Imagine a world with no spices. What would food taste like with no salt? No cinnamon for cookies or cakes or coffee. What would Indian food be with no cumin? Or Italian food without basil, thyme and oregano? Throughout history, the spice trade has established vast empires and compelled explorers to travel across the globe. Today, countless beauty products and holistic medicines contain spices.
Needless to say, food and life in general would be pretty bland without spices.
Enter RawSpiceBar, a company that uses high quality ingredients and careful techniques to deliver a unique trio of global spices straight to your door each month. For me personally, trying RawSpiceBar allowed me to get out of my spice rut and think outside the box. I tend to stick with the same handful of spices for all of my cooking and baking. But this reminded me that spices are vibrant, full of personality and can motivate creativity!
oktoberfest flavor kit
I sampled the Oktoberfest flavor kit, which was kinda out of my spices “comfort zone,” but looking through past flavor kits on the RawSpiceBar website, all of their spices are of out of my comfort zone! I like that, though. Every one of their spice blends is interesting, and the names alone are enough to kick your sensory organs into high gear…
Rose & Cinnamon Advieh, Mango Toasted Chaat, Pimento Bloody Mary, Dark Coffee & Chiles, Achiote Recado Rojo, Turmeric Japanese Curry and more!
As a gluten free vegan (I know, I know) I’m able to take any of these flavor kits and make something unique and delicious in line with my food lifestyle. With the Oktoberfest flavor kit, I knew I was in for some savory German-inspired dishes!
Here are three easy recipes for your culinary enjoyment: one from RawSpiceBar, one I adapted from another food blogger and one of my own creation – all using my flavor kit containing three different spice blends. Guten Appetit!
Horseradish & mustard cabbage
My flavor kit came with a recipe to accompany each spice blend. I was really excited to try this one because I love cabbage more than your average person and even though the recipe wasn’t vegan, I could tell it was going to be super easy to modify. I’m also a pretty big fan of both horseradish and mustard and the combo of the two. I recommend this as a side dish to the main course.
- 1 packet RawSpiceBar’s Horseradish & Mustard Seeds
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cabbage, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- Heat a large pan over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add vegetable oil (I used extra virgin olive oil) and make sure it’s shimmering, then sprinkle RawSpiceBar’s Horseradish & Mustard Seeds across the surface and cover immediately, cook until seeds stop popping, about 1 minute.
- Remove the cover, turn heat to medium and add diced cabbage and onion. Add vegan butter and salt and toss to combine, stirring until vegetables begin to wilt, about 4-5 minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium-low and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the cabbage is tender. Remove from heat.
- Serve hot or at room temperature. Store extra in a sealed container in fridge.
Notes: I hope you like cabbage as much as I do, because you will have a ton it! I halved this recipe and even that was a lot.
This dish was so much more flavorful and rich than I expected, and even tastes good cold. Promise!
This recipe makes me very happy for two reasons. One, it reminds me of making latkes with my family every year for Hanukkah. And two, I love potatoes to the point where I feel an intervention might be necessary. Really.
I modified this recipe from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken to suit my own tastes as well as to be gluten free. It can be a main or side dish, breakfast, a snack – whatever you like!
- 1 tsp RawSpiceBar’s Schnitzel Spices
- 3 russet potatoes, peeled and grated
- 1/2 an onion, grated
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tsp salt
- frying oil
- Add all ingredients except the oil to a large bowl and mix well.
- Pour 1 tbsp oil to large skillet on medium heat. Take a handful of potato mixture and form into a patty. Fry for a couple minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Drain patties on a paper towel. Store extras in airtight container in fridge.
Notes: Makes about 12-15 pancakes. These babies taste great served with applesauce or sour cream. I make my own sauce by mixing vegan mayo with some lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Sounds weird but it’s delicious!
The schnitzel spices add the perfect amount of kick to what would otherwise be very basic potatoes. And who needs basic when you have RawSpiceBar?
Sausage & Potatoes
I may have saved the best for last, and I’m not saying that because it’s the recipe I created! This was my favorite spice combo and it went perfectly with the kielbasa sausage, smoky potatoes and crispy onions. This recipe could be the main or side dish. It’s hearty and flavorful and super easy to whip up.
- 1-2 tsp RawSpiceBar’s Caraway, Fennel & Anise Bread
- 5 small red potatoes, cubed
- 2 thin slices of yellow onion
- 2 links of Tofurky Kielbasa Sausage, sliced into small rounds
- extra virgin olive oil
- optional: garlic powder
- Heat oil in a skillet on medium low. Saute the potatoes until fork tender, about 15 minutes or so.
- Cut the onion slices in half and add to skillet. One they begin to brown add the sausage, spices, salt and a little garlic powder. Cook another 5-10 minutes to let everything heat up together, adding water if the mixture gets dry.
Notes: This dish is delicious on its own, thanks to the spices, but you can also serve it with your favorite sauce. The caraway, fennel and anise flavors really stand out but aren’t overwhelming and everything just tastes perfecto. Store leftovers in the fridge.
The cool thing is, if you sign up for a 12 month subscription, it’s only $7 a month. I easily spend twice that on one visit to Starbucks (shaking my head in despair). And each flavor kit contains enough spices for recipes that feed up to twelve people. But the best part, from my point of view, is that each flavor kit will challenge your creativity and culinary skills in a fun way, and bring you spices from all over the world that you otherwise may never have tried.
Head to RawSpiceBar.com to learn more. You can view the different subscription options or send a flavor kit as a gift to someone. And there’s tons of great recipes to sift through.
Thanks to RawSpiceBar for letting me try their amazing flavor kit! I see more in my future ?