When people think of healthy foods, they immediately picture bland vegetable salads. But guess what, there are plenty of ways to partake in meals that spare your waistline while tasting delicious on your fork. If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle by watching what you put in your mouth and still get the pleasure of indulging in delicious meals, we have got you. Here are a few tips to transform healthy meals from bland to breath-taking masterpieces that you will enjoy helping yourself to any time:
Step up your vegetable game
When thinking of delicious flavourful foods, super-healthy vegetables like celery and beetroots are usually not the first thing that comes to mind- at least for most people. The notion that healthy foods are unexceptional changes when you know how to prepare vegetables well enough. You will not only take advantage of their nutritious makeup but also have a pleasant time eating them. Purchase seasonal vegetables as they are easier to acquire. Alternatively, you could go to the frozen aisle for equally nutritious vegetables and can season your vegetables well.
You can use garlic, onions, or soy sauce to complement the flavour of the vegetables. Add some nuts, seeds or parmesan cheese to add an explosion of flavour to your vegetables. To concentrate the flavour, toss your veggies with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and salt. Afterwards, roast them until tender. You could also mix up different vegetables together. It makes for a more visually appealing meal with all the colours.
For the vegetables that repulse you with their strong taste like broccoli, a good way to go about is blanching them in boiling salted water then stir-frying in some oil. Some people rather eat their vegetables raw. Massaging vegetables, especially those that have a strong flavour, soften the texture. It also removes a bit of the raw taste. Also, you could add some contrast by sweetening your vegetables. Dice an apple, orange or throw in a few golden raisins to your green salads.
Marinate your chicken and fish
For most proteins, marinating them before cooking boosts the flavours significantly. Not only that, it helps to keep the proteins moist and tender. For the marinade, add some acidic elements like citrus juice, natural yoghurt or vinegar to tenderize them. Make rubs from the different spices that you have in your kitchen. If, however, you do not trust your instincts with making the rubs from scratch, you could get a premade one from your local store.
Apply the rub on your fish or chicken, then put it in the fridge to allow the rub or marinade to penetrate better. Some people tend to avoid fish and poultry because they can be dry. Counter that by poaching them in a flavourful liquid to achieve a moist and delicious result. The flavourful liquid could be anything from vegetable stock, mushroom, chicken or fish stock. Throw in some lemons, onions, herbs or garlic for a richer flavour.
Spice up your tea
Tea is a powerhouse in the health department. Generations of people across the globe have taken various kinds of teas for thousands of centuries. It helps boost immunity, wades off different diseases, helps with mood, fights inflammation, among a host of benefits. That said, tea, especially the green team can sometimes have a strong herbal taste or generally taste bland. Spicing up your tea gives it a kick and makes it more exciting. In fact, spice and tea go well together. You can get the benefits from your teas while enjoying every single sip you take.
Add a little something to your fruits
For fruits, it helps to buy them in season or get frozen fruits from your local store. Sprinkle them with spices like clove, cinnamon or nutmeg. To get a kick, add a few drops of vinegar.
You could also throw your fruits in a blender and add in your protein shakes. You will get the beautiful fruit’s flavour and texture to go with your shakes. Make fruit salads by slicing up and mixing different fruits in a bowl. You will appreciate more than the visual appeal. The flavours will play off each other beautifully, and you won’t want to put the bowl down. For your snack or dessert, cut fruit and dip the piece in some maple syrup-sweetened yoghurt.
Say no to basic whole grains
Start by sautéing them over medium heat. Sprinkle a little oil. Generally, a majority of whole grains tend to have a nutty flavour. Sauteing them brings out this great taste. Always season your grains with spices and herbs. There is a wide array of spices to pick from, like cumin, cinnamon, curry powder, ginger etc. Use any that tickles your fancy.
To add more colour to your meal, add some vegetables like onion, garlic, broccoli, diced pepper, chopped tomatoes or herbs like thyme, oregano or parsley. They will transform the taste, and you will get to boost your daily vegetable intake. For more flavour, ditch water and opt for a flavourful stock to cook your grains.
Dress up your salads
If you are keen on living a healthy lifestyle, the chances are that you tend to indulge in salad often or on some occasions. Dousing the salads with ranch dressing or any high-fat topping may sound great, but it is not the healthiest route to take.
However, that should not sentence you to a life of plain boring vegetable salad. You can make your salad dressing. It is as simple as mixing three parts oil to two parts acid to get something to drizzle onto your salads for a much better taste. For the oils, you could use anything from olive oil, canola oil or avocado oil. For the acid part, lime juice or vinegar do the job perfectly.
When you need a little kick, add some vinegar
If you want something extra in your meals, vinegar is your friend. It gives a refreshing twist to an otherwise average dish. Try out the different kinds of vinegar. Balsamic vinegar helps to salvage soups that taste too salty. It balances everything out. Red wine vinegar is also particularly excellent in enhancing the flavour of braised meat.
Season your butter
If your goal is to stay healthy and cook healthy meals, you want to go easy on the butter. Seasoning your butter is a trick that will help you use it in moderation. Seasoned butter is more flavourful, and you are likely to use less of it compared to plain butter. Add thyme, lemon zest, garlic or any other spice that you prefer. All you need to do to make seasoned butter is melt plain butter in a saucepan. Then add the herbs and spices of your choice. Remove from the heat and let it sit for a moment. Strain the butter and put it in your refrigerator.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean tolerating bland and boring flavors. Use some of the ideas and find ways to transform those healthy options into delicacies!