Every Thursday I will show you how easy it is to replicate a processed food in your own kitchen…not only are most recipes easy to replicate but they make far more … are much more cost-effective …Who doesn’t like 3 for the price of one?
I am also really trying to get over the message that we should first and foremost be counting chemicals in our foods, not calories…I was going say count the sugar, salt and fat but we all know how important they are to our health and well being and that we should be aware of government guidelines but it seems the chemicals in our foods ..don’t quite carry the same importance for many…
Many illnesses/diseases are proven to be a direct result of the food and drinks we consume…I would much prefer to change my diet than pop a pill or three… Highly processed foods consumed in excess are known to have consequences for our health and our families health…
I am noticing when doing research the word “likely” crops up very frequently as in “likely safe”…and most times more than once in the same sentence…I don’t like it! It makes me uneasy…
It is also a fallacy that processed foods are too hard or too complicated to make…Many are just a process much like you follow a knitting or crochet pattern you just measure the ingredient and away you go …Yes, my mother and my grandmother taught me much but also much I have learnt myself…Yes, I have and still do have kitchen disasters (ask), my family…they would love to tell you…haha…I’ll do a post on them one day it will astound you…haha…
I love nothing better than seeing my spices all measured out and ready to mix into a beautiful fajita mix or a curry the smell is awesome.
My homemade Fajita mix … was always very popular when we had our restaurant in Phuket.
Since living here in Thailand there are a lot of foodstuffs that I used to buy and can no longer buy as no one stocks them here. Some I get bought over by visitors others I have learnt to substitute with another vegetable or product or make it myself.
I have also been very surprised at…..
1. How easy some things are to make.
2. How little they cost for a larger portion and no nasties.
Hence this Fajita Mix was born...You just measure out your ingredients and mix them together, put them in an airtight container and voila…Done!
- 3 tbsp Rice Flour/Arrowroot Powder.
- 2 tbsp Chilli Powder. ( I use dried chillies ground to a powder)
- 1 tbsp Salt. ( I use Himalayan pink salt or mineral salt which is produced locally)
- 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika…all the way from Spain
- 1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder.
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder.
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper.
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder.
- 1/2tsp Oregano
Mix together and seal in a container. This makes equivalent to 3 packets of Fajita Mix.
It is also very easy to double the quantity it is also very easy to reduce the quantity if you like it spicier increase the Cayenne Pepper.
To keep this mix as natural as possible I dry my own onions and garlic to make them into a powder and buy organic powders where I can if I cannot make them myself.
How easy is that???
For a thickener when making Fajitas I use alternatives to cornflour or wheatflour:
Rice flour, made from ground rice, contains a high level of nutrients and has many uses in Asian dishes. These include noodles, soups, and desserts. Rice flour has more protein and dietary fibre than cornstarch. It also contains fewer carbohydrates.
It is best to mix rice flour in cold or warm water until it is even before adding it to food. This prevents it from creating lumps.
Arrowroot flour from the rootstock of several types of plants in the arrowroot family.
Arrowroot flour is a nutritious substitute for cornstarch because it acts similarly to cornstarch but contains more dietary fibre. Arrowroot flour also contains more calcium than cornstarch. It is naturally gluten-free, making it a good alternative to wheat flour for people with celiac disease or those on gluten-free diets.
Spices: …The bad
Many cheap supermarket spices contain fillers …why? to bulk up the content it’s as simple as that…Profit over health and taste…
Fillers used could be corn starch, sawdust and flour are used as ‘fillers’ in spices and these can be food adulterants depending on the quality or more precisely, the lack of quality. Keep in mind that low-quality spices are used in powdered form but sold at high prices and with smart packaging.
A serious concern raised by FSSAI in its 2018 Guidance Note published on 30-07-2018 pertains to the use of toxic and carcinogenic substances that are used to add ‘colour’ to older stocks of spices. FSSAI’s guidance note cites that methanil yellow colour and lead chromate are used in ‘turmeric’.
Whole spices: Whole spices stay fresher longer, and you can grind them yourself in small quantities. These tend to be less expensive, and if you buy in bulk, it’s usually even cheaper. But I check the country of origin and make sure it’s one I know is the best. Check with a very reliable spice shop owner to find the best producers or do your own research for your favourite and most used spices. Then try them yourself to find your “keepers.”
Ground spices: Buy a known brand or one that you have tried before and liked. Do your research as to the shelf life as ground spices have a short shelf life… mark the date opened and pay close attention to the use-by dates.
I have done my research into the best country for spices to come from and what shelf life those spices have…It is time well spent when you taste the difference in your food.
Those larger supermarket spice brands will most likely deliver you a product that may be years away from the field. Large batch production and huge warehouse facilities equal old and stale spices, without much aroma or flavour /strength.
The ground black pepper that is sold by many companies is just the ground dust of the shell of the peppercorn. True quality ground pepper that is ground from the actual berry is noticeably different in appearance as well as the rich, full-bodied and fruity notes associated with true peppercorns.
Garlic powder from China is inconsistent and loaded with fillers to bring up the weight. Stick with local garlic powder made somewhere you trust.
Some spice companies will use old or unusable spices for their spice blends. Only purchase spice seasonings from a trusted supplier, or make your own.
About me and my cooking:
I use natural ingredients wherever possible. I do not use a packet or bottled ready-made mixes. I also do not use a microwave ( for personal) reasons.
I cook as far as it is humanly possible with fresh, homegrown or homemade condiments. I support local farmers as much as I can.
Saying that I am not fanatical and on occasions, I buy a bottle of salad cream…I just don’t buy ready meals or meals in a packet or tin I like to make my own.
To be honest, a lot of foodstuffs which I used to buy are so easy to make, more flavoursome and cheaper and importantly better for your health.
This is why I make many of my own sauces, mixes and condiments …sometimes because I cannot buy it here and to import it costs far more than the ingredients it is also the preservatives I mean why else would something last for years…
I have also discovered TASTE…sometimes it is the taste… I can taste the ingredients and not just an overriding sweetness…I can see how much I can make in volume against the size of a pack I purchase in a store the cost speaks volumes both in my purse and in our health.
Enjoy your Fajitas…For me, there is nothing like hearing the sizzle of a dish of Fajitas coming to the table…xx
Thank you for reading this post I hope you enjoy this new series…if you make your own spice mixes and have some tips to share please leave a comment I would love to hear from you…Love Carol x