It’s Getting Hot in Here

Has anyone seen the popular hot sauce commercials with the sweet old grandma who proclaims, upon seeing her favorite hot sauce brand, “I put that sh*t on everything!”?

Well, that’s me! Minus the grey hair and granny glasses! I LOVE hot sauce and I really do put it on everything.
Have you ever tried hot sauce on a mango? Delicious! Seriously! If you’ve never tried it, do yourself a “flavor” and give it a whirl.

Recently, I tried Sriracha for the first time. I know, I know, as a proclaimed “hot sauce lover,” I was late to the Sriracha party, but boy am I glad I finally got my invitation. Sriracha seems to have just the right balance of spice and sweetness and it pairs nicely with most meats (if you eat meat).

Since discovering the wonder that is Sriracha, I’ve started to put it on grilled tofu. Serve that up with a little rice and beans and you’ve got a stellar dish that is full of flavor.

A few of my others favorite hot sauces include:

Salsa verde – I ask you, “How can anyone go wrong with a mixture of roasted tomatillos, jalapenos, lime, and cilantro?” Salsa verde has a flavor that is smoother and I find, more refreshing, than traditional salsa. My favorite brand just happens to be Trader Joe’s, which I could really just eat from the jar with a spoon. Need a quick week-night dinner? Grab a fully-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, mix it with a jar of salsa verde, a small can of diced tomatoes, and a box of chicken broth. Let it simmer about a half hour and you’ve got a delicious Mexican chicken soup.

Jerk sauce – My mom used to cook amazing Jamaican food at home and jerk sauce was always the key ingredient. Scotch bonnet peppers are the main ingredient that give jerk sauce it’s “heat” and it pairs nicely with other sweeter spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, usually found in baking. Jerk sauce is terrific on fish and shrimp, and certainly can be used on poultry or pork. Not a meat-eater? Me neither! I make a lovely jerk-flavored seitan with peppers. Just cook your seitan with some diced tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste, some jerk sauce and sliced onions and peppers. Serve over rice, or use it to fill a hearty, crusty roll for a spectacular sandwich.

Indian curry – Indian curry boasts one of my all-time favorite ingredients – Turmeric – which has been shown to be quite effective in relieving the pain of arthritis. Indian curry is wonderful with meats or meat substitutes and can also take a sometimes boring grain like rice and make it a rock star on your plate. For a quick meal, I cook a package of rice noodles and mix them with a bag of frozen snap peas and a jar of Indian curry sauce. Three ingredients and an explosion of flavors!

Well, there you go…Whew…I think I need to cool down. Maybe a nice glass of ice water will do the trick? And later…definitely a mango with hot sauce. Seriously, you gotta try it!

Be nice to yourself, take care of yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!