Since becoming interested in clean eating and making more meals at home over the past several years, I've learned a lot about chemicals and added ingredients that are put into packaged foods. In exchange for convenience, you get added sugars, dyes and preservatives.
Obviously there are times when convenience wins (and shells & cheese for lunch on a weekend is going to happen no matter what's in it), but by doing some meal prep on the weekends, you can make your own easy and delicious condiments and spice mixes with only ingredients you can pronounce.
And I made all three of these within 30 minutes on a Saturday during nap time. Food prep does not need to be time consuming or complicated!
Here are three things I make regularly that taste better than store bought:
1. Taco/Chili seasoning: Recipe from allrecipes.com.
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- /4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
We often multiple this by 12x to make a huge batch of the seasoning so we have a stash a few months at a time. We use this in both tacos and chili, which I make a ton of in the winter, so this is on frequent rotation in our house.
2. Peanut (or any nut) butter
- 16 oz. peanuts (any variety, or cashews, almonds, etc.)
- 2 TBSP light tasting oil (canola, vegetable, or light EVOO)
- Salt (optional, but adds some saltiness if you buy unsalted peanuts)
Put nuts, oil and salt into a high speed blender and blend until it's to your desired creaminess. Add a little more oil as needed for increased creaminess (but, the longer you blend, the creamier it gets on its own). Pro tip: the Costco Super Extra Large peanuts (yes, that's the name!) make the bessssst peanut butter. Trust me.
3. Ranch dressing: recipe from Whole Sisters
I did a Whole 30 last month and made this ranch for the first time because I was desperate for some yummy sauces to eat with my meals. Holy. Moly. This stuff is amazing. It's better than store bought! I've been making about every other week since early September and eat it on so much stuff- salads, chicken, raw veggies, in egg salad, out of a glass (OK, kidding on that one).
- 1 egg (room temperature)
- 1 cup "light" olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 handful cilantro or parsley (or herb of choice)- I use cilantro
Except for the olive oil, put everything in a blender. Start the blender on low, and slowly add the light EVOO. Once added, blend the entire mixture for approximately one minute. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
The bolded ingredients above also make a homemade mayo if you like that. Google Whole 30 mayo for more info on that recipe.
Are there any condiments or spice mixtures that you like to make at home?