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There are many ways to make nutritious, delicious, and attractive meals the HumanaNatura way and following HumanaNatura’s OurPlate healthy eating guidelines, but we encourage two main approaches.
One is to create mostly raw Salad Meals. The other is to prepare mostly cooked Steam Meals. Both approaches best optimize our eating patterns within the HumanaNatura technique of Natural Eating, and easily and reliably produce tempting and satisfying meals. This post provides step-by-step guidance on making salad-based meals the HumanaNatura way (click here for info on steaming meals). Of course, the two approaches can be combined.
Sliced Chicken and Veggies Salad Meal
Salad Meal Basics
Depending on how our proteins are selected and prepared, Salad Meals are among the healthiest forms of eating, since generous raw natural vegetables are used, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Salad-based meals are also a very efficient form of eating, with little waste and meals normally ready to serve in under ten minutes. And Salad Meals can be beautiful meals – as you can see in the photo above and as you can quickly discover for yourself – especially when whole and naturally healthy foods are used.
Though elaborate Salad Meals can be made using a variety of culinary techniques, almost all of the meals we present can be prepared quite simply. If you have a small kitchen and the following tools, you can begin making delicious and healthy Salad Meals the HumanaNatura way today:
- Non-stick sauté pan, wok, or roasting pan
- Heat resistant mitt or cloth
- Wooden spatula
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Salad vinegar or dressing
- Olive oil
To make Salad Meal preparation easier or more intuitive, HumanaNatura recommends thinking of meal-sized salads as having four main parts or components:
- Base – one or more lettuces or leafy vegetables
- Mix – a combination of chopped, sliced, or whole veggies, and perhaps a bit of fruit
- Protein – cooked meat, fish, or eggs, whether whole or sliced and warm or cool
- Nut (optional) – whole, chopped, crushed, or sliced raw nuts
When approaching salad-making this way, creating healthy and delicious Salad Meals becomes a much easier and more structured practice, and this often both better unleashes our creativity and makes the process more efficient.
Overall, Salad Meals simply involve preparing and then combining healthy and interesting bases, mixes, proteins, and nuts (if desired) in new and inventive ways. The underlying process of creating what are often remarkable and inviting Salad Meals is therefore quite simple and the same every time, while also offering the potential for tremendous variety and exciting daily f.
Five Key Practices
People who eat the HumanaNatura way and following HumanaNatura’s OurPlate healthy eating model quickly learn to prepare delicious meals quickly and expertly, and discover how different and powerful this new way of modern Natural Eating is from both traditional cuisines and other alternative dietary approaches.
To help you get started on the path of making Salad Meals an everyday form of eating for you and your family, here are a few key points to keep in mind:
> Plate selection – use smaller (~25cm or 10 inch) plates with fairly high sides, or a full and inviting plateful of food will be too large for one person
> Bite-sized food – cut, chop, or slice foods so they are ready and easy to enjoy at the table, and to reduce cooking time and energy use
> Learn not to burn – beautifully cooked food is your goal, so keep food moving regularly when cooking to prevent sticking and burning, and also watch for smoking oil – a sign your pan is too hot
> Seasoning expertise – there is often a fairly thin line between well-seasoned and less well-seasoned food, and it may take some practice and experimentation on your part to learn to expertly mix flavors creatively, interestingly, and harmoniously
> Salad dressings – can be as simple as olive oil and a bit of salad vinegar or lemon juice, or can involve more substantial ingredients, but always avoid dressings containing hydrogenated oils, sugars, and ingredients you don’t recognize
Salad Meals In Ten Easy Steps
With these tools and tips, and a little practice, you soon will be enjoying delicious, attractive, and health-optimizing HumanaNatura Salad Meals, and in just minutes of preparation each day. To help you achieve these goals, here is a simple ten-step approach to making Salad Meals the HumanaNatura way:
- Wash, drip or shake-dry, and refrigerate your lettuce base in advance
- Select your protein and mix of vegetables
- While you prepare your salad mix, cook your protein via steaming, sautéing, roasting, or grilling – see our steaming guidelines and use the following tips for pan-sautéed proteins:
- Cook with your pan or wok on medium to medium-high heat
- Start with cooking oil and seasoning, and any flavorful root vegetables
- Add your protein as the seasoning heats in the warming oil
- Move and turn the protein so it does not stick and cooks evenly
- As your protein cooks, add any veggies to be cooked to your sauté, based on cooking time
- Cook the protein and any veggies added until done, but not overdone
- Let the cooked portion of your meal stand for a few minutes
- As your protein cooks, rinse and drain your mix vegetables and fruits (can be done in advance)
- Cut your mix vegetables in interesting ways and cook lightly if desired
- Cut any fruits you are using as needed and set aside
- Cut or tear and plate your base lettuces
- Arrange your mix vegetables and fruit on your base
- Cut or slice your protein as needed and place on or next your mix
- Dress, add nuts, and garnish as desired, and then serve immediately
Using Seasonings & Herbs
As suggested above, in addition to using fresh and diverse natural foods, liberal use of seasonings and herbs is a great way to get the most flavor and enjoyment from your Salad Meals. Importantly, your use of seasonings and herbs can vary based on taste, local availability, and cost.
In the HumanaNatura approach to making Salad Meals, seasonings are used in two ways: 1) to flavor cooked proteins and veggies as described above, and 2) to garnish Salad Meals immediately prior to serving. In general, if the seasonings you use taste good, and are healthy and affordable, you have succeeded.
Definitely experiment with different types and mixes of seasonings and herbs. To get started, you might begin with some of the following varieties, which are normally available at most grocery stores:
- Black pepper
- Red pepper
- Minced garlic
- Lemon rind
On the topic of seasoning, please note that added salt is normally not used, as a seasoning or otherwise, when making HumanaNatura Salad Meals and across our overall technique of Natural Eating.
Healthy Eating – And Living!
We hope our Salad Meal guidelines and ten-step meal preparation process will help you create delicious, inspiring, and nutritionally superior meals the HumanaNatura way. With a bit of practice, you can quickly master the art of salad-based meals and enjoy our science-based, renaturalized approach to modern eating each day.
Learn about the key principles of creating delicious and nutritious meals via OurPlate, HumanaNatura’s simple natural eating model for designing optimally healthy meals. Experience how this 100% natural approach to your daily meals can change the way you eat, feel, and live.
You can learn even more about the science and art of modern natural nutrition in the Natural Eating section of HumanaNatura’s comprehensive Personal Health Program.
Tell others about HumanaNatura…give the gift of modern natural life!
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