Monday, March 11, 2013


When is the last time that you actually took a moment to 'taste' your food?  I'll be honest, up until recently I practically inhaled my meals and rarely took the time to savor all of the flavors.

Being a Southern girl I can readily identify with meals that were smothered, covered in gravy or barbecue sauce.  Don't get me wrong I enjoy a good gravy.  But then again, gravy is primarily pan drippings, fat and flour.  Who doesn't like something that you can 'sop' up with a biscuit or a piece of Wonder bread?  It tastes great; but not necessarily good for you.  I think it's time to revamp our menus and lighten up some of our classic comfort foods.  If you think it would be irreverent to fool with your grandmother's meatloaf recipe.  Fine, don't.  Just save it for few and far in between special occasions.  In the meantime, try creating your own recipes that are high in flavor and low in calories.

Since I've been trying to eat healthier I've taken a step back from condiments, miscellaneous dressings, sauces and dips.  On more than one occasion I've had the refrigerator door shelf literally collapse.  Why?  Because I was addicted to condiments.  Yellow, Honey and Brown Deli Mustards, Grey Poupon...Ketchup...Duck Sauce, Italian, Catalina, Ranch, Bleu Cheese Dressings...Strawberry Jelly, Grape Jelly, Horseradish, Olives....Caramel Sundae Topping, Butterscotch Sauce...Miracle Whip, Mayonnaise, Sandwich Spread, Barbecue Sauce.... you get the point!  I had bottles and jars of just about anything you could ask for. I was ALWAYS putting 'something' on my food.  I never learned to enjoy food in it's purest form.  Because of this I was constantly adding unnecessary calories from sugar, fat and sodium laden condiments.

Marinated Jerk Chicken w/pineapple, mango, avocado salsa, Steamed Broccoli, Baked Sweet Potato  w/ginger & cinnamon

(This meal was very easy.  The broccoli was Birds Eye Steam Fresh Broccoli Florets .  Five minutes in the microwave, you're done.  I baked the sweet potatoes while I was doing my work out.  All I had to do was wash them, pat them dry and then bake.  No prep work required.  The chicken breast was marinated with jerk marinade right before I left for work this morning.  I baked them on a baking sheet while I was in the shower.  (I'm all about multi tasking)!  The most effort was used in preparing the salsa.  I chopped avocado, red onion and cilantro.  The Mango and Pineapple are Dole Chef Ready cuts - Diced Pineapple & Mango.  I probably spent 15-20 minutes max on this amazing meal.  Sometimes less is more.  Enjoying your food as close as you can to it's natural state is where the change comes in.

 Some of the simplest enhancers are cheap and can be used interchangeably in most of your dishes.

Here are a few of my favorite 'non-condiment' food enhancers:
Fresh Lemon Juice
Thyme Fresh
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil
Bell Peppers
Onions/Red Onion

Marinating your food also gives BIG flavor. You don't have to depend on sugar, sauces and fats when you become creative with spice and herb blends.  Applying spice rubs to meat also provides a wonderful amount of flavor.

Take a moment to step back from breadings, sauces, cheeses and butter when you prepare your food.  Go back to the basics.  You'll be surprised how satisfied you are when you take a moment to TASTE YOUR FOOD.

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