Today’s is a quick rundown of a few basics I find to enhance grains, fishes, and vegetables. Healthy meals do not have to be boring or lack flavor. Experiment with different oils, seasonings, nuts, dried fruits and herbs. These simple ingredients can entirely change the flavor of food, add a range of palatability, and above all, they’re good for your health.
I generally bake fish until it is just about complete and then turn the oven to broil for a minute giving it a nice golden crispiness.
My 2 go-to marinades are:
- Extra virgin olive oil, lemons, a dash of white wine and any herbs I have available (sage, parsley and dill are my favorite for white fishes). If I do not have any fresh herbs handy, I will use capers instead.
- A low sodium tamari, chopped scallions, grated ginger and mirin (Japanese rice wine) – you can add a dash of Dijon mustard or chili flakes if you want to spice it up or honey if you want to sweeten. I prefer this combination on salmon, tofu, and it is delicious on scallops.
- With vegetables, especially root vegetables, they taste amazing when you roast them in a light covering of olive oil, a little freshly ground sea salt and pepper. I roast them on 375 for about 30-40min (winter squashes, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes and carrots are fantastic in the Fall/Winter).
- Walnut oil is great for sautéing earthy vegetables. Avocado oil is delicious on salads. Sesame oil is wonderful for stir-frying vegetables.
- Whole grains such as bulgar wheat, barley, quinoa, brown rice and cous cous are a delicious alternative to traditional starches such as pasta, potatoes and white rice. They are easy to cook and except for the brown rice, take only a few minutes.
- If I am making an Asian style fish I will add chopped scallions and tamari to brown rice as a side dish.
- Adding dried fruits and nuts to whole grains is a really great way to add flavor and heartiness. I often put some olive oil, freshly ground salt and pepper, chopped parsley, dried currants and walnuts in bowl, mix it up, add the grain and mix again. You can vary the fruit, nuts, herbs, add fresh squeezed orange juice, really whatever you have on hand…It is perfect as a hot side dish, a cold salad or a meal on its own.