Healthy Food Doesn’t Have to be Bland or Boring
By far one of the things as a chef that drives me crazy are recipes created by nutritionists and dietitians that claim their kitchen creation is both healthy and tastes great. No it doesn’t. It usually tastes like cardboard because they just don’t understand how food should be seasoned, how different ingredients work together and sometimes even basic cooking times for meats or seafood.
Athletes are always looking ideas on better healthy eating habits by consuming more clean foods for a number of different reasons. These reasons could be for weight loss, increasing their performance for the next season or maybe just overall health and well-being. However, far to often, athletes will walk away from these The fact of the matter is that most people, including athletes, will not stick with eating healthy if it does not taste good.
Here are my tips to help you make your healthy meals taste great!
Don’t be afraid of salt
One of the biggest perks to creating healthy meals and recipes for athletes is that we don’t need to be afraid of salt if we are relatively healthy. We take salt tablets when training and racing so let’s not make under-seasoned and bland food for no real reason at all. I recommend using Kosher salt for everything. It adds flavor without adding that dreaded “salt” taste that table salt will give you.
Disclaimer: If you do have a heart condition or other serious health ailments, you should follow your doctor’s advice on sodium intake.
Layer the seasonings
I believe that this is one of those things that most people don’t quite understand. Food is usually cooked in steps like sautéing the onions, then sautéing the meat, followed with maybe adding some sort of liquid like stock or tomatoes. You need to lightly season each layer. What this does is it builds a deeper flavor profile than if you dump in all the seasonings at the end. This is really important when you are cutting fats from a recipe. A well-seasoned recipe can trump any amount of fat.
Acids from fruit like lemon juice or vinegars tend to add a bright, fresh flavor to foods without adding any fat or calories. Try marinating poultry with citric juice like my lemon, dijon and rosemary grilled chicken and using vinegars as a finishing touch in stews. You don’t need to use a whole bunch of acid in your dish, just a splash or two for that little extra touch of flavor.
Talk about one of those huge bang for your buck cooking tips. Fresh herbs have an amazing amount of flavor to them when they are freshly chopped. Think about them as the chef’s finishing salt or the final layer in your seasoning process. One of my favorite things is to ddd fresh basil when serving a pasta dish or fresh thyme in sautéed brandy mushrooms for even more flavor.
If you stick to these simple tips, you can easily have a healthy and fantastic tasting dinner on your table tonight!