Fresh Start Bariatric Cookbook: Healthy Recipes to Enjoy Favorite Foods After Weight-Loss Surgery

Seasoning Recipes

No need to worry about buying special seasoning mixes for cooking when you can easily make a batch of your own with items already in your pantry. Some seasoning mixes contain added sugars, artificial colorings, fillers, and high amounts of sodium. By making your own using dried herbs without additives, you will have a clean product, and the taste is incredible when freshly mixed together compared to using something that’s been sitting on the store shelf for months. Even better, you can make these and keep them in an airtight container in your pantry for up to three months. Now that’s easy access. All of these seasonings are 100 percent free of calories, fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and sodium!

Ranch Seasoning

MAKES ¼ CUP / PREP: 5 MINUTES / TOTAL: 5 MINUTES

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1½ teaspoons dried dill

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a container with an airtight lid, combine the parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, and pepper. Put the lid on, give the container a few shakes, and store it in your pantry until ready to use.

Serving tip: Add creamy ranch flavor to any dish with this seasoning. Sprinkle it over chicken breast or mix it into low-fat cottage cheese or tuna or chicken salad.

Taco Seasoning

MAKES ABOUT 2½ TABLESPOONS / PREP: 5 MINUTES / TOTAL: 5 MINUTES

¾ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¾ teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground paprika

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

In a container with an airtight lid, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Put the lid on, give the container a few shakes, and store it in your pantry until ready to use.

Post-op tip: Use this in all your favorite Tex-Mex dishes. Add some variety to your cottage cheese in the pureed diet by mixing in a dash of this seasoning.

Cajun Seasoning

MAKES 3½ TABLESPOONS / PREP: 5 MINUTES / TOTAL: 5 MINUTES

1½ tablespoons ground paprika

1½ teaspoons onion powder

1½ teaspoons garlic powder

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried oregano

In a container with an airtight lid, combine the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, thyme, and oregano. Put the lid on, give the container a few shakes, and store it in your pantry until ready to use.

Serving tip: Use this Cajun seasoning as a coating for chicken or fish. Just sprinkle some on before you bake or panfry. You won’t miss the breading, and you won’t miss the extra fat or calories.

Chili Powder

MAKES 5 TABLESPOONS / PREP: 5 MINUTES / TOTAL: 5 MINUTES

2½ tablespoons ground paprika

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1½ teaspoons garlic powder

1½ teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

In a container with an airtight lid, combine the paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, cloves, and allspice. Put the lid on, give the container a few shakes, and store it in your pantry until ready to use.

Serving tip: Besides flavoring the traditional pot-o-chili, this chili powder can be used to season eggs or ground meat for a change of pace and delicious flavor. Add more cayenne pepper to this recipe if you like the taste extra spicy.