Instead of keeping the proportions within tolerance and still going for full flavor, I stopped myself when the flavors were balanced…balanced, but bland. I recognized in the moment that I was stopping myself from that one last pinch of salt and spoonful of Parmesan. I convinced myself, against my better judgement, that I should stop at that point.
When we got to the table for the meal and I took a bite, I was very disappointed in my decision. I hate bland. And I wasn’t the only one. My kids and their girlfriends are used to layers of flavor from fresh ingredients. They were highly disappointed too.
I was reminded of those disappointing taters recently when I excitedly chose a quinoa and sweet potato cake, herb roasted chicken, and kale salad from a grocery case. Everything looked tasty and healthy. The combination made for a beautiful plate. I sat out on the balcony looking at the mountains anticipating that first delicious bite.
And then I took the first bite and cringed. With the exception of the salad, the food was simply devoid of flavor. Whether I’m on the balcony, at my mom’s table, or in a restaurant, bland food always leaves me feeling irritated and dissatisfied. Ben’s simple solution to this problem is to reach for the Sriracha. The processed food industry’s solution is to add chemical flavor enhancers. My solution in this case was to remake the leftovers into something else.
My most common solution is to use fresh ingredients, taste early, taste often, and avoid the temptation to back off on the flavor when preparing food for a specialized eating plan.
A meal that is kidney friendly, diabetes friendly, heart healthy, gluten-free, Crohn’s friendly, or colitis friendly can be infused with layers of flavor from onion, celery, carrots, garlic, shallots, scallions, basil, sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano, dill, cilantro, tarragon, chervil, marjoram, black pepper, red pepper, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cumin, chili powder, curry, turmeric, fennel, lemon juice & zest, lime juice & zest, orange juice & zest, vinegar, infused olive oils, and a host of other herbs and spices. If you’re not sure which flavors enhance each other, check out a guide like “The Flavor Bible”.
Too often it seems that people associate healthy eating with tasteless food. That is unfortunate because healthy food can be delicious food as long as you go for full flavor!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”