Delicious, Gorgeous & Healthy: Meals that Have it All

There’s a misconception among many of us that the word ‘healthy’, as it relates to food, is synonymous with ‘bland’ and ‘boring’. Anything that isn’t coated in butter and loaded with carbs is liable to be mocked as ‘rabbit food’ and quickly passed by. Well, enough is enough.

Healthy meals are just as capable of being as mouth-watering as those packed with calories. The key is finding healthy recipes that deliver in three main areas: presentation, flavour and texture.
As they say in the culinary world, ‘the first taste is with the eyes’. Even if something tastes delicious, it will always be more appealing if it’s presented beautifully. Here are a few presentation pointers:

Use plenty of colour – Cook with bright, colourful vegetables and spices that will stand out on the plate.
Pick pretty plates – Use a plate that contrasts nicely with the food you’re serving. For example, if you’re serving a lighter coloured dish, such as a fillet of halibut, serve it on a darker coloured plate. For dishes that are quite monochrome, patterned plates will add a bit of pizazz.
Quality over quantity – Stick to small portions for a delicate, appetising appearance. Remember, people can always go back for seconds.

Just because you’re cooking with less calories doesn’t mean your meals need to lack flavour. There are some very simple, healthy substitutes for common ingredients. For example:

Use olive oil instead of butter  – Among the many health benefits of olive oil are that it contains a high number of monounsaturated fatty acids – nicknamed ‘MUFAs’ – which promote ‘good’ cholesterol production in your body.
Go spicy over salty – Eating too much salt can lead to increased blood pressure and increase your chances of having a stroke, heart attack or kidney disease. Instead of adding an extra pinch of salt to your dishes, throw in some black pepper, chili powder or garlic powder.

Scrumptious, healthy meals contain an array of textures. Seek out recipes that offer everything from crispy to creamy, sticky to smooth, crunchy to chewy. For example:

Fluffy grains – Light, airy grains like couscous and quinoa are fantastic side dishes that will fill you up without feeling heavy in the tummy.
Crunchy veggies – Overcooked veggies can make an otherwise tasty meal quite forgettable. Consult a vegetable cooking timetable and treat your diners to a bit of crunch with fresh vegetables cooked to perfection.

By applying these three pillars of healthy cooking, you can prove to all the skeptics that the best meals aren’t always the most caloric. And nothing beats the sweet taste of victory.