Food Flavour Combinations That Just Work!
Cooking can be daunting for many, especially when trying to figure out what flavours work well together. Trying to get your kids to try new foods is a challenge and making sure the food you want them to try tastes good is key (adults also enjoy delicious food!). While there are many different ways to include proteins, veggies, and starches into dishes, if you’re looking for some inspiration when dinner time seems impossible, we’ve got you! Try some of these great flavour combinations out the next time you can't decide what to make for dinner!
Lemon, garlic, and dill
Cajun spice mix
Pesto and parmesan
Soy, maple, and Dijon mustard
Lemon, garlic, and herbs
Honey, garlic, and apple cider vinegar
Balsamic, oregano, and black pepper
Smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and black pepper
Sage, apple, and cumin
Thyme, rosemary, and sage
Barbeque sauce, apples, and onions
Soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger
Black pepper, garlic, and rosemary
Butter, red pepper flakes, garlic, and mustard
Soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil
Sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame seeds
Turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast
Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic
Orange juice, soy sauce, and maple syrup
Brussel sprouts: roasted with balsamic vinegar
Carrots: steamed then tossed with maple syrup and butter
Asparagus: Grilled or steamed with a squeeze of lemon juice
Sweet potatoes: Roasted, mashed, or baked
Zucchini: Sauteed, steamed, or roasted with lemon and garlic
Potatoes: baked, boiled, roasted, or mashed
Broccoli: Steamed or roasted with lemon and garlic
Green Beans: Sauteed with soy sauce and hoisin sauce
So why do certain flavour combinations work so well together? Well, most savoury recipes are formed on the principles of salt, fat, acid, and heat. Having a balance between these flavours is key to a tasty and balanced dish. Adding salty flavours like soy, certain spices, and ever-classic salt seasons your dish and helps stimulate your taste buds and salivary glands (it will make everyone hungry!). Adding fat like olive oil, butter, or another fat of choice (such as other animal fats), not only helps add flavour from the fat source, but also adds an unctuous satisfaction, and helps your dish get nice and golden (we eat with our eyes after all!). Adding some acid in the form of citrus, vinegar, or even mustard will give it a wonderful tang that will not only balance the flavours but can be a great way to brighten up any dish! Lastly is heat, which really means how you cook the food and for how long. This can determine flavour (like grilling, yum!), colour, and texture. Making sure you cook your food to your liking while ensuring it is within proper temperature ranges for the item you are making is key to a successful dish!
If you’re in need of further inspiration, the internet is a great place to find new and exciting recipes (like on our Kidco Kitchen website!). From casseroles and one-pot meals for the days you just need a quick fix, to those fun recipes that your kids will want to help you with (that means they might even eat it!), there are plenty of ways to get creative in the kitchen at your next meal.
Chef Lisa Ruscica
Chief Food Ambassador