At GMB, we really believe that healthy cooking does not have to mean bland! If you’ve been trying to do more meal prep in an attempt to eat healthier but feel your dishes are lacking a little something-something, we hear you!
But don't be tempted to reach for those supermarket packet seasoning mixes that are loaded with preservatives and MSG. Our Nutritionist Melissa Fine has put together some of our favourite ways to bring out the flavour, naturally.
1. Pan-Grill Your Protein
If shoving a salmon fillet in the oven is your go-to cooking method, why not switch things up and pan-grill it instead? Pan-grilling fish can add a greater depth of flavour, and we can’t resist that crispy skin.
Tofu is another one worth doing in the pan: Simply cut firm, pressed tofu into chunky cubes and place in a pre-heated pan with a little heated coconut oil, tamari and sliced ginger; let sit in the pan to cook (don’t move it around!), and once the bottoms of the cubes are crispy and browned, flip and repeat with a little more oil and tamari.
2. Use Herbs
Sounds like a no-brainer, but herbs are often forgotten about when we’re in a hurry. Fresh herbs can easily be added to throw-together dishes though, be it torn basil on a Caprese salad, rosemary sprigs in the pan with your roast potatoes or a sprinkle of parsley on your grilled fish.
Out of fresh herbs? Try Herbamare®; a pantry staple at GMB HQ for our lunches, this herbal seasoning salt is prepared from a combo of 12 fresh, organically grown herbs and veg, and is made according to the original formula of famous Swiss Naturopath A.Vogel. The extra flavour imparted by the veggies and herbs in Herbamare® - like celery leaves, thyme, garlic and onion – means less salt, too.
3. Add Citrus
Alongside adding some tang, the acidity of citrus fruits like lemon helps bring out and balance the flavours of your ingredients. I don’t know about you, but the vitamin C-loaded lemon (or lime!) provides the finishing touch to so many of my meals, be it smoked salmon and avo on toast, or mixed with 100% tahini for a homemade salad dressing.
A squeeze of citrus also helps tenderise meats; try lemon on your grilled salmon or sashimi, or the juice of an orange over a whole chicken before roasting.
4. Roast Your Veg
A cooking method that is so worth the extra time that you save with the microwave. Once you’ve tried your veg roasted, you’ll never go back; roasting brings out the flavours and textures of whatever veg your roasting - like the sweetness and creaminess of my favourite - zucchinis - which you don’t taste when they’re nuked in the microwave. Roasting also crisps and caramelises, and gives you plenty of tasty leftovers.
5. Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
We could eat this classic dressing combo on our salads every day at GMB. Apart from being one of the key ingredients in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, vitamin E-rich olive oil adds a well-rounded flavour to any kind of salad – be it your simple green salad or the more elaborate roast veg salad, while balsamic adds acidity (add one part balsamic to two parts olive oil for the perfect ratio).
Given the time of year, we can’t not mention balsamic glaze as a simple, but fancy-looking way to jazz up summer desserts; try it drizzled on fresh strawberries with mascarpone or coconut yoghurt…you’re welcome :-)
No need for sugar when you’ve got this spice! Try it stirred through your yoghurt or sprinkled on your nut butter toast for breakkie. From your morning piccolo to your roast pumpkin and sweet potato at dinner, cinnamon works a treat and can really help kick a sweet craving.
Do you have any simple tricks to boost that flavour in your meals? We'd love to hear from you!