Monday, 20 October 2008

Great healthy and Easy Alternatives

so many of you have asked for the details of my drink and snack healthy alternatives so here are some
Alternative to Diet Coke
Buy Crazy Jacks concentrated fruit juice from Holland and Barret, they do lots of flavours but for a coke alternative the apple and blackcurrant is best. Dilute 1 part juice to 7 parts fizzy water and you have a delicious healthy drink that tastes very close to diet coke but is a million times better for you. You can add zsweet healthy sweetener to it if you like it to taste really sweet.

Alternative to crisps
Buy plain popping corn/popcorn kernels, you can find them in most food shops, put about 40g or a handful into a brown paper bag fold it at the top and microwave for 3 minutes and you will have a large bag of air popped popcorn which has hardly any calories. Sprinkle it with light soy sauce or light tahini sauce and you have a healthy filling snack of under 100 calories. Popcorn is full of lutein which guards against macular eye degeneration.

Alternative to spaghetti
Use a julienne vegetable parer on courgettes to make courgette ribbons, place the courgette ribbons in boiling water for one minute to soften them than you can add them to bolognaise sauce. You can use them in place of spaghetti or pasta in any pasta dish and also in place of noodles in stir fry dishes you can also add them to soups once the soup has been cooked.
You can also cook beansprouts (they only need a few minutes to cook )and use them as an alternative to pasta and noodles.

Real Breakfast Bars
Cook a large pan of porridge oats using water or water and rice, oat or soya milk once its cooked leave it to asborb all the liquid and thicken then add other ingredients to it like hemp seeds and microwaved popcorn or sunfloweer seeds, flaked almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds etc. Pour the mixture onto a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes. If you like it chewy cook it for less time and if you like it crunchy press it down so it is thinner and cook for a little longet then cut into squares or slices and enjoy. You can experiment with lots of added ingredients like chopped up pear and ginger or grated apple and cinnamon or mashed up banana and peanut butter (smooth or crunchy and of course sugar free) or blueberries or any berries and dessicated coconut. In fact any kind of fruit, seeds, nut combo is good; dont use dried fruit as it is too high in sugar. These bars will keep for at least a week in foil or an airtight container and are great for breakfast on the go, or as alternatives to biscuits and snacks for you and your children.

Alternative Spreads

Fantastic Home Made Hummus
Here is my recipe for hummus its much nicer and lower in calories than the shop bought stuff.
400g tinned chickpeas drained
2 tbsp light tahini paste
2 crushed garlic cloves
juice of 1 lemon (you can also add lime juice )
2-5 tbsp virgin olive oil
small handful of parsley
small handful of coriander
half tsp mild smoked paprika
2-4 tbsp water according to how thick you like it

blend all the ingredients in a food processor season with salt and or black pepper. Spoon into a tub or individual bowls and place in fridge for an hour before serving. It will thicken up so you can thin it with more water or olive oil.
Sprinkle with smoked paprika or tumeric for colour and a few sprigs of corinader or parsley.

You can make hummus different by adding tomatoes, peppers, olives or sun dried tomatoes to the mix. If you have time its lovely to roast or grill peppers or tomatoes or a mild red chilli or all 3 for for about 7 minutes until the skins blacken then remove the skins and add the roasted peppers, chilli and or tomatoes to the mix before blending. its also great to add avocado to hummus. When you add ingredients like cucumber, tomatoes or peppers you naturally lower the calories, just make sure the salad ingredients have been dried in kitchen towels so they dont make the hummus watery.

Butter Bean Spread/Butter Bean Hummus

One large tin of butter beans, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 tblsp olive oil, fresh garlic and 6-8 sun dried tomatoes or 2 roasted red peppers. drain the butter beans, press the garlic and blend all the ingredients in a food processor until they are smooth and creamy add a little lemon juice and more olive oil if you like it thinner. You can experiment with this recipe by adding some fresh peas and mint, some mild chillies, an avocado, more sun dried tomatoes, more peppers, or some olives, more coriander etc. It will keep for about 5 days and can be frozen.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Some Recipes and Menus for Lunches and Dinners ©

Hi everyone here are some recipes and menus for lunches and dinners that should help you live without bread, cheese and pasta I would love it if you would add some of your favorite recipes and I will add my own favorites.
My current favorite fast lunch is to open tin of red salmon add to it a small packet of cashews and some sun dried tomatoes and eat with half an avocado and some salad leaves.
My favorite fast dinner is to put frozen spinach, frozen sweetcorn and frozen prawns in an oven proof dish and bake for 20 minutes adding a small amount of cubed feta for the last 5 minutes. Frozen veg (as long as they contain no salt and sugar are a perfect alternative to fresh veg)

• Eggs boiled, poached, hard boiled,
• Scrambled eggs made with olive oil
• Omelette made with oil NOT milk or butter
Cook your eggs with any kind of vegetable including tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, peas, sweet corn, onions or ham, prawns or salmon and add coriander for serotonin.

• Soya yogurt with almonds and/or mixed seeds sunflower, hemp, sesame, pumpkin (a dessert spoon size of mixed seeds and nuts) add cinnamon if you like it.

• Stewed fruit apples, pears, plums (sprinkle with a mixture of nuts and seeds) add half teaspoon of ground cinnamon to reduce blood sugar and reduce sugar cravings

• Smoothie made with any fruit combination or fruit and soya milk add seeds and half a spoon of cinnamon if liked.

• Any fruit especially bananas for the serotonin eat with 10 almonds or cashew or a spoonful of seeds for the protein

• Oats made with water add soya or rice milk and cinnamon.

If you need breakfast on the go either make a frittata see recipe below and take a slice of with you or cook up a pan of porridge oats (ensure they are not runny) after cooking add some seeds and berries spread it on a baking tray and bake slowly in the oven for about 15 minutes cut into slices and take a slice or two with you for a late breakfast. This really is breakfast in a bar unlike those you buy in supermarkets which are full of sugar and additives.


Chicken or turkey salad
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon salt
Salad Ingredients
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into cubes
tomatoes peppers cucumber spring onions sweetcorn
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, coriander and salt.
In a medium bowl, place all the remaining ingredients. Whip the dressing ingredients together with a fork, and then pour over the chicken mixture. Gently toss and refrigerate until served.
Add tofu or nuts and seeds or quinoa if preferred
Serves 4.

• Salad of avocado, sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cucumber and tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, pilchards
• Salad of cold roast chicken or turkey with cold roast sweet potato, spring onions, peppers and tomatoes.

• Baked sweet potatoes or yams with a filling of chicken or tuna, sweetcorn baby tomatoes

• Cold cooked ham or Hummus and falafels with salad or vegetables

Mid afternoon snacks
• any fruit
• soya yogurt with seeds or fruit,
• endemame beans
• hummus with raw vegetables
• Popcorn put popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag fold in half and cook in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, sprinkle with light soy sauce and enjoy.

• Thai Rice noodles with prawns or tofu
Cook I large handful of rice noodles per person according to instructions and in a wok stir fry veggies like mange tout, leeks, peppers, beansprouts, mushrooms, spring onions and cherry tomatoes until al dente, add the cooked noodles to veggies add tofu or prawns, light soy sauce and sesame seeds stir fry for a further 5 minutes
4oz noodles 3oz prawns 3oz veg per person

• Spinach Parma and Basil Frittata
made with oil (not milk or butter) served with salad and sweet potato wedges
4oz Parma ham
3tsp olive oil
I onion chopped
I chopped garlic clove
6 eggs
Small bunch fresh basil torn
Medium bunch of spinach torn

Heat one tbs of olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan and cook one onion and one garlic clove finely chopped for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
Beat 6 eggs in a large bowl and season with salt and peppers. Stir in the onions and garlic, spinach, basil and Parma ham.
Preheat grill on high heat. Wipe out the frying pan and add a little oil. Heat over medium heat then pour in the egg mixture. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until almost set. Grill for 2-3 minutes or until golden, then slide gently out of the pan and cut into wedges to serve.
Cut sweet potatoes into wedges rub in oil and cinnamon bake under a hot grill or in the oven for 30 minutes.
You can make a breakfast frittata with Parma ham and mushrooms
You can make them for lunch or dinner with prawns, smoked salmon courgettes, sweetcorn, peas and any other veggies you choose.

• Fishcakes
Make salmon or crab fish cakes by adding 100g mashed sweet potato to 75 cooked flaked salmon or tinned salmon or crab add some fresh coriander black pepper and lemon juice. Dip in beaten egg and fry in olive oil and serve with salad or stir fry vegetables.

• teriyaki turkey or beef

1 1/4 pounds turkey pieces
5 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, divided
2 tablespoons peanut butter (sugar free)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon (or more to taste) Hot Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and chopped
Cut turkey or beef into 1/8 inch thick strips. In medium bowl, combine turkey and 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce; toss to coat. In small bowl, combine remaining 3 tbsp. teriyaki sauce, peanut butter, 1 tablespoon water, ginger and hot chili sauce.
Meanwhile, in large nonstick skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add turkey (1/2 at a time) and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface is no longer pink. Remove turkey from wok. Toss turkey with peanut butter mixture to coat. Sprinkle with chopped cucumber. :

• Roasted cauliflower with baked ham

1 head cauliflower, broken into small flowerets and washed
2-4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon seasoning salt

1 Bake the ham in the oven and 25 minutes before its finished
2. Place all other ingredients in a large storage bag and shake well to coat.
3. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes. Spraying with additional water after 15 minutes as needed. If a more tender bite is enjoyed continue to cook till desired.
Mustard can be added to the cauli and the ham for taste

• Ratatouille of tomatoes, onions, courgettes , eggplants, peppers sweetcorn and herbs
It can be served with tofu, chicken or turkey
4 servings


2 teaspoons
Finely minced garlic
1 cup chopped onions
1 large eggplant
3 medium zucchini
2 large green peppers
2 cans sweetcorn
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Tablespoon fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
2 cups crushed canned tomatoes
fresh ground pepper

1. Heat oil in oven or large pan
Cook garlic and onions until tender.
2. Cut vegetables into 1-inch pieces.
3. Add the eggplant, zucchini, pepper, oregano, parsley
and stir well.
4. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
5. Add tomatoes, cover and cook over low heat for about 45 minutes.
6. Serve hot or cover mixture and refrigerate to serve chilled.

• Steamed fish with Mediterranean vegetables and aioli

(Serves 4)

4 x firm white fish fillets e.g. haddock,
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic , crushed
2 red peppers, sliced into strips
2 courgettes cut into matchsticks
2 tomatoes skinned and chopped
few thyme leaves
1tbsp balsamic vinegar

garlic mayonnaise : 2 cloves garlic crushed
2 egg yolks
200 ml olive oil
100ml sunflower oil
3tbsp lemon juice


To make the garlic mayonnaise: put the garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Start whisking, and very slowly start adding the oils a little at a time, whisking all the time, until the mixture starts to thicken. Do this until all the oils are used up. Add the lemon juice and check the seasoning.

Using the 2tbs olive oil, sauté the onion, garlic, peppers and courgettes gently for 5 minutes until slightly softened. Add the tomatoes and thyme leaves and cook for another 8-10 minutes, adding the vinegar after 5 minutes. Season.

Meanwhile season the fish fillets as required, place on the steam grid and add water to the bottom part of the steamer or steam in the pan

Serve the fish with vegetables and mayonnaise

• Garlic-Ginger Chicken Strips

2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 tablespoon fresh basil

6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons grated ginger root

1/2 pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder

Cut each chicken breast half lengthwise into 4 long strips in a medium non-metal bowl, combine all other ingredients. Mix well. Add chicken pieces and cover with marinade. Let marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature or 4-24 hours refrigerated.
Drain chicken. Place chicken pieces on hot grill; grill 4-5 inches from heat about 5 minutes or until light brown. Turn and grill another 3-5 minutes until golden brown and no longer pink inside. Serve hot with mixed roast vegetables (peppers, onions. leeks, courgettes and tomatoes)

• Foil bake a 150g trout seasoned with lemon and parsley and black pepper. Serve with caramelised red onions and a 130g baked sweet potato

• For a special dinner put a chicken in a casserole dish cover with fresh coriander add a tin of coconut milk and a little curry powder and turmeric or lemongrass and some baby sweetcorn . Roast the chicken and alongside roast some scallions, peppers and artichokes (once roasted they taste just like roast potatoes) 5 mines before the end of cooking add more fresh coriander to the chicken. I cook it until it is caramelized and the coconut milk is almost cooked away you may prefer to keep the coconut milk as sauce in which case add half the tin at the beginning and the other half 15 mins before the end of cooking.
Cooking salmon and sweet potatoes in a base of coconut milk is also lovely


• Spicy tomato soup
8 fresh tomatoes pureed
1 cup of water
1 cup of chicken broth
1 red onion finely minced
2 gloves of garlic mixed
2 red peppers diced
1tsp of cayenne pepper
1tsp paprika
¼ green chillies diced
¼ chives diced

Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot and cook on low heat for one hour
serves 6

• lentil soup
4 sticks of celery
4 leeks
4 carrots
2 red onions
cup of lentils
tsp garlic
cook vegetables in 1 ½ pints of marigold stock for I hour
take out and blend half the mixture then return to the pan
serves 6
For a variation of the soup roast 6 parsnips 6 carrots 12 scallions chop into chunks and add to the soup 5 minutes before its finished cooking.

• Chicken and mushroom soup
6 cups of water
meat of I chicken diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
2 onions diced
I tsp black pepper
18 button mushrooms

in a large pan combine water chicken garlic onion bay leaf and pepper bring to boil reduce heat cover and simmer for 2 hours until chicken is tender. Remove bay leaf ,discard. bring to boil. Reduce heat add mushrooms cover simmer for 20 minutes
serves 6

• Cabbage soup
3 cups non-fat broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup green beans
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt & pepper to taste

1. In a large saucepan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, sauté carrot, onion and garlic over low heat for 5 minutes (until softened).
2. Add broth, tomato paste, cabbage, green beans, basil, oregano, and salt & pepper to taste.
3. Lower heat and simmer for a about 10-15 minutes until all vegetables are tender.
4. Stir in zucchini and heat 3-4 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes 6-8 servings

• Spring minestrone
3 rashers of pancetta
2tbsp olive oil
I chopped onion
1chopped celery stick
I sliced leek
3 crushed garlic cloves
2ltr stock
1 bay leaf
1 sliced courgette
2oz sliced French beans
2oz shelled broad beans
1head of broccoli
5asparagus spears
Chop panccetta heat olive oil in large saucepan add the pancetta onion celery leek and garlic and fry for 5 minutes add the stock bay leaf and oregano to season bring to the boil simmer for 5 minutes add courgettes and French beans simmer for a further five minutes. Add the broccoli asparagus and broad beans simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir in dried basil add more seasoning if desired serve sprinkled with chilli.
serves 4-6

• Baked sweet potato with tuna fish, soya peas and sweet corn and or mixed salad 4oz veg and 4oz of tuna 2oz soya beans 2oz sweet corn

• prawn skewers with cherry tomatoes, courgettes, button mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, cubed feta or halumi and olives brush with sesame oil and grill for about 25 minutes.

• When cooking chicken or turkey make it different by cooking it in coconut oil, sesame oil or any flavored oil: it’s also really good to fry chicken or fish portions in a base of pure lemon juice.
• Grilled fish, cook in lemon juice for 5 minutes then add fresh or frozen spinach to the pan cook for a further 2 minutes add a handful of pine nuts and brown a little.
• Roasting veg like onions peppers leeks celery carrots peas soya beans tomatoes mushrooms garlic spring onions scallions spinach sweetcorn or yams with a dusting of cinnamon and oil gives them a great flavour
• mashed cauliflower with olive oil instead of potatoes mashed with butter is lovely you can also fry it into delicious potatoe cakes
• You can cook quinoa and add it to soups salads or serve it with meat instead of rice potatoes and pasta-quinoa is a seed not a grain
• DelUgo Spaghetti made from chickpeas is a great substitute for pasta
• place frozen peas and runner beans in a casserole dish add a little boiled water and a dessert spoon of marigold bouillon place fillets of any fish on top of the veg and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes

• Bake a banana in foil sprinkled with vanilla essence orange juice 1 tsp honey and some crushed cardamom seeds.

• Poach 100g apples and 135g pears with cloves sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds. Add a swirl of soya yogurt if desired

• For a fab and quick dessert add any berries; blueberries, strawberries, raspberries (fresh or frozen) to a saucepan with a dessertspoon of honey a handful of sesame seeds and some shredded mint leaves cook on a high for 5 minutes and serve
• Baked apples with fruit
• Soya yogurt with fruit
• Hot berry compote
• Fruit kebabs
• Stewed fruit with cinnamon, nuts and seeds
• Fruit compote with apple cinnamon and raisins

Other breakfasts
Herb and veggie omelette
Yogurt with seeds nuts or fruit limit the variety to three
Yogurt with Seeds
Yogurt with Linwoods milled flaxseeds and nuts
Yogurt with fruit
Fruit with seeds and nuts
Halumi cheese with olives
Feta cheese with olives and tomatoes

Desk bound lunch
Tuna with salad
Cold chicken or turkey with salad
Soup with vegetable noodles
Cold fish
Hummus with salad or vegetables
Olive’s nuts and seeds
Feta or halumi cheeses with salad
Avocado with pine nuts and prawns
Hard boiled eggs with salsa or tomatoes and mayo
Lentil soup
Lentil and herb salad
Frittata or tortilla (Spanish omelette without the potatoes)
Add fruit veggies and soya yogurt or smoothies if you want more

Spinach and eggs
Prawns and eggs
Tortilla without potatoes
Salmon and pine nuts
Salad with tuna
Sweet potatoes and yams
Baked sweet potatoes with peppers, sweetcorn, cucumber and halumi
Baked sweet potatoe wedges with ham
Stews of fish poultry or lean meat
Grilled lean pork with steamed red cabbage and onions
Roast meat or fish with roasted vegetables and roasted sweet potatoes
Cooked lentils with onions tomatoes peppers and feta
Kebabs of steak chicken turkey or fish with vegetables
Minestrone with chick peas instead of pasta
Roasted peppers stuffed with lean lamb mince or turkey mince
Red onions stuffed with veggies and tofu
Spinach frittata
Ratatouille with clams

Fruit with a handful of almonds or seeds
Raw carrot sticks and hummus (home made with less oil more lemon, coriander and herbs)
Celery sticks spread with a very small amount of sugar free peanut butter
Raw red and green pepper sticks with low fat hummus (home made with more lemon less oil add coriander and herbs to make it more tasty)
Small quantity of nuts, especially almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts
Small quantity of seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin or hemp
No added sugar seed or seed & nut bar
Oatcakes with v small amount of soya spread or a sliced peach apple or pear
Humus & rice cakes or oat cakes
Tangerines grapes blueberries
Japanese soy beans

Monday, 12 May 2008

marisa's seminars ©

Hi to everyone who attended my most recent You Can Be Thin seminars in March, April and May this blog is a way for you and anyone else to communicate with me and with each other through your comments.
You can post any comments, messages or feedback to me or to each other you can swap recipes and menus and get support so please do add any comments

Two Day Fat Burning Programme ©

The most effective and painless way to shed weight over 2 days is to just eat fruit, vegetables and very lean protein.

This programme is designed to ensure you not only drop between 2-4lbs it will also ensure that you are not bloated, have a flatter stomach and shed the weight and inches predominantly from your waist, stomach and hips, perfect if you want to look good in little black dress. Its particular combination of foods and spices specifically work together to minimise sugar cravings, burn fat and lower the levels of sugar in your blood while satisfying hunger.

It is quite simple to drop a few pounds by just eating fruit or fruit and vegetables but adding lean protein keeps your energy levels high throughout the day and keeps you full. The amino acids and catecholamine in protein send a message of fullness to our brains. Protein-rich foods encourage the production of the hormone peptide YY which is known to suppress appetite.

The body works hard to properly digest protein the longer and the more effort put into digesting protein, the more calories your body uses up and the more your metabolic rate will increase. Lean protein has 2-3 times the thermic effect of carbs or fat meaning it elevates metabolism by up to 10% more than when carbs or fat are eaten.

This 2 day programme is based around lean fish and vegetables as most people who crave sugar are low in magnesium. Magnesium-rich foods lessen sugar cravings these include apples, celery, parsley and fish. A diet deficient in magnesium can cause weight gain as well as sugar cravings, as an added bonus the fish is very nourishing for your skin so will look glowing rather than haggard as a result of this 2 day detox programme.

Day one

Breakfast: Any kind of water based fruit like apples, pears, grapes, peaches, plums or berries don't have more than 3 varieties as too much variety stimulates the appetite.
Sprinkle with half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, cinnamon reduces sugar levels in the blood and reduces sugar cravings. Warm the fruit in a little water if you like hot food for breakfast. If you don’t like fruit have 2 hard boiled eggs instead or scrambled in oil no milk or butter.

Drink herb teas, cinnamon, rooibos and green tea are the best. No milk, cream or any dairy products at all. Japanese Green Tea can burn fat more rapidly. The catechins in Green tea can reduce waist circumference and abdominal fat by boosting metabolism. Drink several cups a day hot or iced and several glasses of water with lemon, orange or lime slices or a strawberry added for a little flavour.

Lunch: Spicy salad a mixed salad of green vegetables, peppers, celery, parsley, tomatoes and a fist sized serving of prawns, prawns are naturally rich in zinc which lessens craving for sugary foods add ginger and cayenne pepper if possible as they can help to stimulate thermogenisis (heat generated by the body) and promote weight reduction, add chillies if you like them. Chillies speed up the metabolism and reduce hunger. Hot spices can boost the rate at which calories are burnt by up to 15 per cent for a few hours after eating

Dinner: spicy fish and vegetables Steamed or stir fried vegetables (with the tiniest amount of oil) with cooked prawns parsley and the same spices as above, serve them on shredded lettuce. If you can’t face prawns twice have a fist sized serving of sardines mackerel, tuna or salmon (canned in water not oil) with cumin, ginger, cayenne pepper and chillies to further boost your metabolism. You can add a sauce of canned tomatoes and garlic for extra flavour.

Snack on fruit, again no more than two varieties (apples are the best), or cherry tomatoes, raw vegetables or soy beans without salt (you can buy birds eye frozen soy beans) Soy protein slightly increases your metabolism. The isoflavones, glycine and arginine in soya milk can accelerate the breakdown of fat, especially stomach fat and reduce the levels of sugar in the blood.

Day two

Breakfast: As day one, any 3 types of fruit with half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

Lunch same as day one but you can replace the prawns with any fish.

Dinner same as day one any type of fish and vegetables or salad with tomatoes and spices. If you hate fish replace with eggs or skinless chicken.

Snacks same as day one

Absolutely NO alcohol, sugar, wheat or dairy foods and NO salt or artificial sweeteners, the spices will give the food all the flavour you need.