I have been on a low-carb diet for the past many weeks. One of the most important aspects of the diet is finding flavor and texture in ingredients that are low-carb. I have prepared fried fish using spices instead of breading. I have found new toppings and new spices that replace the flavor and texture of many higher-carb ingredients.
Spice blends are the key. There are plenty on the market, but making them yourself has cost and flavor benefits. Homemade spice blends generally cost a fraction of the cost of prepared ones. Some of the commercially-made ones have sugar, which is a no-no on the diet. Most importantly, this spice blend allows you to adjust the proportions of the ingredients to suit your own diet and you own taste. You can adjust or omit the cayenne pepper if you prefer a milder spice blend and you can omit or reduce the salt if you are careful about your salt intake.
This cajun blackening spice blend has a myriad of uses. You can use it as a breading for fried fish (Blackened Atkins Low-Carb Tilapia Fillets), as a spice rub for roasted meat or chicken and as a flavoring for your crockpot stews. You can sprinkle it on salmon (Low-Carb Cajun Salmon Fillets in Foil Packets) or tofu before pan-frying or grilling. It will transform your cooking!
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4-6 tablespoons smoked paprika and/or paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit or decrease if you prefer a milder flavor)
2 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon onion powder or flakes
2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon ground black pepper (I prefer coarse ground)
1 teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
2 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
1 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
1 teaspoon thyme (optional)
1 teaspoon oregano (optional)
Add the spices to a spice container with large holes on top. Shake to combine. Store in a cool place for up to six months.
Play with the proportions to suit your own taste.
Use interesting salts instead of or in addition to kosher salt for a flavor variation. You can find smoked salt and salt in different colors and flavors. I used Himilayan pink salt for the cajun blackening spice pictured here. Larger granules of salt can pack your palate with a heavy salty bite, so use sparingly.
Set up a clean piece of paper or a flattened coffee filter as a mat underneath the area where you will be combining the spices. Any spices that miss the spice jar and spill onto the “mat” can then be reinserted into the jar by folding the paper or coffee filter into a cone shape.
Using glue stick, I adhered a custom label to an empty spice jar. If you would like to print your own out and make your blackening spice mix look simpletowow official, feel free print out this cajun blackening spice blend label. The paper label also allows you to jot down the date when you prepared the mix so that you can keep your spices fresh and organized.
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