Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hot with a capital CH.

Lately I've been adding this little delectable morsel to everything I eat.  I order it extra when I'm out, and sneak it in whatever it is I am preparing at home - as long as the kids don't take a bite.

Chillies have slowly become my favorite ingredient.  They jazz up any meal and you can add them to almost anything.  Marinades, fries, dips, vegetables, grills....etc.

Having said that, chocolates with chillies are a huge turn-off for me.  So yes, I place strong emphasis on almost anything.
This is my 'everything-in-the-fridge salad'.  I chopped the following: tomatoes, cucumbers, green apples, rucola, spinach, parsley, 3 types of lettuce, and mint.  I also added: capers, dried cranberries, a handful of almonds, chia/flax/pumpkin seeds, and tuna. 
The lil bag in the top right corner I saved for the dressing. This dressing is so delicious and the red chillies just made it more exciting.  The recipe is simple: equal parts red wine vinegar and olive oil with a bunch of fresh mint leaves, spoonful of capers, 2 chillies, spoonful of honey, spoonful of dijon mustard, salt and pepper aaaaannnnd (my not-so-secret-anymore tip) a spoonful of the capers' brine.  It adds the perfect 'what is that?' element. Pulverize it in a food processor until it looks like this.

Turn a simple salad into something exotic.

I had read somewhere that chillies are useful and I searched for it earlier and was astounded at the number of benefits.

Check these out (my favorite reason is #9):

1. Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
2. Reduced inflammation
3. Improved digestive conditions
4. Maintains bone health
5. Lowers blood sugar levels
6. Improve heart health, boost circulation, thins blood and helps protect against strokes.
7. Provides pain relief and reduces inflammation
8. Limits spreading of prostate cancer
9. Chillies help to burn fat
10. Chillies lower cholesterol 

So if you have a favorite recipe that you are getting bored of or just want to try a different kind of salad dressing - add a couple chillies and get blown away.

Note: if you find your mouth on fire, a glass of milk should cool it immediately down.  Avoid drinking water or worse a soda after.  You have been warned!


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