Welcome to week 3 of National Nutrition Month with the theme "Eat Right Bite By Bite." This week we are focusing on practicing new skills to create tasty meals. The six tips below can help take you out of the the meal planning rut and introduce you to a whole new world of flavor.
1. Try new gadgets to change up textures to a favorite recipe.
Why not try veggie noodles with a spiralizer: try zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips...any hardy vegetable. These are fun ways to have "noodles" and kids love the curliness. A great way to get veggies in in a fun way.
Try an instant pot, if you don't have one, borrow one from a friend. They are a lot of fun and cook up AMAZING recipes.
A dependable blender can be a great workhorse: smoothies, juices, pureed soups, blending spices and herbs, making sauces.
Get out your cheese grater and put it to good use. You can grate any veggie and add them to just about anything to get more veggies into your diet. Try grating carrots for salads or ground beef(hamburgers, tacos, spaghetti, etc), cucumber for smoothies, dips like a greek yogurt sauce, cauliflower to add to pizza crusts, mashed potatoes, substitute for rice. These are just a few ideas... experiment, you would be amazed with what you discover.
2. Cook a favorite recipe a new way... maybe roast or grill the ingredients in the recipe to bring out the foods natural sugars or deepen the flavors of the ingredient. Veggies love each of these cooking methods and its a nice change from the ol' nuking or boiling standby.
3. Try adding new ingredients to an old recipe to spice things up. Use that creativity to add a new herb or spice or even a new sauce to something you tend to make often. Adding a simple pesto herb sauce can do wonders for brightening up a weekly baked chicken dish. Add some Indian curry to a favorite pasta or rice dish for some international flavor.
4. Find a local cooking class to maybe learn some new techniques or ideas for meals. Maybe it's how to use a new gadget or a new roasting technique. Local classes can help you find new ideas for old methods and completely change your perspective.
5. Get together with friends for a "make and share" dinner party. You can learn new recipes, cooking methods and just have fun with some close friends and getting new ideas while you're at it.
6. Make a recipe from Pinterest or a cookbook, your own. Add different ingredients, cook it a different way, add different spices, herbs or flavorings you enjoy. It's all about being creative and having fun.
Healthy food doesn't have to be boring. There are a trillion ways to make food tasty and loved by your whole family. Take some time out each week to play around with a new food or recipe, and who knows, you may find a weekly favorite in there somewhere. Learning a new skill doesn't have to be scary, just take it one step at a time, don't try too many new techniques at once, find what works and what doesn't for you, and enjoy what you have created. Until next time...
In Good Health,