If you don’t have much time, making one dish that includes various foods is wiser than preparing each food separately.
These preparations are known as “one pot meals.” A soup made of chicken or meat, vegetables, and grains; or a chicken salad and a slice of bread can be complete, balanced meals.
Here are some examples of one pot meals:
- Chef’s salad
- Turkey and vegetable sandwich
- Minestrone soup
- Chicken and bean burritos
- Cheesy ham and spinach lasagna
Characteristics of a good menu
If you think that a good menu can only be planned by a chef, use these tips to discover how you can make a great, healthy menu even if you don’t have much culinary knowledge:
- Don’t let the tastes of different foods compete against each other. If one of the recipes in your menu has a strong taste, accompany it with lighter flavors. For example, if you make chicken with paprika or cayenne pepper, it is best to accompany it with white rice and not with curry rice, which has a strong flavor—perhaps stronger than the chicken’s sauce.
- Vary the colors. A colorful menu is much more appealing than a monotonous one. For example, a recipe of meat with plum sauce is better combined with mashed potatoes and a cucumber salad than with baked mushrooms and whole wheat rice, where everything would have the same color.
- Use varied shapes and textures. This will enhance your culinary experience by involving different senses (sight, touch) instead of only stimulating taste. This means that if one of the foods in your menu is crunchy, it should be accompanied by dry and juicy preparations so your sense of taste becomes better stimulated and detects the different flavors and textures of foods. Here is an example: if you make turkey nuggets with sauce (juicy), combine them with some mashed potatoes (creamy), and a fresh salad with shredded cabbage and carrots (crunchy). This option is much better than having some baked, sliced potatoes and a salad with sliced carrots—shapes and textures similar to those of the turkey nuggets.
- Combine different cooking methods. If your main course is baked, its side dishes should be uncooked (for example fresh vegetables) or grilled.
- Match the flavors. If one of your dishes is savory or bitter, don’t forget to add a sweet touch to balance it. Combine heavy foods with fruit or add some raisins to your recipes—you don’t need to use sugar.
- Finally, a good menu deserves being served in the right environment. You don’t need expensive tableware; it only takes some creativity to make your menu look great. A simple, clean dish, decorated with style and served in a warm, comfortable environment can be the ideal complement to a special menu.
© 2016 HolaDoctor