein Egg -Spinach Combo

Plate and enjoy with your fresh cup of brewed coffee (or your favorite morning beverage).

 

Those who skip breakfast eat more

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Please don’t skip breakfast. Read our article –How Important is Breakfast for You– (FREE e-book provided).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Important is Breakfast for You

How Important is Breakfast for You

coffee on the run

No time for Breafast

All of us have heard now and again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But knowing this doesn’t stop an individual from skipping this meal or choosing to only have coffee. Believe it or not, this happens in every corner of the earth.

We need to recognize the reality, which is, breakfast is very significant meal of the day, and by eating breakfast first thing, will actually help your overall diet and eating habits, by not skipping breakfast.

Breakfast is appropriately named: break-fast. People do not eat while they sleep, and 6 to 8 hours is a long time to go without food, and even longer if we had no meal the night before.

Therefore, breakfast is the first time a person will eat anything for a long period of time. Your body is fasting, and upon raising the fast should be broken.

There are a number of nutrients, such as proteins, that can’t be stored in the body, and need to be replenished as soon as possible.

Breakfast is similar to the match that lights the fire. It happens to be an essential source of energy that allows the body to function properly throughout the day, and this includes, both an increase in physical and mental capabilities.

Weight control with eating breakfast every day

Weight Control with Eating Breakfast Every Day

Studies have shown that those who eat breakfast weigh less than those who don’t. Many, who don’t eat breakfast, wind up starving at lunch, and overeating, or snacking several times before lunch. Usually the snacks are not nutrient dense, but rather non-nutritious or junk food as it is called.

Overeating can and will lead to obesity, with other side effects, including cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes, too mention a few.

The gall-bladder is also affected. During the night the body repairs itself from the prior day. The liver makes bile and stores it in the gall-bladder. By morning the gall-bladder is waiting for food to enter the stomach, so it can release the bile.

When this does not happen, morning after morning, the vile will soon calcify, and the gall-bladder will become infected and will need to be removed. Of course, this takes years to happen, but once the gall-bladder is gone, weight problems will then set in.

Healthy foods, which are eaten at breakfast, such as whole grain toast, bagels, eggs, meat, bran cereals, and fruit will be a useful source of vitamins and minerals to provide energy for the rest of the day.

Usually when these are not obtained first thing in the morning, it will be difficult to compensate for them throughout the day. Keep in mind that without the appropriate levels of nutrients, the body will certainly not function properly.

Beside over eating, and not eating the right foods, our emotional well-being is also affected.

By consuming a healthy breakfast, it results in us choosing healthier foods throughout the rest of the day, so you consistently obtain the proper nutrition that your body needs.

If we only drink coffee before going to work, and once at work, our bodies are letting us know it needs fuel, and aside from feeling tired, we look for a energy drink, a small snack from the snack machine or a doughnut that might be in the break room. Do you see the vicious cycle from skipping breakfast?

Setting aside 15 minutes in the morning to enjoy breakfast, can really make a big difference in your life, and how you feel. When eating breakfast you should incorporate foods from at least three different food groups.

As an example, you could have a whole grain English muffin, smeared with cream cheese (a dairy food group) or almond butter (a protein food group), and an orange (a fruit group). Even a breakfast with an egg, 100% whole wheat toast, and fresh squeezed orange juice will do as well.

Link here for some breakfast ideas from Splendid Recipes and More.

FREE e-book for You -Breakfast for Your Health- Get it here:

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Breakfast doesn’t need to be complicated.

 

 

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