Healthy and Fast Seasoning

Dear Miranda,

I am trying to be conscious of my sugar consumption and I have realized that almost everything in my cupboard has sugar. I work 50+ hours a week and I don’t have much time for gourmet cooking so I often open a bottle of sauce and pour it on some chicken or fish to give it flavour. Now that I am cutting down on sugar I am left with bland and tasteless food. I’m wondering how I can season my food in a healthy way without it taking too much time?


Dear Nader,

You are wise to look at the sugar content of the foods you are consuming. The average bottle of prepared sauce contains 11 grams of sugar per two tablespoons, but I’m going to assume you are using four tablespoons, as most do. This totals a whopping 22 grams of sugar, which is same amount that’s in a whole Kit Kat chocolate bar.

Consuming refined sugar dramatically affects your blood sugar, which often makes you crave more processed foods. Eating these foods makes you agitated, tired and lack concentration, which is a recipe for an unproductive day. Not only do most prepared sauces contain sugar, but also additives, colors and artificial flavors which contribute to poor health.

This totally defeats the purpose of your original intention of reaching for convenient, bottled sauces because you are trying to maximize your time, right? Reaching for real, whole foods will give you more energy and allow you to accomplish way more in your day.

Flavouring food can be done without a lot of advanced prep or hours spent in the kitchen. You just have to have basic knowledge of what goes with what.

Here are some ideas for dressings, sauces and spices…


Create your own salad dressing with 3:1 Ratio or flavor it to your palate

Unrefined Oil




apple cider vinegar





cold pressed flax

umeboshi plum






red Wine



Herbs: basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, dill, mint, ginger, chives, onion
Seasoning:  unrefined sea salt, Bragg liquid soy seasoning, low-sodium soy sauce, light miso
To add creamy texture:  tofu, raw nut/seed butters (almond, peanut, cashew, sunflower)
Specialty Dressings/Sauces

Avocado Salad Dressing

1 Avocado
½ lemon
½ cup water
½ tsp dill
¼ tsp sea salt

Blend in food processor until smooth

Cider Salad Dressing

2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup herb of choice (dill, cilantro, mint, chives, parsley, basil)

Blend in food processor until smooth

B.B.Q Sauce

1 sweet onion
1 tsp Bragg liquid soy seasoning
1 tsp water
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp organic cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
pinch sea salt and pepper
hot sauce or chili flakes (optional)

Blend in food processor until smooth. Use as a marinade or sauce.

20-minute Tomato Sauce (use for anything)

Fresh or canned tomatoes
1 onion
2 garlic cloves minced
2 celery stalks
3 carrots
fresh parsley
fresh basil
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch sea salt & pepper

Thai Peanut Sauce

2 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tbsp lite coconut milk
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp Bragg liquid soy seasoning
1 tsp raw honey
2 cloves garlic

Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth

Healthy Mayo Substitute

(for salmon, tuna, egg salad)
¼ avocado
½ tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil

Healthy Sour Cream Substitute

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp light miso paste
¼ tsp mustard
½ pound soft tofu

– Add all ingredients to a food processor except for tofu and blend

– Add in tofu slowly to achieve creamy texture

To add natural flavor to any dish start with:

-minced garlic
-minced ginger
-chopped onion
-low sodium , preservative-free soup stock

To thicken sauces instead of white flour try:

-1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder
-1/2 tbsp rice or potato flour

Simple Seasoning with Herbs & Spices

Italian: oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, olive oil 
Chinese: ginger, Bragg liquid soy seasoning, scallions, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds 
Indian: curry, coriander, turmeric, cumin, cardomom 
Mexican: cilantro, cayenne, cumin, garlic, chilies, salsa 
French: rosemary, mustard, dill, tarragon, thyme