Culinary Tips to Make Healthy Food Actually Taste Good

Today’s contribution is from Good Measure Meals’ registered dietitian, Jamie Hamblin, MS, RD, LD.  The journey toward our goals is paved with great intentions. No processed foods, exercise every day, sleep 8 hrs each night. But before long, life happens. Great intentions give way to the busyness of life, and very soon we find that we’ve strayed from our plan to meet our goals. After years of working with clients, I’ve found that it’s the partial solutions that typically carry us the farthest. The small concessions – the realistic, every day habits that you really can do every…single…time. Here are 5 small changes that make a big difference: One of the biggest obstacles to healthy eating is that, let’s be honest, sometimes healthy food just doesn’t taste good. I’ve met with client after client who has told me, “Jamie, I want to eat better, but I don’t like salad.” Or, “I know my diet needs to change, but I don’t want to eat like a rabbit.” I completely understand. Fortunately, there are AMAZING chefs out there with a wealth of knowledge about how to cook irresistible dishes that do the body good. So without further ado, here are a few tips from my culinary friends that I use on a daily basis to turn basic fruits and vegetables into food you will crave: 1. Use citrus. And use it often.From the inspiring kitchen of Rebecca Katz, I’ve learned to keep a stash of citrus fruit on hand. Citrus adds brightness to food that you just can’t achieve from any other herbs or spices. Add fresh squeezed orange juice to a smoothie; make a salad dressing with lemon juice (or cut a store bought dressing with citrus juice); spritz tacos with lime; pasta with lemon. The list could go on. For a simple salad dressing, check out Good Measure Meals Lemon Vinaigrette: 1 minced clove of garlic, 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, freshly grated black pepper.  2. There is a method (not madness) to making salad.     From the Moosewood Collective, I’ve learned there are a few key steps to preparing a good salad. First, the foundation of all great salads is crisp greens. After you rinse your greens, make sure they are 100% dry. Why? Oil and water don’t mix, so if you have wet greens, your salad dressing won’t stick. And your greens will go bad faster because of the moisture. Second, always add herbs. The fresher the better. My favorite salad herbs include: basil, thyme, dill and chives. For a more detailed step by step process, check out Molly Katzen’s guide to assembling a green leafy salad.  3. Eat seasonally.I think a number of chefs would be proponents of this tip. But if you’ve ever had a tomato in the winter, you’ve experienced the bland, mealy taste of produce out of season. If you focus your fruit and vegetable choices on what is in season, you’ll find your food might pack a little more punch when it comes to flavor. Check out GA Organics Harvest Calendar.