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Sunday 04 March 2012
Quick and Easy 3-Step Process to Creating a Simple, Healthy Meal
04 Mar   by Lisa
Quick and Easy 3-Step Process to Creating a Simple, Healthy Meal

Do you find it hard to figure out what to cook every day?

Are you overwhelmed when trying to add healthy foods to your meal and satisfy your family?

Is it hard to “diet” when you cook for your family too?

It doesn’t have to be hard! Follow these 3 easy steps to create simple, healthy meals every day.

Select a theme

Making routine tasks fun is the best way to get them done. When determining what to cook, try the following…

• Pick a theme or cultural cuisine

• Ask yourself (or your family) “would you like Asian, Mexican, American, or Italian tonight”. Of course there’s many more “cuisines” you can choose from. Be creative! Or, if it is a special day of celebration, go with the theme. For instance, if it is Cinco de Mayo, you could go with a meal from Mexico. If it’s Chinese New Year, you would go with Chinese. If it is a family member’s Birthday, ask them what their favorite meal is. My son picks the same thing year after year (which makes it easy). “Shrimp scampi over angel hair pasta with Caesar’s salad and garlic bread”.

Select your protein, starch, fruit or vegetable, herbs and spices

Stocking up on a large variety of fresh vegetables and fruits will help you in this process …

• Choose items with lots of color. Different colors make the meal more interesting and healthy

• Buy lean cuts of meats and whole grains (brown rice or barley vs. white rice, whole wheat pasta vs. white).

• Stock your cupboard with lots of different herbs and spices. This is the key to making your meals taste different. (And when you have different tasting foods, your palate won’t get tired and you will eat less).

Once you have your theme, you can determine what foods and tastes match. For instance, if you choose the Asian theme, you could select chicken breast for your protein. Almost all the fresh vegetables in your refrigerator or frozen vegetables could be used, and rice (brown is best). You could use ginger, garlic, crushed red chili peppers, black pepper, a touch of tamari or soy sauce, honey and fruits. Mix and match to see what taste you like best. Just start with one spice and keep adding until you get the taste you and your family likes.

Select a cooking and presentation method

• Take into account what items you have selected so far. Visualize the end product of your meal.

• Determine if your protein food would be best for the oven (baked chicken for your American meal), the wok or poached (for your Asian meals), in a tomato or other flavored sauce (American, Asian, Mexican or Italian), boiled (shredded chicken for your tacos) or grilled (fish or seafood, chicken, beef, pork).

• Decide what would be the best way to present your meal; on a plate or served layered in a bowl. When deciding, you want to determine what will look the most appealing. The more appealing your meal, the more you will want to savor every bite!

• Don’t forget to garnish. Use items such as lemon or lime wedges, chopped cilantro and onion or parsley and parmesan cheese. The sky is the limit here. Keep in mind your theme and cuisine.

That’s it! That’s all you have to do to create a simple, healthy meal that you and your family will love! When you add layers of taste with your herbs and spices, splashes of color with your different fruits or vegetables, and a great plate presentation, you will be more satisfied with the taste and look of your meal. You won’t need to eat as much because you will be thoroughly enjoying each bite of your food!

About the Author: Lisa Meisels is a Nutritionist and a food and cooking enthusiast. In addition, she is passionate about helping to improve the health of others. You can find more creative tips and helpful information on health and nutrition on her website: link

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