While I’m eating, I often get asked by people walking by who get a whiff of my food : “What do you do with your meat?” So here it is, my secret weapon against boredom and blandness is simply marinating my meat! That’s it.
Healthy eating has gotten a bad rep in that whenever you mention it people immediately equate it to boring, tasteless, bland and generally speaking unappealing food. But it isn’t so. You can make any food taste yummy if you know what you’re doing and how to use spices and herbs in your cooking. Yes, that’s pretty much what it takes and those do not add unwanted calories, bad fats or sugar to your food (unless of course you flavour your food with sugar). All they add is vibrancy, interest and taste.
This is what I do with my ground veal that I later use in various dishes such as my Eggplant Egg Muffin. You can certainly substitute the veal, if you don’t like it or can’t find it, with any ground meat (chicken, turkey, pork). I put it in a bowl and add the following:
- 1-2 tbsp of mustard (See Note1.)
- 2-3 tbsp of Vinegar (See Note 2.)
- Salt and pepper
- Bunch of fresh Rosemary chopped finely
- Chopped Green Onions
- 1 head of oven roasted garlic
- 1/2 Red Onion (previously caramelized)
- 5-6 mushrooms (caramelized with the Red Onion)
- 2 tbsp of Walnut Oil (Optional. See Note 3.)
- Other spices : Smoked Paprika, Sumac, Oregano Basil and Tomato by The Gourmet Collection (See Note 4.)
- Last but not least a dash of Liquid Smoke (Thanks to Randy for reminding me about my real secret weapon)
Mix it all together in a medium bowl and put it away for as long as you can in the fridge to marinate. Preferably you’d let it marinate overnight, but I know sometimes it’s just not feasible, so a couple of hours will do too.
- You can use any old mustard you have, yellow mustard, dijon mustard whatever you might have on hand. I like to play with flavoured mustard if I can. Today I’m using Aubrey D. Jalapeno Horseradish Mustard. And if I haven’t said it before, many of my spices and condiments come from the Winners’ food section.
- Vinegar – I usually try to use something other than just white vinegar and again you can go as fancy as you wish with this. I have used just plain Balsamic Vinegar (Dominion), Sparrow Lane Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar (Winners), Peach Vinegar by the Vinegar Lady (don’t mind the price in the link I got it on sale at Winners for 3$) etc. I find the flavoured vinegar to be milder and they do make a difference in flavour.
- Walnut Oil is by far my greatest discovery to date! The mild nutty flavour is just out of this world! I can’t recommend it enough! It’s quite pricy though, so I usually get it when it’s on sale and the big 1 litre bottle lasts me quite a bit as you don’t need a lot. And when it comes to marinating veal or any other fattier meats I find I can skip it all together, because I already have enough fat from the meat. But I would definitely add it to… let’s say to ground turkey.
- I absolutely love The Gourmet Collection of spices. I’m not sure if you can get them anywhere else in town other than the Winners food section, though. If you can and you know where, I’d love for you to comment letting us all know.
So, in conclusion, make sure you always marinate your meat and you’ll be sure to turn heads when you’re heating up your meal at work :-). Now this might not be your main objective and of course I’m just joking, but keep in mind that adding spices to your food will not make it less healthy. Quite the contrary, it will make you stick to your food goals because you’ll know that your meals taste good and you’ll be less likely to fall off the wagon seeking something better tasting.