Saturday, January 19, 2008

Achieving High-Flavor Dishes Naturally

This list was quoted from the book "The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook". I have been doing a lot of these things in my dishes and they help out. Maybe they will help you too.

Be liberal with herbs - Herbs are in the vegetable category. For the freshest, fullest flavor, add fresh herbs toward the end of the cooking process or just before serving a dish.

Spice it up - Kick up flavors one spice at a time. Begin by adding 1/4 cup of your spice of choice per recipe - and increase it from there.

Marry in marinade - Marinating ingredients to be cooked can help boos nutrition, tenderness and taste. If you're marinating at room temperature. marinate for no more than two hours. Try marinating poultry in buttermilk or yogurt.

Go nuts & seeds - Nuts and seeds add rich flavor, texture, visual appeal, and nuttiness. Go for even more flavor by pan-toasting nuts and seeds first. Scatter roasted sunflower seeds or toasted almonds onto nearly any salad.

Get saucy with it - Even when recipes don't call for it, plop in a few drops of sauce, like soy sauce. It heightens flavor - and you might be able to cut out added salt. Sprinkle a few drops of Worchestershire, hot pepper, or naturally brewed soy sauce into low-sodium soups and stews.

Drizzle and sizzle - Experiment with aromatic oils, toasted sesame, truffle, or hot chilli oil. A little healthy fat can go a long way in added flair. Instead of butter or sour cream, drizzle truffle oil onto baked, toasted or mashed potatoes.

Say "cheese", please - Top healthful dishes with high-flavored, high-fat ingredients, such as cheese. When it's so flavorful, very little is needed, making it easy to create a dish that's still healthful - and more enjoyable. Stir in crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese into plain yogurt and use as a sandwich condiment.

Use the yolk occasionally - The yolk is the most nutrient-packet part of the egg - and the tastiest. Many mixed dishes will be a bit richer by adding an egg or by using one whole egg instead of two egg whites. Enrich lean ground chicken or turkey burger mixture with a whole beaten egg.

Splash with acid - Balance and uplift flavors with citrus juices, vinegars or wines. Try matching by color. Lemon pairs well with fish; orange with chicken; red wine with beef. Add a few splashes of aged balsamic or red wine vinegar into bottled spaghetti sauce when simmering or to fresh tomato slices when serving.

Reduce and seduce - Reductions magnify flavor and can create thickness for a more seductive mouth feel. Simmer a creamy, low-sodium, low-fat carrot, butternut squash, or ther veggie soup until it's extra thick. Use it as a sauce instead of as a soup.

Grill with flair - Charcoal grilling is a popular cooking technique. It's healthful since no added fat is required. Make it more flavorful by adding woods, herbs, and spices to the coals. Grill boneless, skinless chicken breasts over aromatic woods, such as mesquite. Add rosemary twigs or cinnamon sticks, too.

Brown it - The browning of vegetables is called caramelization. Besides adding rich color, it adds a savory sweetness. Caramelize onions and serve on top of lean burgers, stir into steamed rice, or add to plain broth to make onion soup.

Boost the beans - Beans add good nutrition, fiber, and texture to meals. They're versatile, too. Pop canned beans into pasta sauce, soups, stews, salads, and stir-fry dishes. Use bean dips, like hummus, as a lovely sandwich spread. Mash cooked black beans and serve as a "bed" for entrees, like roast pork loin.

Be big with veggies - Along with nutritional goodness, vegetables add texture, visual appeal and natural savoriness to meals. Enjoy vegetables as entrees more often. Pile sandwiches high with raw or grilled vegetables. Use low-sodium vegetable or tomato juice for preparation of whole wheat couscous, bulgar wheat or brown rice.

Flavor with fruit - Fruits add texture, visual appeal, and natural sweetness - plus antioxidant nutrition. If a fruit is out of season, use frozen fruit. Serve salads topped with sliced pears or apples. Puree berries or other fruit with equal parts oil and vinegar to make a fruit vinaigrette. Make a salsa with diced peaches, onion, red bell pepper, and mint; serve with grilled fish or chicken.

Make it hot, hot, hot - A touch of "heat" takes flavor appeal to the next level. It adds more enjoyment to foods - especially those that are low in fat or sodium. Top grilled fish or lean poultry or meat with spicy salsas. Puree jalepeno pepper into hummus or other bean dips. Hot sauce can brighten the flavors of soups and most other savory foods.

Whip it good - Whipping up soft silken tofu in a blender creates a velvety smooth, soy-based flavor carrier and volume extender for sauces, salad dressings, dips, and more. While blending, add other flavorful ingredients, like balsamic vinegar and fresh basil, and use as a sandwich condiment, dip or salad dressing.

Eat tea - Brew tea and use in vinaigrettes or as a poaching or other cooking liquid. It can add unique flavor and golden color. Use tea as the main ingredient in a marinade to help chicken breast develop a golden color.

Up the Umami - Umami is considered the fifth taste. It adds scrumptious savoriness to foods. Be sure to stock your kitchen with naturally rich, high-umami foods - and be sure to use them. (See seperate post)

Allow overnight mingling - Cooking in advance and refrigerating overnight allows flavors to mingle in many mixed dishes. And it saves time on the day you plan to serve the food. Leftovers can be lovable, too. Make creamy chicken salads or chilled, grain-based salads the day before you plan to eat them.

1 comment:

Loren said...

Wow, there is just so much to take in! I need a computer in my head just to remember everything I read! Some great ideas on here!