Updated: Jun 2, 2020
As restaurants and fast food places start to open up, keep up the momentum of cooking at home. Set a goal to limit eating out. Remember that tasty doesn’t need to be complicated, cook your favourite dishes at home. Add flavour and taste to your meals by making a simple vinaigrette (salad dressing), marinade or sauce. Store bought ones can be high in salt, sugar and unhealthy fats. But be careful with your portions, a little goes a long way. Although you may be adding heart healthy fats, too much fat during the day can prevent you from maintaining or losing weight.
BASIC VINAIGRETTE RECIPE
Yields ¾ cup
Serving size 1 ½ tablespoons
¼ cup of cider or wine vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or 2 teaspoons or mayonnaise (to emulsify the vinegar and oil together)
¼ teaspoon salt (optional) and black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons water (optional - if you want to decrease the intensity)
Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well until blended. Keeps well in refrigerator.
Choose your Vinaigrette:
Balsamic - Add balsamic vinegar in place of other vinegar
Herb - Add 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped thyme, tarragon, rosemary, basil or chives (or use any of your favourite dried herbs and spices including turmeric)
Lemon - less vinegar and add juice of 1 to 2 lemons
Honey-Mustard - Add 1 to 2 minced garlic cloves, additional 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
Creamy-Dill - substitute ½ the oil for buttermilk or yogurt, add chopped fresh or dried dill
Asian - Use rice vinegar, 1 to 2 cloves garlic, 1 ½ teaspoon low sodium soy sauce, fresh or powder ginger, less olive oil and 1 to 3 tablespoons sesame oil, a little honey
Southwest - Less vinegar and add juice of 1 to 2 limes, chopped cilantro, minced green onion
LOW SODIUM MARINADES
An easy way to transform and add flavour to your baked and grilled foods, and can be added into a stir-fry without a lot of salt. Marinating keeps meats, fish, seafood and even tofu moist and tender.
Marinades requires three things:
An acid ingredient to tenderize the meat: lemon or lime juice, wine, vinegar, or yogurt.
Herbs and spices to add flavour and zest, garlic, red pepper flakes, green onions, fresh herbs, rosemary, thyme, spices, onion, or ginger.
Time! Meat for at least 30 minutes but 6 to 24 hours even better; fish, seafood about 30 mins.
The bonus - Marinading potentially reduces the production of heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) a cancer causing compound that are formed when exposing meats to high heat, like BBQing.
Because it’s not safe to consume marinades that are left over from raw fish or meat, set some aside before marinating if you plan to brush it with more during cooking or if using after cooking.
½ cup of plain 2% yogurt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon curry paste or curry spice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Reference: The Magic of Marinades