Whether you’re a vegetarian or enjoy the occasional piece of meat, it’s easy to get into a rut when it comes to consuming a hunk of protein. There’s nothing wrong with having “White Meat Mondays,” “Tofu Tuesdays” and “Salmon Saturdays.” But, in order to stay on a healthy trajectory, you might want to explore ways to prepare your favorite piece of protein that brings out the best in your choice.
Put down the salt, step away from the slow-cooker and grab hold of the three “H’s”? Hot Flames, Hot Spice and Herbs! Get a little zingy with marinades. Minor tweaks to cooking methods, condiments or other coatings can transform your standard protein and make it something you crave. What’s more, the ideas suggested below are low in calories, but high in nutritional value.
Try These 7 Tricks to Make Your Protein More Interesting
1) Fan the flames!
When it comes to meat, one simple way to jazz things up is to crank-up a fire and employ high heat cooking techniques. Broiling, searing and grilling can enhance the flavor of meats like chicken and turkey. Also, Tofu can be broiled without much fuss. Brush-on an olive oil based marinade and cook your protein close to the flames.
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2) Heat things up
Using a bit of garlic and/or chili pepper adds dimension to proteins that can make you forget all about salt. Plus, those spicy additions have anti-inflammatory properties and other health benefits. Don’t forget about horseradish. It can be used in marinades or served on the side as a condiment. Chile, garlic, and horseradish will not only perk up your protein, all three of those hotties can boost your immune system too!
3) Use Herbs Often!
Freshly minced herbs are any protein’s bff. The only question here is; what do you like? Herbs of all kinds are filled with vitamins. Choose from cilantro, oregano, basil, thyme or dill. All of those standards taste great on tofu, chicken, turkey, and fish. Mix minced herbs into a little olive oil with garlic and rub it on your protein before cooking. Delish!
4) Add a Citrus ZING!
A squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or tart grapefruit will wake-up any dish before or after cooking. If you are more of a sweet and sour type, brush on fresh orange or clementine juice.
5) Spice is the Spice of Life
There is a spice for every protein you enjoy and health benefits to be discovered with each. Try cumin, paprika, turmeric, and curry. A little bit goes a long way. Sprinkle it on before cooking.
6) Must have Mustard
Add a tablespoon of yellow mustard to a marinade or use it as a simple condiment. Mustard boasts respectable amounts of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
7) Use Vinegar for Variety
Vinegar based marinades and chutneys add personality to your protein. Mix vinegar with a little olive oil and herbs/spices to brush on before cooking your meal. Or, create a quick chutney to serve on the side by mixing minced fruit, garlic, chili, and vinegar.