Wellness Club — Flavorful Meals at Home
Abingdon, VA. -
Wednesday, Apr 1, 2020.
Written by: Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN, Food City Registered Dietitian
Many of us are making more meals at home these days, which can actually be a great benefit for your family’s health! Making meals at home gives you more control over the nutrition in your food and can be better for your budget. However, depending on your cooking skills, restaurant foods may be desired for convenience and flavor. How can you add more flavor to your meals without cooking all day? Try these tips to keep your meals healthy and satisfying while keeping taste a top priority.
1. Start with high-quality ingredients
Choosing more foods in their whole form can start your meal off right. If fresh protein options like lean meats, poultry, and fish are not available, choose frozen or canned options that have limited ingredients. After purchasing your food, handle and store your food properly to preserve flavor. Storing your food improperly by leaving it out too long or not sealing it well can destroy the quality and dampen the flavor.
2. Cook your food properly
Overcooking not only damages flavor but nutrients as well. Cooking for the right amount of time in the right way can heighten flavor, texture, and color. The right cooking method depends on what you’re preparing.
Meats: The flavor of meats are intensified when they are marinated with herbs, spices, and an acidic agent like lemon, lime, or vinegar. Browning meats by pan-searing, grilling, or broiling, adds flavor. Remember to avoid charring.
Vegetables: Grilling or roasting vegetables add crunch and smoky flavor. Rinse the vegetables and dry thoroughly, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast at 400 to 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until the colors are bright, but the texture still has a crunch. Drizzle with acidity like lemon or orange juice before serving to bring out the flavor even more.
3. Top with flare
Add a burst of flavor and spice with condiments like Dijon mustard, horseradish, wasabi, salsas or caramelized fruits. Top with fresh or dried herbs for bright flavor and a pop of color. These ingredients not only improve taste but can also add nutrients.