Tag Archives: Cooking with Spices

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Bites

Sweet Potato, chickpea bites

These delicious bites turned out better than I’d ever hoped. I’m really pleased with how tasty they are.

Original Recipe:


I modified the recipe to include ingredients I already had on hand. I only had one sweet potato for instance, and I used Tarragon as a garnish instead of scallions as the recipe originally calls for.

Ingredients I used:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • equal amount chickpeas as sweet potato (I used frozen, thawed)
  • Kale, fine chopped
  • Garlic
  • Coconut Milk
  • Coconut Oil
  • Seasoning: paprika, cayenne, red chili flakes, curry powder, nutritional yeast, salt & pepper
  • Fresh Herbs I used: Thyme & Tarragon



  1. Boil sweet potato & prepare chickpeas (frozen, thawed on stove)
  2. Sautee garlic (briefly, until fragrant)
  3. Add Kale and reduce heat to low, cover and steam (very briefly)
  4. Season with: Paprika, cayenne, red chili flakes, curry powder
  5. Add thawed chickpeas and stir well.
  6. Combine in a large bowl with sweet potato mash, 3-4 tablespoons of coconut milk and nutritional yeast.
  7. Add S & P and any additional seasonings. I added fresh Thyme and Tarragon from the garden.
  8. Bake in a greased muffin tin (coconut oil works well for greasing) –  20 minutes at 450 degrees.

Voila !



Curried Spaghetti Squash

Curried Spaghetti Squash


  • Spaghetti Squash
  • ghee/oil
  • onions
  • raisins
  • cayenne (optional for spicy!)
  • mustard seeds
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • turmeric
  • curry leaves (can be found fresh at Indian markets)
  • salt and pepper
  • cilantro


  1. Cook Spaghetti Squash in oven: cut in half length wise and remove seeds with a spoon. Cook squash in oven, halves face down in a half inch of water. Bake at 375 until tender, 30-35 minutes. Rake a fork back and forth to remove strands like spaghetti.
  2. On stove top prepare vaghar (seasoning), melt ghee and add spices: mustard seeds first, when they begin to pop add coriander, cumin, turmeric and a few fresh curry leaves if available. (prepare as much as needed to season not only the onions but enough to be used to season the squash strands as well)
  3. Saute onions in vaghar and add cayenne (spicy; use a little at first, adding more if needed), cook onions until desired consistency is reached. Adding raisins for only just a moment before moving contents to a bowl.
  4. When Spaghetti Squash is thoroughly cooked, combine in bowl with seasoned onions and top with Cilantro.

Cooking with Spices

Cooking with Spices

I’d like to bring up an important part of how I cook, especially when it comes to seasonings. With any recipe I make or follow I am sure to intuitively use the called ingredients, which might mean removing entirely unwanted ingredients or adding a few more of my own. For seasoning amounts in my recipes, I will often times not be able to put down exact measurements because when I season dishes and cook, it’s all very intuitive. The food and the smells of the spices, are a great guide. Try if you will to smell the spice recipe calls for, pinch the spices, no spoon or shaker bottles necessary, and feel what feels like the right amount to you. You might just surprise yourself and find the dish you create to taste infinitely better then original recipe. Cooking is not straight forward and so improvising or trying new things allows cooking and food preparation to become a form of art flow and makes cooking fun!

A container like this one (Masala Dabba box) is a great tool for cooking. I’ve picked up my favorite spices in bulk from local Indian Markets and have access to the ones I use most by keeping them in here and readily available on my kitchen counter. Shown here I have turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin, coriander (crushed and seeds) and garam masala to name just a few of the ones I love to use most.

I invite you to explore the world of spices and seasonings free from the reigns of any given recipe. I first began substituting ingredients, when working with a vegan diet, and then continued to re-create recipes when beginning to omit gluten and soy as well. With out animal proteins, gluten or soy my options for cooking vary slightly, and I do have to be more creative but I’ve found that spices and fresh herbs are the missing ingredient to any dish needing just a little extra TLC and FLAVOR!

I like to think of recipes as guidelines, and prepared creation a work of art. Just as I like my art to look beautiful, I like my food to taste good!