A meal is considered complete only if it has proteins, fibres, starch, and other essential nutrients.
When you are busy plating your yummy meat dishes, always ensure that it is balanced with vegetables to make it a complete meal. And just like choosing the right wine to go with the right meat, you can pair certain vegetables and meats for the best culinary experience. The basic premise remains that one should never overpower the other – rather the meat and vegetables have to work in tandem to bring out the flavours.
Love your meat? Find out which vegetable pairs best with your chosen protein!
ROASTED CHICKEN + ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES
This is a classic combo – and it works brilliantly because root vegetables can be roasted to perfection with minimal fuss. Roasted carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes all pair exceptionally well with roast chicken. Pro tip: marinate the meat overnight and add the seasoning to vegetables before you roast it.
GRILLED MEATS + GRILLED CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES
Loaded with fibre and other nutrients, cruciferous vegetables feature high in many dietary charts. When served with grilled meat, it acts as a defence against the unhealthy side effects of grilled meat – studies show that potentially harmful chemicals form when fat burns over an open flame. Whether it is grilled fish, steak or chicken, pair them up with a healthy side of Brussel sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower.
POACHED MEATS + PUREED VEGETABLES
When it comes to poaching, meat is usually slow-cooked in stock and served with pureed starchy vegetables and grilled leafy vegetables – making it a complete and flavourful meal that has little to no oil. You can puree any root vegetable and grilled leafy vegetables – go for kale or radicchio. This is the preferred meal of the health-conscious folks.
FRIED MEAT + FRIED VEGETABLES
Fried chicken and fries (potato) is one of the popular combos of fried meat and fried veggies. Comfort over health is the mantra for the lovers of all things fried. Frying the meat has many styles of prep – with many chefs calling out ‘double dip’ as the secret to best-fried meat.
STEWED MEAT + STEWED VEGETABLES
This one-pot dish has both meat and vegetables slow-cooked together for more than two hours – letting the flavours open up and tenderising the meat. Vegetables used in the stew are usually root vegetables, but in some instances, even legumes are used. Stews are usually served with freshly baked bread or rice.
Though we have listed the best pairings that are tried and tested, it may not work for everyone if you have particular preferences – in such cases, you can mix it up and explore what works for you and your family. May your Sunday lunches be delicious and healthy!