Thursday, August 26, 2010

Variety in Meal Planning

Meal Variety - Indian Foods
Variety is sometimes the biggest factor in determining whether a meal will be a success or not. There are several ways of adding variety to meals. Here are some pointers toward that end:

1. Don’t repeat the same kind of food in one meal. If you are having a tokwa-gluten loaf for dinner, do not serve adobong tokwa (marinated tofu) as well.

2. Try to avoid using only one type of foodstuff in one meal: A menu consisting of rice, macaroni salad, potatoes, and cookies is bad because all of these foods are rich in carbohydrates. A proper meal should be 10 to 15 percent protein, 25 to 35 percent fat, and 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates.

3. Avoid serving more than one strong-flavored food in one meal. If you are serving radish kilawin (citrus marinated seafood dish), then save the gluten curry for another meal. The opposite of this should also be avoided. Too many bland foods taken together are unappetizing.

4. Combine flavors. A contrast in flavors is always good and certainly adds to the variety of the menu. Try using bland foods to complement tangy ones, sweet foods to contrast sour.

5. Use sauces and relishes to add to the flavor of a dish, but do not mask its original flavor. Just the right amount of catsup can do wonders for a meet loaf, but too much catsup can drown it.

6. Be particular about serving-temperatures. If the soup is meant to be hot, serve it HOT, and if ice cream is on the menu, serve it COLD. Nothing is more unappetizing than lukewarm soup or runny ice cream.

7. Provide attractive color combinations. A meal of mashed potatoes, Spanish rice, and cauliflower is monotonous in appearance. Try using complimentary colors such as red, green, yellow, and white. Color can also be added by using garnishes such as red and green pepper rings, kinchay, celery, and peanuts.

8. Contrast textures and consistency. Don’t serve a meal consisting of arroz caldo, creamed chopped gluten, mashed potatoes, and pudding. Try to have something chewy like gluten steaks, something soft such as mashed squash, and something hard like peanut brittle.

9. Vary the shapes of food. Try to leave a variety of shapes- round, square, etc. – on the plates. It would rather odd to serve whole kernel corn, baked beans, rice and kadyos all at the same time.

10. Plan your menus according to the season. Piping hot soup will not be welcomed if served on a hot night in May, but it would be a nice addiction to a meal in December. Likewise, cold frosty pineapple juice is not very amusing early on Christmas day.

Pro-Health Foods - Beans
The likes and dislikes of each family member should be carefully considered when you plan your menus. If Junior likes fried bitter gourd but the rest of the family hates it, find something else that will satisfy everyone. Don’t make your family eat something just because it is good for them. Good substitutions can be made with a little imagination. Here, however, we should take care that we don’t cater to the whims of one member and ignore the others. With so many foods to choose from, it should be easy to please everyone.

Related Posts:
Provide Good Nutrition with Economy, Variety, and Attraction
Basic Six in Making Menus 
Menu Making Pointers
Saving Time in Preparing Meals 
Common Errors Concerning Food

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