All of us are striving to cook in a way that’s healthy and simple. Unfortunately, healthy and simple can sometimes add up to bland: A piece of broiled fish all by itself isn’t particularly exciting.
The remedy for the healthy-but-boring dilemma is easy: Stock your pantry with a few strategic items that consistently bring spark to your cooking, without adding significant cost or calories. Start with great basic ingredients, prepare them simply and then add a punch of flavor to really elevate the dish.
In a recent article for SparkPeople.com, No More Bland Diet Food!, I shared a list of five “secret” ingredients that fit the bill:
- Lemon—both fresh lemon juice (for brightness) and preserved lemon
- Garlic—obvious, but I shared a trick for getting the biggest kick of flavor by making a garlic paste
- Pepper—not your basic black pepper, but interesting flavors like Pimenton
- Herb blends—including our favorite, Lakeshore Drive Seasoning from The Spice House
- Sauces—like Chimichurri, fresh salsa, pesto and this roasted red pepper sauce recipe