On Weeds tonight (Episode 10, Season 8), as Nancy leaves the Shabbat dinner table to go pour some more wine, very prominently located in the door of the refrigerator is a big bottle of Sriracha, label turned away from the camera though…

Best hot sauce ever

Best hot sauce ever

There was a time (several years ago) when I thought I was one of the few people who knew about the deliciously spicy chili sauce sriracha. But, lately, I’m thinking it’s becoming decidedly mainstream, at least among the food cognoscenti (and deservedly so).

In fact just a couple of weeks ago it was the focus of an article in the New York Times, and yesterday on Mark Bittman’s blog, Bitten. I’m sure if Martha Steward hasn’t featured it on her show yet, its just a matter of time and I fully expect it to become one of Oprah’s favorite things.

Sriracha has roughly 141,375 fans on Facebook, while mayonnaise has 3,843 fans and mustard has a paltry 3,034 fans. Not sure what this means (market research people?) but, clearly Sriracha has a big following!

I am also a fan of the chili garlic sauce Huy Fong Foods makes, it definitely deliver more in terms of texture and if you are a garlic fan like me (which has a decent

Sriracha's More Complex Brother

Sriracha's More Complex Brother

Facebook following as well) this might be your sauce of choice. But, the squeeze bottle IS super convenient…

In terms of nutrition, both sauces are low calorie. One teaspoon has roughly 5 calories and 100 milligrams of sodium. Even if you are a die hard hot sauce fanatic, you probably would not end up using much more than a teaspoon per serving.

I’ve also mentioned before the potential health benefits of capsaicin (see Huevos Portobellos), which is the active ingredient in chili peppers, and may promote increased metabolism (i.e. weight loss). The jury is not out on whether this effect actually exists or is large enough to produce results, but, I do think there is also something to the fact that when you use something so spicy, you may end up eating less on account of the numbing sensation that occurs.

In any event, Sriracha is a tasty, low calorie condiment, and I personally use it at least one meal per day. I can’t drink soup without it anymore, and it defintely wins hands down over Tabasco (a former favorite).

Have you ever tried Sriracha? If so, what’s your favorite way to use it?

Make your own spicy condiment with Sriracha

Make your own spicy condiment with Sriracha

This article in the Washington Post does a very comprehensive job of comparing condiments in terms of their health and nutrition benefits.

I am a mustard person myself, but, every so often I will make a spicy mayo using sriracha sauce. It makes a great addition to anything from the grill, from burgers to veggies. If you choose to go with a light mayo, using the hot sauce is a good way to “mask” that light flavor.

I would also add salsa to the list of condiments, though I guess technically it is a sauce. At about 4 calories per tablespoon and less sodium than ketchup (96 milligrams per tablespoon) it’s a very good choice. Plus salsa has lots of lycopene as well.

Made from soy without dairy, cholesterol, eggs, wheat, gluten, or sugar

Made from soy without dairy, cholesterol, eggs, wheat, gluten, or sugar

There’s also a product called Miso Mayo which is more comparable to mayo in terms of nutrition, but, suitable for vegans. It has 90 calories per tablespoon, 9 grams of fat and 100 milligramas of sodium. I mention it because it is VERY tasty, and is made from soy without dairy, cholesterol, eggs, wheat, gluten, or sugar, which can be beneficial if you are on a special diet or have certain allergies.

What’s your favorite condiment or dipping sauce?

Less than 200 calories and delicious

Less than 200 calories and delicious

Okay, there is really nothing Mexican about this particular dish, but, it does have an egg, thus, “Huevos” does apply. Basically, this is one of my favorite breakfasts when I have the time to make it (takes about 20 minutes altogether). It’s extremely satisfying, and weighing in at less than 200 calories, its a good option if you are watching your weight or if you are just looking for a light meal.

Besides being well balanced in carbs, protein and fat, it’s also a good source of potassium (from the mushrooms), choline (from the eggs) and lutein (from the eggs and carrots). I throw some sriracha on top because I like the spicy kick, and as I’ve mentioned before capsaicin might promote fat loss (see “Cabbage Rules”).

Here’s how you can try it:


1/2 cup sliced onion

6 oz package portobello mushrooms (sliced)

1 carrot (thinly sliced on the diagonal)

1 egg

Non stick cooking spray

Hot sauce (optional)


  1. Spray a medium-sized pan with non-stick cooking spray, heat on med high and saute the onions and carrots for a few minutes, until the onions are softened.
  2. Add the mushrooms, toss everything a few times to make sure all the vegetables are coated. Lower the heat to medium, and cover the pan to help the mushrooms cook faster (optional). I might add a tablespoon of a sesame ginger dressing (or lite soy sauce) at this point if I have one on hand to add a little liquid.
  3. Once it cooks do (mushrooms are about half of their original size), transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  4. Use a new pan to make the egg, or if you have a sink full of dirty dishes, you can use the same one. You’ll probably need to apply some fresh cooking spray. Prepare the egg however you like, I like mine over easy (and a little runny).
  5. Place the egg on top of the veggies, add your hot sauce of choice, and dig in!
Winter's Healthy Comfort Food

Winter's Healthy Comfort Food

Winter makes us want to indulge in comfort foods, but, the traditional favorites, like mac n’ cheese and shepherd’s pie, are generally high in fat and calories, and don’t necessarily help one stay Fashionably Healthy.

Lately, I have become obsessed with an old standby, cabbage. From the dieter’s perspective, 1 cup of cooked cabbage weighs in at a meager 34 calories! Now, if you are feeling particularly hungry, you can definitely indulge in a few cups of cabbage, completely guilt free and feel satisfied for quite awhile.

From a health perspective, it’s got LOTS of nutrients. Calcium (the kind you can actually absorb from vegetables), potassium, vitamin K,  vitamin C, fiber, the B vitamins and choline. You can get more in-depth nutrition information on the USDA’s Nutrient Data Laboratory website, which is where I get most of my nutrient data. Back in December, The New York Times featured this lovely vegetable, and there are lots of different recipes from which to choose.

I use this simple preparation:

  1. Shred up 1 whole head of cabbage (you can add in an onion for additional flavor),
  2. Saute at a medium high heat in 1 – 2 tablespoons of canola oil until the cabbage becomes very wilted. It’s best to keep rotating the cabbage by using tongs and bringing the more cooked cabbage to the top. This can take about 20 minutes or so, depending on how well cooked you like it.
  3. I usually add a teaspoon of sesame oil and a teaspoon of low sodium soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes I will throw on some sriracha sauce for a spicy kick.

And it’s worth mentioning that capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot sauce, has been discussed as a possible weight loss aid, so this dish not only tastes good, but, has the potential to curb your appetite on several levels, so enjoy!