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Does your dinner meal have these three key ingredients?


Does your dinner meal have these three key ingredients?

These three things can make a mundane meal look and taste spectacular.

Many of us don't have the time or cooking knowledge to follow a complicated recipe, or throw together a gourmet meal with the ingredients available on hand. The good news is you don't have to be a gourmet chef to make yummy and nutritious meals that look great too! When planning a meal or snack just remember these three words: color, taste and texture.

1. Color: Have you ever heard the phrase "eat the rainbow?" When you incorporate a variety of brightly colored foods, it's more likely that your meal will be packed with nutrients, taste great and look irresistible. Take, for example, a meal that consists of broiled white fish, mashed potatoes and cooked cauliflower. Not only is that meal all one color, but it's likely to be bland and boring. Sprinkle paprika on that white fish for some color, pair with bright vegetables like carrots or a tossed salad and a darker grain such as wild rice or a whole grain roll.

2. Taste: Having a variety of tastes is just as important as variety in color when it comes to cooking meals. Steam veggies for just a few minutes to preserve flavor and some crunch. Open your spice cabinet and experiment with different herbs and spices; most herbs and spices can be used liberally to enhance the flavors of foods. If you choose a food that's naturally a little bland such as broiled fish, pair it with a side-dish that has a stronger flavor.

3. Texture: Remember that white colored meal mentioned above? There isn't much of a variety of textures either, which isn't exciting to the palate. Think of the different textures foods have: crunchy, crispy, smooth, soft, sticky, chewy, creamy, hard and flaky. Try to incorporate at least two or three of these textures to enhance appeal. A sandwich could have chewy, soft bread with crunchy lettuce and cucumbers, and smooth hummus.

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