Sunday, May 22, 2011

Seasoning Packets and Why I Now Hate Them

Ok, this is a semi-rant. I have come to HATE the prepackaged taco and chili seasoning mixes that one can buy at pretty much any grocery store. Yes, they are incredibly convenient. However, they are also seriously loaded with sodium! So, I have started making my own. I'll get to the chili formula in a minute. I'm waiting on permission to share the taco one, since it's a creation of my friend Jodi, who published it on her blog (see link on the right). I also found one for Ranch seasoning mix, which I'll share, but cannot vouch for its quality. I haven't used it since I only make 1 recipe that calls for it. My dear husband doesn't think that that making the mix (since it makes a lot) is worth it for that.

Now, if you don't have a well stocked spice rack, then obviously use the prepackaged stuff unless you are just looking for an excuse to go buy a bunch of spices. Just avoid adding any more salt.

Chili Seasoning Mix

4 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1 Tbsp. dried minced garlic
2 tsp. white sugar
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Don't bother with getting out measuring spoons. Compliments of our friend Rachael Ray, 1 Tbsp. is roughly a palmfull, and a teaspoon is 1/3 of a palmfull. There's your measuring. This takes all of 2 minutes once you gather your spices. I also cut way back on the salt, add more crushed red pepper, and use garlic powder instead of the dried minced garlic. (It's what I have.)

Ranch Seasoning Mix (for dip, dressing, or in my case taco soup)

1/2 c. dry buttermilk
1 Tbsp. dried parsley, crushed
1 tsp. dried dill weed (feel free to make Beavis and Butthead jokes here)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Mix all of the above. Use 1 Tbsp. for whatever recipe (like taco soup) that calls for a packet of ranch seasoning mix.

For dressing, mix 1 Tbsp. with either 1 c. milk, 1/2 c. plain yogurt, and 1/2 c. lite mayo or 1 c. milk, 1 c. mayo.

Taco Seasoning Mix (NOT ORIGINAL, came from my friend Jodi Kasten)

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 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

I use this in place of 1 packet of taco seasoning mix. I also cut way back on the salt and use what I have in the building (which is usually not sea salt). I also go heavier on the garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes. (There are no weanies here.)

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