When many people start eating (or considering) a real food diet, they aren’t quite sure how to make their foods taste great without creamy or heavy sauces.  Sauces are a quick way to pack on the calories and often aren’t made with real food.  Exploring different spice options is a great way to add zest to your food without having to sacrifice flavor or calories.  A few months ago, I published this list of some of my favorite spices and how to use them in your dishes.  Recently, RawSpiceBar contacted me about trying their monthly subscription service.  I was super excited about trying some different spices.

The March spices were from Tehran, Iran in celebration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.  Not knowing much about the Persian culture, I was intrigued and wanted to know more.  I learned that Nowruz begins at the exact moment of the vernal equinox, when the sun crosses the equator and winter ends.  That seems a lot like American’s counting down to midnight to begin the New Year.  Some of the traditional dishes served for Nowruz include saffron rice packed with herbs, advieh and rosewater lamb shanks and savory yogurt with mint, dill and rose petals.

Since we’ve recently eliminated meat from our diets, I decided to try the Advieh Khoresht on tofu.  Tofu is pretty tasteless on it’s own but readily absorbs whatever seasoning is used.  This spice blend makes tofu taste great!  All I did was sprinkle the seasoning on tofu slices and let it sit for about 30 minutes to allow the tofu to absorb the flavor of the spices.  Then I baked it for about 40 minutes.  I can tell you that we’ve never had any seasonings like this and loved it!

RawSpiceBar really made it fun to learn about Iran and Nowruz and experience a new and exoctic taste.  With the monthly subscription price of only $6, it’s a great value for these unique spices.  Not only do you get the spices, but native recipes and cooking tips.   I can’t wait to find out where our tastebuds will journey to next month.  Maybe I’ll even get more adventurous and try creating my own unique dish!

Do you have a favorite spice blend that is unique to a specific part of the world?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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