Improve Any Dish With One Ingredient

Food writer and Eater’s editor-at-large Helen Rosner has the simplest secret-ingredient tip in all of cookendom:

2 failproof ways to make all food better: add lemon juice (just before eating) to anything savory, add a sprinkle of salt to anything sweet

— Helen Rosner (@hels) May 29, 2017

Transforming a dish with one new ingredient feels magical, like you’re the Ratatouille rat chomping on a big mouthful of cheese and strawberry. It inspires some people to carry around hot sauce or a proprietary salt mix. It’s especially revelatory to those of us who grew up on the bland flavors of the midwest.

Other universal add-ons include:

  • Savory dishes: Hot sauce or chili powder for heat; fish sauce for saltiness and umami; MSG (if you agree that it’s safe) for umami
  • Sauces: Pinch of sugar to balance tartness
  • Rice dishes: Sesame oil to deepen flavors
  • Mexican/South American cuisine: Lime (as…

5 Savory Ways to Season Watermelon

Photo by Rameez Sadikot.

I don’t know if it’s a Southern thing, or a specific-to-my-grandmother thing, but I grew up eating a lot of melon for dessert, and it always, always, always was served with a sprinkling of salt.

As a child, I didn’t know why salt was such a necessary part of my family’s melon-eating—turns out it enhances aromas and reduces bitterness—but I knew that I liked it, and I knew that watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew felt naked without a little bit of sodium chloride.

This fondness for salting the summery fruit led to further experimentation, particularly in the case of watermelon, which resulted in pairing the sweet fruit with a variety of other foods and flavorings. The key to a good pairing? There must always be a salty component, otherwise the…

10 Best Paleo Snacks Recipes That You Need To Try Making At Home

Heard of the paleo diet but wondering what in the world does it mean? Well, the paleo comes from the Paleolithic era, aka when man was still a hunter-gatherer – what the early man ate, is basically what constitutes the paleo diet, also called the caveman diet, primal diet, Stone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet, for apt reasons.

The Difference between Paleo Diet And Ordinary Diet

Think back to the early times of man – other than needing to run away from predators and dying of things as simple as the common cold, the paleo man (and woman, for that matter) didn’t have access to grains, salt, processed foods, colas, junk food, chocolates, tea or coffee. What he did have access to, or hunted and foraged for were fruits, vegetable (free range) meat, poultry and eggs, sea food and as well as nuts and seeds.

Wild cereals were sometimes foraged for, but a find was few and far between so cereal was also not a big part of the Paleolithic diet at all. Recent evidence proves that wine, however was, for some time in the Paleolithic era, man learnt to ferment grape juice in animal skin pouches. 1

The Benefits of Following Paleo Diet

At first glance, the paleo diet seems pretty doable – it’s a clean diet that emphasizes eating fresh, from the source and without any additional additives, preservatives or chemicals and it does help you stay fuller for longer as well as lose weight because of limited food choices. 2This diet also raises your iron levels and helps you get plenty more phytonutrients from all the plant-based foods you consume.

The downside of the paleo diet is that the absence of grains and cereal can lower your energy levels and it is also a tad expensive. If you are on a paleo diet, you also have to maintain a certain amount of physical activity; which ironically becomes difficult to do simply because you are off carbs and may be low on energy in the first place!

The paleo diet philosophy is basically designed to improve a person’s health and athletic performance by taking in lean protein and high GI carbs via fruits and vegetables – the die does not lack in nutrients and can in fact raise your vitamin and mineral levels to an optimum amounts, plus give you plenty antioxidants and phytonutrients as well. Paleo snacks comprise of lean meats or protein, healthy amounts of dairy, healthy fats in the form of nuts and seeds and as many fruits and veggies you can eat! Healthy, tasty, filling and low in calories – paleo snacks make for great tidbits, even if you are not on a paleo diet! 3

Five Savory Paleo Snacks

Crispy Brussel Sprout Chips

A vitamin rich snack that’s nutritious, tasty and filling, Crispy Brussels Sprouts 4 will please your palate and stomach in just about 50 calories.

You need: 10 Brussels sprouts, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

To make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. With a paring knife, cut off the bottom tip of each sprout. The outer leaves will fall off.
  3. Trim a tiny bit more off the bottom so more leaves fall off. Continue until you’ve removed all the leaves.
  4. Toss the leaves with the oil, and lay them in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Roast seven to 10 minutes, until leaves are lightly browned and crisp.

Who says snacks have to be bland? Healthy pumpkin seeds 5 with real jalapenos with olive oil and seasonings are as healthy as they are delicious.

You need: 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds, cleaned & dried; 3 jalapeño peppers, sliced; 3 tablespoons olive oil and sea salt and paprika, to taste

To make it:

  1. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and sort the guts out.
  2. Rinse the seeds pat dry and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet to dry overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and add olive oil and sea salt.
  4. Stir pumpkin seeds with your hands to combine.
  5. Lay slices of jalapeño peppers on top of seeds.
  6. Sprinkle paprika over the top of everything, generously.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Use a spatula to move the seeds and peppers around and bake for another 5 minutes.
  9. Move mixture around some more and bake for a final 5 minutes.
  10. Remove tray from oven and let everything rest for 15-30 minutes to let the jalapeño-ness soak into the seeds.
  11. Store in an airtight container, if you don’t finish them all in one sitting.

Have a craving for chips? Can do on a paleo diet with this crunchy, chip alternative 6 to Doritos, that uses no flour.

You need: 3/4 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/4 cup flax seeds, 1/4 cup of butter (or ghee), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon chili, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder, 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

To make it:

  1. Melt the butter and basically…

Eating Trash With Claire: Tomato Skin Salt and Peach Skin Sugar

Photos by Claire Lower

I’m a big fan of repurposing seemingly useless scraps into something surprisingly delicious, which is why I was extremely pleased to stumble upon these recipes for tomato skin salt and peach skin sugar on Food52.

Both tomato skins and peach peels initially seem like a dead-end scrap. They’re flimsy, seemingly lacking in flavor, and kind of weird, texturally speaking. Drying them out and concentrating their flavor for use in a tasty powder seemed like almost too good of a solution, and I knew both of these recipes were something I needed to taste to believe.

This idea is the brain child of Gabrielle Hamilton, and can be found among many other treasures in her cookbook Prune. Tomato skins are one of those scraps I’d never given a second thought to, and I never felt particularly bad about it. They’re such a small part of the tomato,and tossing them didn’t seem like that big of a deal, but I now regret every bit of tomato skin I have ever cast aside, so good is this salt.

The process of turning the red skins into a pretty pink salt is an easy one, but first you have to peel them off the tomato, which is also not that hard if you know how to do it. Just take a pairing knife and make a small “x” on the bottom of the fruit, and dunk it in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Once you see the peel start to pull away slightly from the rest…

Study Sheds Light on Why Salty Snacks Are So Addictive

Anyone who’s torn through a bowl of popcorn in one sitting knows that salty snacks can be dangerously addictive. A new study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation [PDF] suggests that more than the snack’s taste fuels our insatiable eating habits. The more salt we ingest, the more water we retain, which may leave us still feeling hungry after a snack binge.

As MDC Insights reports, the findings come from a group of international researchers looking at “cosmonauts” on simulated flights to Mars. Two groups, each made up of 10 male volunteers, were fed meals that were identical in every aspect except for salt content. Subjects eating the saltier diet produced more urine, which came as no surprise to the researchers.

It’s the common belief that salty food makes people want to drink more, thus making them pee more. On a Mars mission where every ounce of water equals more money spent on fuel,…