New “Ground 2 Table” Revs Up Classic Herbs, Spices
The enticing salad (wild sardines, mixed greens, pomegranates, pistachios, blackberries, diced pear and a sliver of Humboldt Fog cheese) pictured here drew oohs and ahs from food writers, but the mastermind behind its taste turns out to be Ground 2 Table herbs. The springy garden taste of fresh cilantro, dill, marjoram and thyme was enough on its own. Added to that in the spice packet mix that went into the dressing was dehydrated, organic turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, onion and lemon peel. The essence of these exhilarating flavors lingers on afterward, in what I can only describe as the same feeling you have after you eat sushi: clean and content.
Ground 2 Table, Buy Small | Use It All™ , billed as a “perfectly portioned Gourmet Flavor Kit” and designed to prepare one pound of protein on the stove,” arrives in a 4-ounce plastic package similar to single portion herbs in the produce section. A fresh herb mixture (you strip the leaves off) and a powder packet of spices designed for use as a rub is included in each one. In order to taste the actual raw flavors, instead of a packet as a rub for cooking fish, I simply put the powder into a salad dressing of grape seed oil and rice vinegar. Result: wow.
Education is another feature that I love about the Ground 2 Table. Like too many home cooks, I tend to use the same, familiar herbs over and over, with no excuse as a food privileged to experience many international cuisines. This includes Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian. So I’ve had zingy lemongrass and exotic turmeric – but never tasted as directly as in this mixture.
The Gourmet Flavor Kit provides a complete set of instructions on the back of the box and a clear recipe created by professional chefs. Twelve organic Spice Blends are currently offered for about $6 a packet. The idea of the item with the Buy Small | Use It All™ motto, is providing cooks with the exact amount of Organic fresh herbs and spice blend, designed specifically to enhance the flavor profile of the star protein. In addition to fish, there are packets for beef steak or burger and chicken. The recipe may call for a couple of additional simple ingredients, such as olive oil and lemon slices in the fish recipe.
Ground 2 Table believes that to inspire healthy eating, “you should have complete control over what goes into your food.” The organic, blended spices are salt-free, sugar-free, and have no GMOs.
I add to that that if you eat a dish with balanced flavor, you will be satisfied longer and with far less and eat better. I remember Chef Sal Marino feeding me a small portion of a new dish mid-afternoon at Il Grano, and hours later, I did not want to change that mouth feel by spoiling it with dinner. So I’ve experienced how your body learns to recognize and love natural products instead of processed foods containing salt and sugar, which usually result in a craving for more salt and sugar a short time after eating.
Ground 2 Table is on a mission to give back to the causes its organic blends stand for, and donates to a variety of charities from organic farming to health education and waste reduction. In their mission statement: “we want our products to represent not just good eating, but good being.”
Here are a few ideas on how to put a delicious Ground 2 Table twist on a few traditional holiday favorites:
Spice Blend 7 (Poultry): Make turkey, and stuffing or meatball dishes with cranberry dipping sauce unique with the pre-mix and portioned blend of sage, marjoram and rosemary in Spice Blend 7
Spice Blend 10 (Seafood): Perk up traditional appetizers with notes of basil, oregano and rosemary in a crabmeat deviled egg dish and whole poached salmon
Spice Blend 12 (Cinnamon & Spice): Create the easiest cinnamon apple cake, apple cider cocktail or pumpkin pie with Spice Blend 12 with flavor notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove to satisfy your sweet tooth – in a healthy way.
Ground 2 Table’s recipes and products are available for purchase online and in select grocers throughout the country. Pairing it with a useful kitchen tool makes a practical and unusual host gift all year round. For more details, recipe videos and images, please see: (www.ground2table.com)