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Did you know that before a single bite of food ever reaches your mouth, your senses are hard at work deciding how delicious the dish will be?

It’s true! Just think about it! Plating styles and food presentation play a huge role in how we experience food. When a plate of food is put in front of me, the first thing I always do is visually critique it. At this point, I’m already deciding if I’m going to enjoy my meal. Just by looking at the plate I can predict if I’m going to have a scrumptious eating adventure or a blah eating experience.

I’m sure you have all been there with me. You are at a restaurant,
excited for your meal and then the waiter sets your plate down in front of you and you quickly decide it’s not what you envisioned! You ARE judging it before you even try it!

Been there, done that…right?

If plating and presentation is so crucial in our experience with food, you’re probably wondering what types of things you could do to make your plates look delicious?

These tips below will help you create a beautiful plate!

• Use Color! Plated food should have balanced, contrasting colors. So spice up that dish by adding paprika on top or parsley on the side.

• Use different textures. Use a variety of different visual textures. Pair foods with smoother textures (sauces, glazes, etc.) with foods that have coarser textures (mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.).

• Use shapes & proportions appropriately. The “main” food component should be the largest piece of food on the plate, the accompanying side dishes and garnish should complement, not overwhelm the main course.

• Arrangement. Plated foods should have a natural “focal point”—the spot that first draws your attention when you look at the dish.

With all these tips given above, let’s put these methods into practice! Let’s take a look at this delicious and visually appealing  Chipotle Sloppy Joes with Crunchy Coleslaw Recipe, as seen in the ‘Healthy Beef Cookbook’.

The cool crunchy coleslaw teams with the smoky flavor of chipotle beef to create a taste sensation you’ll never forget! The different textures and vibrant colors pop off the plate and the best part, it only takes 30 minutes to prepare start to finish! You will not be disappointed!

Chipotle Sloppy Joes with Crunchy Coleslaw

  • 1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup canned beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons minced chipotle peppers in
    adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

Crunchy Coleslaw:

  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups packaged coleslaw mix
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch thick strips
  • Black pepper

1. To prepare Crunchy Coleslaw, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, pepper sauce and salt in small bowl. Add coleslaw mix and bell pepper; toss to coat. Season with black pepper, as desired. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

2. Brown ground beef with onion in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking beef up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Stir in ketchup, corn, beans, tomato sauce, chipotle peppers and cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in cilantro, salt and black pepper.

3. Place beef mixture on bottom half of each bun; top with coleslaw. Close sandwiches.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 406 calories; 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 3 g
monounsaturated fat); 77 mg cholesterol; 1344 mg sodium; 50 g carbohydrate; 6.9 g fiber; 33 g protein; 9.4 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 2.2 mcg vitamin B12; 5.3 mg iron; 39.8 mcg selenium; 7.3 mg zinc.

Healthy Beef Cookbook, Grilling Utensil Set, Spice Rub and Beef Giveaway

Many Americans aren’t sure how to cook naturally nutrient-rich lean beef. However, cookbook authors, nationally known Chef Richard Chamberlain and registered dietitian Betsy Hornick, combine their culinary and nutrition expertise to bring great-tasting lean beef to the table with more than 130 unique recipes, nutrition tips and culinary techniques.

This cookbook provides innovative solutions for delicious, lean beef meals that are easy to prepare, even for a novice cook. Each recipe in The Healthy Beef Cookbook was at least triple-tested by the experts at the checkoff-funded Culinary Center at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to ensure they would be easy, great-tasting and fool-proof for anyone. In fact, many of the recipes take 30 minutes or less to prepare. In addition, sections such as “The Skinny on Beef and Health” and “Beef Basics from the Experts” provide up-to-date information on the benefits of lean beef’s nutrient package,
illustrations to help identify healthy portion sizes, and tips that simplify how to buy, store, handle, cook and prepare lean beef.

In addition to the cookbook, a 4 piece outdoor grilling utensil set and spice rub will also adorn this Healthy Beef Prize Package!

You have numerous chances to win!

1. Simply leave a comment on this post ~ or any post on Make sure it’s an actual “conversation” comment. The goal is to get all of us talking!

2. Simply hit the Facebook “like” button on the side of this post.

3. Hit the the share button from this link on Facebook!

*Be sure to let us know you’ve “shared” this post.

All names are entered into a random drawing. We will announce our winner at 5:00 p.m. this Friday. Good Luck!!

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Kaiti George

Kaiti George is a Registered Dietitian and fitness enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in both fields. She is a Registered Dietitian at Hy-Vee in Kearney and also teaches a variety of group exercise classes at the Kearney YMCA. Kaiti is the proud mom of twins, Jenna and Collin. Kaiti is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a Licensed Medical Nutrition therapist through the State of Nebraska. She and her husband Tom live in Kearney with their two dogs, Joe and Murphy. Kaiti prides herself on living an active healthy lifestyle and hopes to give readers great tips and recipes to do the same!

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