Byline: Heather Pierce
You already know vegetables are good for you.
But there’s only so many times you can massage a bowl of kale before your tummy shouts “BO-RING!”
Our mouths (and digestive systems) want to be entertained.
And if we don’t get that entertainment in our meals, we’ll look for it in half a box of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Yikes.
The best way to bring delight to every health meal? Throw a party for all of your senses.
Yes, how beautiful your dish looks affects how much you’ll enjoy it. Having a bowl of rice or just plain greens? Grate some carrot, sprinkle some pepper flakes, or toss some thinly sliced yellow bell peppers into your meal to give it an eye-pleasing pop of color.
Well, this one’s pretty obvious. Anyone who has walked into a home draped in the aroma of sauteed onions and said “oooh, what are you making?” knows just how the smell of food with make us salivate.
Touch and Sound
The most satisfying fare plays with a variety of textures. You don’t want a dish to be all crunchy or all creamy – how boring! That’s why guacamole is more gratifying with chips than with mashed potatoes. Or a bowl of oatmeal is more exciting with the tender crunch of a few walnuts sprinkled on top.
Think about your favorite dishes – they don’t normally have one flavor. That’s why we love a little sea salt on our dark chocolate. Or a kick of spice in a creamy soup.
And superfood leafy greens like kale or Swiss chard? They tend to be a little bitter. How can we sass them up?
Let’s add some sweetness with caramelized shallots or dried fruit like raisins or cherries.
…and some saltiness with, well, salt. Or tamari soy sauce.
…or a hint of sour flavor with vinegar or lemon juice.
…and to add more depth, the pungent flavor of garlic or ginger.
Then, to pack a punch we’ll add some lemon zest for a pop of color and some toasted nuts for an interesting crunch.
Just a few simple ingredients and you’ve instantly elevated a food from a healthy-but-obligatory side dish to “can we please have this every day this week?!”
Try it yourself!
Or try you own twist!
Heather is the healthy cooking YouTube show host and creator of the Go Feed Yourself Method: a 5-step online course for creating fast meals that keep you focused. For more ideas, check out Heather’s free virtual cooking lesson or check out more of her recipe formulas and healthy cooking tricks at heatherpierceinc.com. Enjoy!