You are going to love these fantastic condiment hacks and I bet you’ll want to try them out today!
When it comes to condiments, the first image that comes to mind is the small ketchup packet that comes with an order of fries. That pretty much sums up the idea of condiments—they are taken as an afterthought, something nice to have on the side, but certainly not the star of the meal. However, condiments can make the difference in spicing up common, everyday meals. With the right blend of condiments and other ingredients, you can step up your traditional barbecue recipes or vegetable dishes.
Marinades for Your Meat Dishes
Every marinade needs three essential ingredients: fats, acids, and seasonings. Fats, which are found in olive oil, vegetables, and coconut milk, help to transfer fat soluble flavors in the meat as well as help the meat retain moisture. An ingredient with an acidic flavor, such as citrus juices, vinegar, and wine, help tenderize the meat and penetrate it with flavor. Seasonings are the icing on the top; they enhance the smell and flavor profile.
Salt is an essential seasoning in a marinade because it helps to magnify the flavors. Chile peppers are also used to take the marinade flavor up a notch. Although not seasonings, ingredients like sugar, honey, brown sugar, agave nectar, or molasses are sometimes added to balance the acidic component of the marinade.
Even when you have all the essential ingredients, the magic of the marinade depends on the ratio of oil to acid. Generally, marinades follow a 3:1 ratio of oil to acidic ingredients. Meat that’s exposed too much to an acidic marinade can break down the meat to the point it becomes too mushy to enjoy. A marinade also needs time to soak in. Marinating meat for an hour is a good place to start, but letting the meat soak in for up to 24 hours allows the mixture to penetrate the meat more deeply.
So given the essential ingredients in a marinade for your meat, what kind of salad dressing condiments work well into a marinade? Start with a vinaigrette-based dressing like Just Italian made by hampton creek foods. As stated in its name, vinaigrettes have vinegar, which is acidic. An acidic ingredient is essential in a marinade. Creamy dressings also make for good marinades, but they tend to tenderize the meat more slowly compared to a marinade with a stronger acidic compilation. So when a marinade recipe calls for a cream-based dressing like, adding either lemon juice (which is acidic) or olive oil (a fat) as well as letting the marinade soak for several hours will help the meat soak up the flavor.
Dressing up Steamed or Grilled Vegetables
A side of vegetables is a healthy staple, but eating them every day can make vegetables feel a little bland. Sure, you could put butter and salt on your vegetable medley, but is there anything more you can do to spice it up? Well, yes. Salad dressing condiments are an easy way to put back life in your side vegetables. So they’re not just for salads—dressings can be used for dressing up grilled or steamed vegetables. Keep in mind that if you’re sticking to a vegan diet but want to dress up your steamed or grilled vegetables, then select a dressing that’s dairy-free. Hampton Creek salad dressings like Just Caesar, Just Ranch, and Just Goddess are dairy-free, which make it appealing to those sticking with a vegetarian diet and those who are allergic to dairy.
Substitute Regular Mayonnaise With Flavorful Versions
Mayonnaise is the base for many side dishes, like a potato salad, or served as an enhancement to the main entrée, like sandwiches. But spicing up the mayonnaise with various ingredients takes your meal to a whole new level—and it can make you feel like you’ve created a completely different dish. Let’s take a look at a chicken salad: basic ingredients are mayonnaise, chicken, celery, and possibly almonds. Changing up a plain chicken salad typical entails adding in more dry ingredients like more onions, grapes, or various nuts. But a flavored mayonnaise—either one you can create by mixing in fresh ingredients or one that’s already premade like Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo Sriracha flavor—transforms a typical chicken salad recipe into a whole new dish.
Condiments like salad dressing are often considered the cherry on top—nice, but not necessary with your meal. But with the right blend of ingredients, condiments are an easy hack to enhance or transform your meals without needing to reinvent the wheel.
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