Nerds and Peppers

I’ve been meditating a lot on what I want this blog to be. It’s a bit weird to write out, but I really want this blog to be successful! My goal is to help foodies enjoy spice more, but that doesn’t mean that absolutely everything on here will be SPICY. I still enjoy sharing the other tastes (salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and savory). 

Five years ago I was just like every other normal person and absolutely loathed spicy food. It wasn’t until my (now) husband slowly eased me into it through the foods we cooked that I began what is now a love affair with heat.

::NERD MOMENT:: 


Research has found capsicum (the genus for peppers) and cayenne have a multitude of health benefits including acting as an antispasmodic agent for muscles, a cardiovascular tonic by increasing blood flow throughout the  body, and a natural stimulant. When applied topically, cayenne actually inferes with one of the chemicals that alerts the body to pain. I personally love it for its ability to clear out congestion when I’m sick (because everyone hates being a mouth breather!). It’s been known to help protect against stomach ulcers, which is counter-intuitive. Capsicum also benefits the body as an antibacterial, antipyretic, and antiseptic agent. It has helped hotter cultures cool off (capsicum promotes perspiration and there for engages the body’s self-cooling mechanism), and is used in combination with many other herbs as it aids in the absorption of nutrients in the body (called a “carrier” or “catalyst” herb). If anyone is interested in additional information on the health benefits of peppers feel free to comment with your email below!

Thanks, Conan! Now on to the food…
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This dish is so flexible, the recipe I started with didn’t even have guidelines for amounts of ingredients to use! If you are using a large and heavy pan (I used a Le Creuset roaster) it might help to heat the pan in the oven first, and then add the oil and potato mix to cook. 

Rosemary-Garlic Potatoes




Ingredients

  • 5-6 small-to-medium yukon gold potatoes, sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil for oiling the pan
  • 1-1 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Method


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Oil a roasting pan with the olive oil and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix and evenly distribute, and place in oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Veggies, in general, are a great place to start adding spice to your diet. Partially because they are a very flexible food to cook, but mostly because you are hopefully eating them on a daily basis, and that leaves space for a lot of experimenting!

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