There’s one big trade-off I used to make when cooking meals in a hurry, and that was oftentimes I would sacrifice taste for convenience.
This was particularly an issue when I first got into healthy eating. I was “hardcore” in my motivation to get fit, so I would force down dry and bland chicken breasts, raw broccoli, and plain rice all in order to reach my fitness goals. I had the attitude that if it tastes good, it can’t be good for me.
Since then, I have not only discovered a simple trick that makes the most boring meals taste amazing, but it actually enhances the nutrition content for additional health benefits. (Hint: It’s not just adding a few dried spices)
My favorite method of kicking up the taste and health of foods is to make a few special homemade sauces that I can prepare in bulk and keep in my refrigerator. I usually just blend the ingredients in a mini-blender, but some can be made in a mixing bowl.
There are literally endless options here based on your unique tastes and the type of dish, but I’ve found a few “goto” sauces that work with a lot of meals. Here are just a couple of my favorites:
- Guacamole: I take a healthier organic salsa bought from the store (note: salsa is a pretty good condiment all by itself for those who don’t want to make anything), and blend it with fresh avocado in a mini-blender. I may also throw in one clove of fresh garlic to kick up the taste.
- Salsa: Although finding healthier store bought varieties of salsa isn’t terribly difficult, making your own is a simple option as well. Combine tomatoes (optionally cooked), onions, peppers, cayenne, chiles, and lime juice. Cilantro is a great addition for its powerful detoxification effects and the flavor.
- Onion Cream: I like using coconut milk (the kind found in a can) for this recipe to get in the healthy fats from coconut. Blend 8oz of canned unsweetened coconut milk (or Greek yogurt) with 1 large onion. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon of pepper. May add other spices to taste.
- Curry Sauce: Blend one can of unsweetened coconut milk with 2 tablespoons of curry powder. May optionally add 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper for a spicier curry. I usually add this to recipes before cooking.
- Pumpkin Sauce: Combine 8oz of pumpkin, ½ cup almond milk, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and 1 tablespoon honey.
While not strictly health, you can visit yummly.com to find a variety of recipes, and simply utilize some of the safe substitutions to enhance the health factor of the recipes you find.