It is a common misconception that healthy food is tasteless and boring. Well, if you’re living on lettuce and plain fish or grilled chicken and broccoli, then yes I would agree – that is plain dull! But that is NOT the way it needs to be, I promise.
Eating good, healthy food should be a celebration of flavour and I can certainly share with you that none of the food I eat is bland or tasteless and it is all extra super healthy and good for me – helping me to be my best and feel amazing every day.
Here are my five favourite things to add ZING and excitement to your food.
I add fresh herbs to everything possible! Try fresh parsley or chives with an omelette or scrambled egg. Chop tomatoes, peeled cucumber and avocado, add a squeeze of lemon juice and lots of chopped coriander or parsley – yum! Great to go with a plain green salad and meat/fish or if you chop the veges finely, it makes a great dip with some wholegrain crackers*. Get into growing your own mint – it is ridiculously easy! You can have a few sprigs in hot or cold water for added flavour or make your own tzatziki*.
Everyone always raves about nuts and I do too, but boy, seeds are underrated (see my previous blog on this) as they add flavour, texture and crunch to so many dishes. Dry-toast sesame seeds in a pan for a minute and then sprinkle on top of steamed veges. When you have a salad, add a tablespoon of mixed seeds like sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds into the mix!
Okay, not everyone loves the eye-watering effect, but if you do, you can enjoy wasabi with far more than just sushi. Add a good squeeze to light sour cream or some light mayo and serve this with fresh fish.
My homemade balsamic vinegar dressing
In a jar mix 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 large teaspoons wholegrain mustard*, 2 teaspoons runny honey, and black pepper galore. Put the lid on and shake away. I keep this in the fridge and use on top of salads (and my salads aren’t boring, I promise! Check out my Facebook page and you will see that!). Beetroot and carrot salad is my new favourite.
You don’t just have to use chilli to add to mince! When I make coleslaw I shred cabbage, grate carrot and then add finely sliced chilli and mint – it’s amazing. When stir-frying veges, add garlic and chilli flakes for an extra kick.
(*Check these ingredients are gluten free if you're coeliac or gluten intolerant.)
Claire Turnbull, BSc (Hons) Dietetics UK, NZ-registered nutritionist. Managing director of Mission Nutrition, and Healthy Food Guide nutritionist.
For your very own personalised nutrition plan, support and advice, come and see one of our qualified and experienced dietitians/nutritionists at Mission Nutrition Clinics. Phone consultations available.