Allison Schaaf talks about one of the advantages of meal planning and her top tips to add more variety to your meals.
In Episode 194, Prep Dish founder Allison Schaaf discusses one of the advantages of meal planning, and how it provides many opportunities to add variety to your meals. Allison offers seven top ways to diversify your plate such as
Think Seasonally: Looking to produce that’s harvested in the fall and winter can lend to cooking up more soups, stews, and chilis when the temperature drops, and doing more grilling, or making a summer salad the basis of your meal in the warmer months can add some seasonal variety to your meal prep.
Change the Protein: Can you substitute something else instead of your usual go-to, or try a different cut of meat? The farmer’s market might offer something different, or try visiting your local grocery store’s fish counter to see what you haven’t tried yet. If you use the Prep Dish meal plans, try swapping out the protein in a family favorite meal to add variety.
Taste the Rainbow: Color can be a great way to incorporate variety into your diet. There are different nutrients represented in the natural pigments of foods, and adding in a diverse range of hues to your meals can up your nutritional game.
Look to New Cuisines: We tend to gravitate toward a certain favorite cuisine profile and add it as a heavy rotation when we’re making meals. Perhaps Mexican food or Italian makes its rounds weekly in your home. If you’ve avoided cooking up some recipes because they seem too involved or complicated, you could be missing out on a variety of new flavors that you’d otherwise enjoy. Is there a new cuisine you could try?
Add Texture: There’s a tendency to offer up softer foods, especially when cooking for kids. However, we’re doing them a disservice by avoiding tougher or crunchier foods because children and adults alike can benefit from deep jaw stimulation through the process of chewing food. Try representing many different types of textures when planning your family’s meals.
Temperature Check: Consider temperature when meal prepping. As a nod back to seasonal meal prep, planning out a chilled gazpacho in the heat of the summer, or a soothing bowl of soup to ward off the winter’s cold can add just the right variety your family needs.
Change the Composition: How are you serving up your meals? Assess whether you usually navigate toward stir-frys, or perhaps the plate is often served up with a protein, vegetable, and starch separated out. See how mixing up the way food is served offers more variety in your meals.
Resources mentioned in this podcast:
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