Having Fun with Flavor: Alternatives
Written By: Heather Gerrish, RDN
This week will spark some ideas to play with flavor or try something new in your meal prep plans. Sometimes it can be difficult to think of interesting and tasty ways to make your favorite dishes fit in your meal prep plans, or maybe you are looking to change some ingredients to focus on flavor AND include a healthy swap - well, this blog is for you! The world is full of inspiration, all it takes is a little digging and organizing your favorites into one, “go to” list! And, to take that job off your hands, this blog is an excellent place to reference for new ideas or use as your own foundation for collecting recipes you love and enjoy.
These recipes were gathered from a variety of sources, all easily found and built by chefs, bakers or well known foodies alike. Recipes take a while to perfect - sometimes with multiple tries, modifications or scrapping one idea and taking on another - but with this list you won’t have to worry about experimenting on that end, only that you can experiment in your own nutrition practice with these ideas and flavors on your own!
With a wide variety of different dishes, flavors and ideas covered here, this list has a little bit for everyone. From main meals (including some excellent breakfast varieties) to snacks and desserts. Use this list to try out something new, or save for a later when you are feeling like your meal prep needs some new flavor.
Take a look at the wide variety of recipes below and see what inspiration strikes!
Overview: A great twist on the traditional eggs and bacon, this bowl is quick to make and is an alternative to the norm. It’s also a great way to introduce a new food if tofu is not common in your meal prep agenda.
Overview: The picture alone on this one is enough to give it a try, but overall creating a “bowl” style breakfast or lunch is an easy way to incorporate variety (both for fruits and veggies - dare to sneak them in!) and the brittle looks plain delicious!
Overview: If you have made cauliflower crust before, or have not - this recipe is a great start to try out new flavors and play up your cooking skills at home. Not to mention, who doesn’t love a good pizza?!
Overview: Recently I have become a fan of trying out alternative protein sources and what better way to do so than with one of my all time favorites - a burger! This one is packed with flavor and nutrient variety (check out those beets!!) and could be a new recipe to try out this summer - if you dare! ~ Really though, try it out :)
Overview: Another great protein alternative or something to have in your back pocket when hosting a BBQ for your meatless Mondays or friends who prefer a meatless option (but don’t want to miss out on the grill). Also, these are very simple to make - talk about a quick Summer weekday dinner!
Overview: I LOVE THESE. Cauliflower wings have caught on where I currently live and I cannot get enough. They taste so similar to hot wings that sometimes I have to come back to reality and make sure I am actually eating a vegetable! This is also a great way to incorporate a filling veggie before a main meal if served as an appetizer so the next time you are out and see these on the menu or are at home and feeling adventurous - give them a try!
Overview: I can’t help it. I love easy, quick and delicious recipes for weekday mornings. Sometimes I just don’t have time to sit down and make a well rounded meal, but knowing that these can be made the night before saves me not only time in the morning, but that mid-morning slump by providing complex carbohydrates to keep me going on busy weekdays!
Overview: Sheet pan dinners are amazing. You pile everything on to one pan, season, bake and viola! A complete meal, made at home and completely delicious. This recipe can also be modified to include more seasonal produce and can change with what you have available in your kitchen. I also like to use this method for a “clean out the fridge” night where the ingredients I have need to be used that day - throw them on the pan!
Overview: These are similar to a savory crepe, but GREEN! The bonus of this recipe includes the versatility of flavors that pair with the “savory” emphasis of it’s core ingredient list. The options are really endless with the potential combos you could create! So get creative!
Overview: If you are prepping for the week ahead or need to plan a party favorite for the weekend, this dip is a life saver! Pair with veggies and sneak in another serving in your day, or go for whole grains and pair with crackers!
Overview: This is another beautiful picture, but also a nutrient dense one! Color, variety and not to mention, a tasty treat sure to please any crowd! I imagine this complementing a center piece at a dinner party or being a great appetizer. Try it out!
Overview: Who doesn’t like a no bake cookie? And these can be made ahead and frozen (meal prep hack!) for a later date. They also can be modified to bump up the protein with additional nut butter or seeds, packing a protein punch for a snack after a workout or mid-day pick me up.
Overview: A fun twist on the traditional chips and salsa, this is a summer spin with lots of flavor. Cinnamon chips paired with fruit salsa could be either an appetizer or dessert - you choose! This really is a way to play with flavor and might just be the next big hit this summer!
Overview: And who could forget this classic, black bean brownies have been around for some time, but there is a reason! With added protein and decreased total fat content, these brownies are a great sweet treat to incorporate, not to mention fun to ask people “what’s different about these brownies, do you notice anything?” and leave them puzzled because they taste so good!
Green Kitchen Stories. (2019, April 12). Retrieved from https://greenkitchenstories.com/green-vegan-chickpea-pancakes/
MakeItHealthy, K8ybilly, Becksters, T, L., Ruthteen, Hill, J. W., . . . Jexteza. (2012, October 17). https://www.allrecipes.com
Gourmet, B. (2019, May 27).The Bojon Gourmet. Retrieved from https://bojongourmet.com/