Delicious, Healthy and Easy Flavor Combinations

Your shopping list rarely changes and your recipes are repetitive, unimaginative and a tad unappetizing after the 500th go round.

Yes, it’s easy to fall into a food rut.

Ready to mix it up a bit by introducing a few new food combinations guaranteed to add a fresh spin to dinnertime?

So am I, so I turned to the website WideOpenEats.com for an appetite-whetting sampler of their “19 Flavor Combinations You Can Use for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner.” Check out 10 of their intriguing food and flavor combos, then ease them into your meals.

 

Strawberry and peppers

Blueberry and lemon

Dill and cucumber

Butternut squash and lime

Strawberry and goat cheese

Orange and olives

Feta cheese, watermelon and mint

Chili and mango

Pickles and lime juice

Radishes, butter and salt

 

On the surface, they may sound like quirky combinations but give them a try and awaken your taste buds!

 

If you prefer your recipes spoon-fed, you can try these meals dreamed up by Claire Thomas, creator of the food blog The Kitchy Kitchen.

In her New Classics for Living Deliciously cookbook, Thomas writes, “With new takes on classic favorites—think adding farmer’s market peaches to upgrade a BLT, spicing up tempura cauliflower with a zesty harissa sauce, or transforming basic red velvet cupcakes into decadent pancakes—this cookbook is filled with fresh, produce-driven recipes for every skill set and occasion. It’s your best friend and personal chef, all rolled into one.”

 

Chew on these new classics in multiple formats.

Tomato, mozzarella and basil

Salad: Layer 1/4-inch slices of tomato with 1/4-inch slices of bufala mozzarella and chiffonade basil. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Sandwich: Layer the same ingredients from above between 2 slices of crusty sourdough bread. Drizzle bread with a little olive oil and cook in a sauté pan over medium heat, pressing down, until golden brown. Flip and press down again.

Pasta: Combine cubed mozzarella, chopped basil, and halved or quartered cherry tomatoes with your favorite short pasta. Season with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Pizza: Preheat oven at top temperature with a pizza stone in the center for at least 1 hour. Roll out dough, rub with olive oil, and layer with shredded mozzarella. Top with thinly sliced tomato. Bake for about 10 minutes until pizza is bubbly on top and dark on the bottom. Top with fresh chiffonade basil.

 

Citrus, fennel and arugula

Salad: Peel citrus (oranges or grapefruit are best). Slice off top and bottom, then carefully slice segments out between white membrane. Chop top and bottom off fennel and thinly slice crosswise (a mandoline works great). Combine citrus, fennel, and arugula in a bowl, and add a creamy element like avocado or goat cheese. Make vinaigrette by combining juice from citrus with an equal amount of lemon juice. Combine with olive oil (1 part juice to 3 parts oil) and season. Drizzle over salad.

Sandwich: Roast thinly sliced fennel until caramelized. Sandwich between 2 slices toasted sourdough with roasted chicken or fish marinated in the citrus vinaigrette from above, arugula, and a touch of olive oil.

 

Balsamic vinegar, strawberries and black pepper

Dessert: Hull and slice strawberries, and top with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of black pepper. (Add a little sugar if strawberries are naturally tart.) Let sit for about 15 minutes until quite juicy. Serve over Greek yogurt, ice cream, or panna cotta.

Sauce: Prepare strawberries as for the dessert above. Cook in a pot over medium heat until a thin syrup forms. Let cool and use (strained or unstrained) as desired, or try as the base of barbecue sauce for a sweet and piquant twist.

Salad: Combine sliced strawberries, arugula, toasted walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette. Add fresh goat cheese and season with black pepper.

For more tantalizing recipe twists, check out this feature from Shape.com.

 

Meanwhile, our recipe engine is ready to rev up your weight loss with healthy, great-tasting and perfectly proportioned meals.

 

 

John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.

 

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