Cooking Horrible Healthy Food

Cooking, like any field of endeavor, has its activities that bring nothing but sheer joy and excitement, but also has those mundane and joyless tasks that you do because you know you have to but hate doing all the same. Few things bring more satisfaction to a cook than the sound and smell of a juicy striploin sizzling on a cast iron pan with butter or taking a piping hot dish of macaroni and cheese out of the oven. Unfortunately there are some unappetizing, joyless dishes that you need to prepare if you want to ensure that your family has a healthy, balanced diet. Making something taste less awful is not nearly as motivating as making something taste amazing, but it is a valuable and necessary skill for any cook.

Do you like the taste and texture of quinoa? If you do, you are a liar. You may be lying to yourself, but that still makes you a liar. Perhaps you like to shredded cardboard as well. With the exception of Kale, nothing symbolizes the health vs satisfaction trade-off like Quinoa. It isn’t that it tastes all that bad, in fact it hardly has any taste at all; it’s that it is so good for you and so ubiquitous that it is becoming difficult not to eat it. Lobok tastes terrible but it’s no better for you than any other vegetable and you probably don’t even know it exists.

As uninspiring as it may be, you need to have a strategy for eating healthy, uninspiring foods. There several strategies that you can use. For some healthy green vegetables like broccoli and asparagus, you can serve them as a small side with a meat dish to make the meal healthier. If you take a bite of a steak, a forkful of twice baked potato, and then a piece of steamed broccoli or asparagus, you will hardly notice the taste since the taste of the steak and potato is so much more dominant and satisfying. You can eat a head of broccoli without hardly noticing.

Some vegetables have a bland taste but can carry other flavours fairly well. Quinoa is one of those, and if you want to eat it you need to boil it not with water but with some flavourful liquid. Some people like chicken broth but I prefer diluted lemon juice with some basil. I also through some lemon zest in with it. I don’t actually like lemon all that much but it sure tastes better than quinoa and the taste is strong enough that it does a good job of masking what I am eating from my taste buds.

When all else fails, you can simply pour some melted cheese over it or wrap it in prosciutto, and while both options can work well, they are a bit of a cop out. If you really want to eat more healthy things but can’t bring yourself to do it, then try adding them into pot dishes where they will get lost in the mix, like adding pot barley to your beef stew or throwing some lentils in your soup (no too many though, they soak up a lot of water). The point is you and your family probably need to eat more things you don’t like, and you need to come up with a plan that allows you to do so from time to time without completely ruining your dinner.