Sauces and Condiments: Add Pizzazz to Your Meals

Let’s face it: when you’ve got a lot of responsibilities to juggle and are prioritizing your own well being, making complex, time-consuming meals isn’t high on the list. However, eating a variety of tasty, healthy meals is appealing. So how do you make delicious, healthy meals when you don’t have a lot of time? 

Stick to The Basics

The answer is to cook basic foods (you can read about that here) and dress them up with sauces and condiments. For example, take a bowl of rice, add steamed spinach and a couple of over easy eggs, top with Korean BBQ sauce (like Gojuchang sauce), mix it all up, and you’ve got an easy Korean-inspired rice bowl. Not so crazy about Asian spices? Sauté ground turkey with 4 or 5 garlic cloves and chopped broccoli, simmer with good quality marinara sauce, and serve over pasta topped with grated parmesan cheese. 

Aim for Good Enough

OK, maybe you think simple meals are boring or not as good as you know you’re capable of preparing. Maybe that’s true. But, so what? There is a time and place for more complex cooking. On a daily basis, aim for ease and efficiency. And it’s OK if the results don’t look or taste like your favorite high end restaurant which may be unhealthy or too pricey anyway. The goal is healthy, easy, quick, and just enough flavor to make it interesting.

Try Something New

There are a lot of choices in the supermarket, so try not to get overwhelmed. Look at the options as a way to expand  the repertoire of your cooking and palate one step at a time. Choose organic, brands that are low in sugar (and, if possible, low in sodium,) and don’t have a string of ingredients you cannot pronounce or have never heard of. To start, select just one or two at a time before overloading your refrigerator and pantry. Going forward, remember to check expiration dates, and toss those have expired or that you don’t like.

Here are some ideas so you can think about what you want before you visit the store. Happy Cooking – and let me know what your favorites are!


BBQ and Chili Sauce

Excellent for grilled & roasted meats & vegetables

  • American (e.g. Texas, Carolina, Kansas City, etc.)
  • Asian (e.g. Korean including Gojuchang Red Chili Sauce, Thai sweet chili, Japanese, Chinese, etc.)

Curry Sauce 

Simmer a jar of curry sauce with boneless chicken tenders, shrimp, cod, tofu, drained canned chickpeas, vegetables, and / or potatoes then serve over rice.


Heat in oil until fragrant before sautéing vegetables or simple mix into cooked vegetables or pasta.

  • fresh minced
  • preserved in a jar 

Hot Sauce

You can use this to season just about anything fruit in addition to vegetables, grains, beans, and meats.

  • Cholula, Sriracha, Tabasco, Texas Pete, Habanero, etc.

Miso Paste 

Mix with vegetable or chicken bouillon and combine with defrosted shrimp, cooked rice, and steamed veggies for a delicious umami one-dish meal.  


Add to sandwiches and burgers, mix with vinegar and oil for simple salad dressings, or enjoy with grilled veggies.

  • Dijon, spicy brown, honey, hot, whole grain, yellow, Chinese, horseradish

Olive Oil. Extra Virgin

Can go with anything, really. Have fun sampling varieties from around the world 🙂

  • Plain, or infused with garlic, lemon, herbs, hot peppers, peppercorn, etc. 

Pasta Sauce

There are countless delicious varieties in the supermarket to choose from for pasta, flatbread, and as a base for a simple beef and bean chili.

Salad Dressing, Bottled 

Bottled salad dressing is not just for a lettuce! Try it with a mixture of leftover rice or quinoa, drained canned tuna, drained canned beans, and chopped veggies for a salad worthy of a main meal.


Whether you like it spicy or mild, salsa is versatile on quesadillas, roasted fish, steak, chicken, or a baked potato.

  • Chunky tomato, salsa verde, chipotle, ghost pepper, etc.

Soy Sauce, Low Sodium

This ingredient is a no-brainer when it comes to stir fry and rice dishes due to it’s umami and salty flavor.

Steak Sauce

Not just for steak: try on burgers or in a vegetable stir-fry.

Teriyaki sauce 

Great for stir-fries, grilled meats, and seafood


Use with oils for salad dressing or on its own for vegetables, meats, seafood, fruit, or to top a delicious savory oatmeal with goat cheese, almonds, and sliced berries.

  • Balsamic, white balsamic, white wine, red wine, raspberry and other fruit varieties, rice, apple cider


If you’d like support or guidance on incorporating tasty, easy, healthy meals into your diet and that of your kids, I’m here to help!  You can book a free consultation with me to learn more.  I look forward to hearing from you 🙂


+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

so hot right now


blog post

 Dr. Nina's Blog

You're good to go! Check your email to access the download.

Download My Essential Guide to 
Loving Your Body 

Learn how to appreciate what you have AND care for it in ways that will get you feeling and looking your healthiest best!  


Loving Your Body 



Join My Community >

@drninamdcoaching >

© drninamd Coaching 2021  |  Design by Tonic  | 
Photos by CHRISTINE MCSHANE, alec long, and UNsplash | Privacy Policy 

faq's >

reviews >