Cooking Right

To keep well and healthy we should eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet means we eat the right amount of the right foods. To do this we need to eat a variety of different foods.

Understanding the importance of a balanced diet for good health is essential. A balanced diet is made up of five food groups. This section gives you information about the proportion and variety of everyday foods that we need to stay healthy. Have a look at the Balance of Good Health Food Plate below. The larger the section, the more foods we should try to eat from this group.

Cooking for 10 to 1000 people does not mean you have to loose quality.

Happy Tastebuds — no extra work required.

1. Using fewer ingredients not only makes for faster, easier cooking—it can also mean food with clearer, more pronounced flavors. When you want acidity in a dish, add vinegar or lemon juice, not both. When you want to create a briny taste, use anchovies or capers, not both. That way you get much more than the type of flavor you're looking for, you also get the particular, unmuddied taste of the ingredient that you choose.

2. Consider this: Many flavors are tamed by cooking, which is the opposite of what you want in many cases. If you prefer a strong garlic flavor, add it at the end of the cooking process, not the beginning. Citrus juices, ginger, horseradish, and many other strong seasonings are far more potent when added during the last minute of cooking, or after you've turned off the heat. Even olive oil packs a punch when used at the last second.

3. Mincing is often not only a waste of time but counterproductive. Minced herbs like parsley, cilantro, chervil, dill, and mint don't have half the flavor that those same herbs do when roughly chopped.

4. Do not be overly obsessive about serving food hot. Many dishes are equally good served at room temperature, and most showcase their flavors better when they don't scorch your tongue. (Similarly, don't serve food too cold. Refrigerating salad or cooked vegetables until you're ready to eat is almost always a bad idea.)

5. Buy wisely. Many supposedly shelf-stable foods—from olive oil to soy sauce—lose their flavor when stored for more than a few weeks. Buying large quantities of these items is not a cost savings if the ingredient is tasteless (or worse, rancid) by the time you use it.

© 2005 Dee's Catering Service