Healthy Meal Preparation for Foodies
Converting even the most decadent fares from harmful to healthful is not only possible, but it speaks to foodies’ urges to search for, evaluate, and recreate dishes that capture the eyes, cast aromas that arouse the imagination, and produce flavors that blast past expectations. Is it possible that foodies could, or would even want to, cook and eat a nutritious meal? Foodies are people keenly interested in food, especially cooking, and are known for being highly opinionated connoisseurs of cutting-edge cooking techniques, food trends, and a wide variety of chef creations from French fries at home town burger joints, to foie gras at five-star restaurants. There are three main steps to creating a nutritious, foodie-approved feast at home: menu selection, conversion, and preparation.
The best meals begin with a clear vision, which is menu selection. Home cook foodies find culinary inspiration and recipes worth attempting by searching the internet, watching cooking shows, and browsing cook books by their favorite chefs. This quest for inspiration is not an event but a lifestyle, so foodies accumulate potential dishes just as an avid reader might collect books. They review piles of printed materials, tagged cook books, and countless web pages to select a recipe that meets the craving of the day. By identifying one menu out of the wide array of available options, home cooks find focus, which sets them up for success.
Simple Recipe Conversions
The next step health-conscious foodies take is to convert the recipe. They replace health-threatening ingredients with alternatives that keep with the flavor of the original, inspiring dish, yet promote human physical vitality instead of harming it. They replace dairy milk with nut, rice, or hemp milk, and combine rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch for an excellent alternative to wheat flour, which is a common allergen. The home cooks bypass sugar by using coconut palm sugar or the potent, natural sweetener, Stevia; they eliminate any aftertaste Stevia might have by paring it with local, organic honey. Vegan home cooks replace eggs with a mixture of flax seed and water. Many foodies love high fat foods, so they use a healthy amount of flavorful olive oil, grape-seed oil, and coconut oil, and combine them with seasonings such as sea salt, cayenne, nutritional yeast, and virtually any combination of other herbs and spices to create a seemingly unlimited array of choices to feed their hunger for the richness of flavor that fats provide.
Taste as You Go
Finally, step three is to prepare the healthy meal fit for foodies. While successful culinarians follow recipes, they also understand the importance of testing and tasting the food as they combine the ingredients, and they make adjustments to the flavor and texture as needed. This step is even more important when they substitute ingredients in an existing recipe. Whether making fried chicken, meatballs, roasted vegetables, soups, or salads, home cooks taste at every stage of preparation, and they add seasoning, sweetener, or acidity (such as lemon or vinegar), if needed. Successful preparers are brave enough to add thickener to batters that are too thin, eggs to anything that needs more binding, and liquid to dishes that are too thick. They cook foods that are unsafe to taste while raw, such as those containing eggs and meat, in tiny amounts, taste them, and make adjustments before full scale cooking begins. Many people do not learn to cook without a can opener or boxed foods, and as a result, they do not trust themselves or their palates enough to veer off course when adhering to recipes. Great home cooks taste throughout the process of preparing a meal and boldly make changes by impulse, because they know it is a vital step to creating a delicious dish.
Preparing the Meal
Experienced culinarians understand some basic techniques that are helpful when preparing a meal: knife cuts, vegetable preparation, and cooking methods such as how to boil, saute, steam, poach, bake, and fry. They also pay close attention to how each ingredient behaves and how different flavors react to one another. Home cooks learn as they go. They begin to notice, for example, that salt brings out flavor; if they add other seasonings, but the flavors are not coming through, a bit more salt will often accentuate the intended spiciness. The best foodie cooks know that the only way to master these skills is through practice, and although they sometimes fail, the courage to try new recipes and techniques elevates their abilities with every attempt. Each disastrous, mistake-ridden dish represents a stepping stone towards a future work of art.
Plating and serving the final product marks the end of the preparation. As they put each element lovingly on the plate, home chefs present the piece d’ resistance as if it were a token of love.
Permission to Love Healthy Food
Healthy food can be artistic, and artistic food can be healthy. When home cooks present a dish at the end of the process of finding the recipe, converting it to a healthy version of the gourmet original, and preparing it as if it had more to do with feeding the senses than providing our bodies with nutrition, a meal becomes satisfying cuisine that is healthy and pleasing to even the most finicky foodies.
Do you have tips or questions about how to eat healthy? Please tell us!