GINNA PARSONS: Variety puts spices back in our lives

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

It’s been eight weeks since my husband and I began eating more healthfully and exercising regularly, and the scales are showing good results. Charlie has lost 15 pounds and I’ve dropped 12. My goal was to lose the weight slowly – about a pound a week – so I’m a bit ahead of schedule.
We’ve cut out fried foods, fast food, soft drinks and seconds, and downsized our portions. For breakfast, we eat on appetizer plates and for supper, we eat on salad plates. By taking our lunch to work every day – leftovers with side salads – we’ve saved calories and money.
I am motivated.
One thing that’s kept us going these past two months is the variety of recipes we’ve been trying. I’d venture to say we’re preparing two to three new recipes each week.
We find them in cookbooks, newspapers and online, and we share them through the computer or the smart phone. Some days, Charlie and I go back and forth three or four times before we decide on the evening meal.
Early on in January, I invested in some spices for some dishes, so I try to find recipes that use those ingredients again. There’s no point in letting a $6 bottle of cardamom just sit in the cabinet until it’s too old to use.
We made this salmon dish about a month ago and everyone – including teenage son, Patrick – enjoyed it. I served it over our new favorite rice, basmati, with a side of steamed broccoli dressed with a little melted butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Sweet Orange Salmon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄8 teaspoon cardamom
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin removed
Preheat broiler. Combine spices in a small bowl and rub mixture over both sides of salmon. Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil for 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Serves 4.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.