In a world where it feels easier to grab a processed sodium-filled meal than it is to whip up a salad, we need every tip we can get to make cooking a nutritious meal simple and stress-free.
As part of the team of experts on Chris Hemsworth’s fitness app Centr, Dan Churchill is a chef on a mission to get everyone eating healthier and feeling better. Try his easy hacks to inspire changes in your kitchen.
Back to basics with onion and garlic
Onions and garlic aren’t the easiest to work with, but they’re also the base for loads of recipes. Want to beat those onion-chopping tears? Breathing through your mouth can help with fumes, and a sharp knife gets the job done quicker. If you find getting the skins off garlic cloves to be fiddly, crush them lightly under the knife blade to loosen the skin. Then, roughly chop the cloves, sprinkle them with salt, and start to push down and scrape back on them with your knife. They’ll break up and go lovely and soft in no time.
Eat the rainbow
Use bright ingredients to make your food vibrant and fun. Why? Not only is it tasty, but it helps you get a wide range of vitamins and minerals from lots of different fruits and veg. Eating your greens is great, but don’t forget your red capsicum for vitamin C or your bananas for a potassium boost!
When life gives you lemons, that’s great! Seasonings like citrus and fresh herbs are great ways to add a burst of flavour to your food without falling back onto over-processed condiments – which usually have tonnes of added salt, sugar and preservatives. First, roll and press the lemon to get the juices flowing inside. You don’t need a lemon juicer to get the job done, either: just cut the lemon in half and squeeze it over your cupped hand to catch the pips.
Choose good ingredients
Good quality ingredients can make the difference between an average meal and an epic one! Just think about how much better everything tastes when it’s fresh and in season. Seafood is a big one here – you don’t actually want fish that smells fishy. Check out what fish or seafood is local to you, so you can choose something that hasn’t been frozen for days (or weeks!) and flown from far away. Not only is it fresher and cleaner, it’s also more sustainable.
A real chef’s trick is thinking outside the box. Say you love fried chicken, but want to avoid all those kilojoules and fats. Try baking it with an almond crust. By baking it on a rack, you still get that all-over crunch and meat that’s cooked through perfectly. With a bit of creativity, you can satisfy any craving the healthy way. Give these Double Chocolate Brownies a try – you’ll never guess the secret ingredient in the ‘caramel’ sauce!
Don’t make a mis-steak
Make the steak of your life! First, bring your raw steak to room temperature, so it’ll cook evenly. Give the steak a bit of a salt rub before you pop it in the pan – this draws out the moisture so it will crisp up beautifully. The extra prep will make sure you end up with a delicious, protein-powered classic to be proud of.
© Prevention Australia
First published: 16 Aug 2019