Eating healthy does not have to be bland and uninteresting, and meal delivery services don’t have to be your only option. Some of the most delicious dishes out there are packed full of nutrient rich vegetables and proteins. Bold, exciting flavor does not have to be difficult, all it takes is a little guidance and a few key ingredients. When healthy meal delivery services aren’t a viable option, there are a few essential meal prep ideas that will greatly increase your healthy and delicious arsenal.
You can enhance any dish with a squeeze of citrus juice. A helping of lemon over roasted salmon or a splash of lime over sauteed vegetables adds new depths of flavor as well as a nice boost of health benefits like vitamin C.
2) Dry Herbs and Spices
Flavor possibilities are endless when it comes to dry herbs and spices. They offer a longer shelf life than their fresh counterparts and don’t require any chopping. Simple combinations like a salt, onion powder, and garlic powder blend can jazz up a dish. Pre-made spice blends like this BBQ rub from Simply Organic make it easier than ever to add flavor to proteins and veggies. With a handful of savory blends and the basics of salt and pepper you can liven up anything in your meal prep arsenal.
If you are looking to try a more adventurous seasoning blend you should consider Za’atar. A Middle Eastern blend, it contains sumac, sesame, and other herbs traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking. The versatility of Za’atar is unparalleled. Try mixing it with olive oil to spread on bread or sprinkling it on roasted vegetables, salads, and meat.
If someone says Gomasio and your impulse is to say gesundheit, you are not alone. This lesser known seasoning has been growing in popularity lately and for good reason. Bring the flavors of Japan to your kitchen with this blend of sesame seeds, sea salt, and sea vegetables. Good for use with brown rice and roasted vegetables.
If you are needing to add a flavorful kick to your cuisine, consider using Sriracha. This chili sauce packs some heat and the best part is, it is readily available for purchase at most grocery retailers. Try adding a squeeze of sriracha to a bento bowl, meat dish, or even a salad. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Like Sriracha, Gochujang is a paste made from spicy chilies, but that is where the similarities end. Gochujang is also made with soybeans and it is fermented into a sauce that is perfect as a marinade, for stir-fry, dipping, and essentially spicing up any bland dish. Also, because it is fermented it is loaded with gut-friendly bacteria for a healthy digestive system.
7) Sesame Oil & Soy Sauce
The best friends of any stir-fry are sesame oil and soy sauce. Add a deep umami flavor by simply drizzling a portion of each over your stir-fry or fish dish. Sesame oil and soy sauce can both be bought at almost any grocery retailer or online for your convenience.
Salsa is an excellent choice of dip for tortilla chips, but did you know you could cook with it? You can make salsa chicken by simply smothering chicken breasts in salsa, topping them with cheese, and setting them to bake, for an ethnic twist on a meal prep classic. Try with your favorite brand of salsa or branch out and find a new favorite, the variety of flavors available are outstanding.
Pesto is a flavor and nutrition packed delight that should be on any meal prep veteran’s shelf. Centered around basil, this fresh tasting sauce brings the flavors of Italy to your dish with very little effort. Simply drop a tablespoon in your brown rice as it cooks or rub down your roast chicken with it before baking. These days, many dairy-free pesto options are available too. You will not regret trying such a tasty, savory treat.
Chimichurri sauce, also known as Argentinian Pesto, is another green fragrant sauce used to add bright flavors to a dish. Unlike pesto, whose main ingredient is basil, Chimichurri centers it’s flavors around fresh cilantro and parsley. Use it as a marinade for meat dishes or as an extra splash of flavor in your roasted vegetables.
11) Organic Pasta Sauce
Finally, we have organic pasta sauces. Most supermarkets have a wide variety of organic choices for every mood and palate, but you do not have to use them just for pasta. Find a good white sauce to toss some roasted vegetables into or a red sauce to marinade and cook roasted chicken in for a chicken Parmesan-esque dish without the added calories of pan frying. Pick up a few different varieties at the store and experiment with them to find your favorite flavor combinations.
Now that you know 11 of the top essential healthy meal prep flavor hacks you will never have a bland dish again. Challenge yourself to try each of these in your meal prep recipes and see just how exciting you can make things. Yes, you can alway lean on prepared meal delivery, but you’ll find that trying simple new things and learning your favorites is a fun and delicious way to experiences different flavor profiles. Healthy does not have to mean bland, make it mean fresh, exciting, and flavorful!