Why Condiments Are An Important Part Of Meal Planning

Photo: Claire Lower

The success of a meal plan can only be judged by the percentage of it that’s consumed. It may sound obvious, but the execution of a good meal plan requires planning meals you are excited to eat. Picking the right proteins, vegetables and sides is important, but picking the right condiments — I’m talking sauces, marinades and pickled things — is even more so.

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You know those sauces that are so good, your view of all other food shifts from “things I’d like to eat” to “delivery system for said sauce”? Acquiring or making condiments of that level of tastiness is a subset of meal planning I like to call “flavour planning”, and its importance cannot be underestimated.

Once you’ve figured out what kind of food you’ll be eating that week, think about what kind of sauces, dips, marinades and pickled things would go well with that food. It doesn’t have to be complicated or new to your palate. For example, I have found I eat more salad when I make this blue cheese dressing, and that pickled corn brings sweet, tangy pops of joy to even the saddest bowl of instant noodles.

Two — one sauce and one pickle — is usually enough, as it is impossible to overwhelm yourself with too many options. (But really, if you want to make five different pickles, make five different pickles; live your tastiest life.) Also make sure to have a bottle of your favourite hot sauce around at all times. Hot sauce is important.

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If you need some DIY condiment inspiration, we have quite a few. (You’ll notice a lack of homemade tomato sauce; that is intentional.):

Obviously, any store-bought sauces, seasonings and pickles are fair game. If you have a favourite condiment that helps you eat everything put in front of you, please share it in the comments. I have eaten nutritional yeast straight off of a plate, so there’s no need to be shy.


Comments

    Personal recommendation (depending on what you are prepping, to be sure) - 2 jars of Old El Paso Mild Chunky Salsa is a fantastic, low calorie sauce option. 2 jars gets across 10 meals for me (3 if you are feeling you need some extra). 2 jars across 10 meals is around 30 calories per meal in sauce and it's freaking delicious.

      I second this! Also, a spoonful over Mi Goreng 2 minute noodles is perfection.

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