Thursday Thoughts: Simplify Your Meals

For an introduction to my “Tuesday Tips and Thursday Thoughts” series please see the article “An Invitation to Embrace Your Journey and Follow Mine.”

These short thoughts/tips are meant to be a brief and efficient way to offer a quick touch of inspiration for the day.

Simplify your meals

In our wonderful, multi-cultural, everything-available, fancy-cooking-show culture we are bombarded with images and information daily that show us complicated diets, food dishes, and meal plans. We start to think that eating healthier must be so complicated and difficult.

After all, there are thousands of books written about it, hundreds of companies that will prepare meals for you, and numerous diet companies that use complex “formulas” to get you the “right food” – in reality food can be very healthy and tasty without being complicated.

I often use baked potatoes or brown rice (both simple to make, can be made ahead for days) as a base for my meal and then put a simple combination of baked meat (I bake different varieties together on the same pan with spices until they reach the proper temperature) and sautéed vegetables with them.

It is just as easy to make the vegetables as it is to bake a lot of meat together at the same time – I just toss them in a pan with a bit of olive oil and/or vegetable stock, perhaps some onion and garlic, and spices (mix up some of your favorite combinations ahead of time) and I have a different wonderful vegetable dish every night – no recipe needed.

Other foods can be complete meals or snacks within themselves like yogurt, apples, toast, bananas, hummus with vegetables, cubes of cheese (if you can tolerate milk), almond butter with celery sticks, oatmeal with dried fruits or nuts, nuts, squash, and many other foods.

The four secrets that make my simple food taste more complex and exciting are

1. I mix up different spice mixes and use them in rotation.

2. I mix-and-match exciting combinations like baked potato with ground turkey and salsa or brown rice with salmon and sautéed garlic and dill.

3. I use prepared sauces like mango salsa or chutney to add an extra taste twist.

4. I try to combine a variety of colors into each dish.

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