Multiply your eating options: protein

How many people can truly claim to get a great range of food types in their daily diet, while satisfying their protein needs?

At the end of the day, most of us are not master chefs, and we often end up sticking to the same old recipes for the sake of simplicity.

But what you may not realise is that adapting basic meal plans and making them more interesting is actually very easy.

With only a little thought and preparation you can ensure you avoid mundane meals for weeks or even months at a time.

The main way you can make this adjustment is by using a range of seasonings to lend different flavours to your standard meal options.

Even a simple array of tasty ingredients – chillies, oregano, parsley, soy sauce, lime juice, parmesan cheese and pine nuts – can quickly transform your food into something unique and delicious.

Here are a handful of suggestions as to how to alter your standard meals in order to make them tasty.

Start with a 700-gram portion of any of the following: chicken, beef, pork, lamb, scallops, prawns, fish (salmon, tuna or snapper) or tofu.

Next, choose a “flavour family” – the branch of food you want your meal to fall into. Some good starting ideas are:

Japanese – three tablespoons of miso paste, one tablespoon of sesame oil, one tablespoon of peanut oil, a good amount of black pepper.

Italian – half a cup of chopped coriander, a chopped amount of parsley or basil, two tablespoons of olive oil, one clove of chopped garlic, salt and pepper.

Indian – two tablespoons of curry powder, one tablespoon of grated ginger, two tablespoons of melted butter, salt and pepper.

Mexican – one or two chopped chilies, two tablespoons of mayonnaise or olive oil, some ground cumin, salt and pepper.

Spanish – one tablespoon of smoked paprika, the juice of one orange, two tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Once you have selected your base ingredient and your flavour family, you are ready to start cooking.

This is the good part, because all these meals are very quick and extremely simple!

Start by combining your protein source with the other ingredients. Cover the protein source with the other ingredients (try not to wreck that nice piece of lamb or salmon you just bought though…!).

Start up a barbeque or a grill, and then cook the meat (or tofu) on both sides until it is at your satisfaction. It will only take a couple of minutes for scallops and prawns to cook, as long as 15 minutes for chicken and tofu, and between seven and ten minutes for the other options.

Once the food is cooked, you can sprinkle any additional, finishing ingredients you may have that are appropriate for the meal.


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