The art of supplementation

I'm pretty sure at one point in everybody's childhood their parents added stuff to boxed macaroni n' cheese for dinner: peas, corn, hotdogs, craw fish (yes, we had that once).  Now tell me, as an adult, have you done the same thing?  At the age of 8, I never thought I'd add a thing to mac n' cheese.  That would be a travesty! A shame!  A true detriment to the cheesiness of the boxed meal!  But as an adult I have done the unthinkable, I have been guilty of adding peas to my mac n' cheese.  And it was, well, still not that great but a bit healthier (peas are not my favorite).

This brings me to the art of supplementing a dish to make it taste better and/or become healthier.  I find that it is an art.  Maybe peas in your mac is not an art, but other supplementing can be quite delicious and sometimes very necessary.  But it takes experimentation and honing.  Take for instance pre-made ravioli or tortellini.  For some reason, I buy the stuff thinking it will taste good on it's own.  This is never the case.  There is a reason the food company uses the word "delicate" when describing the taste of it's seven cheese blend.  How can a blend of seven cheeses be so bland?  I don't understand it nor can I believe it, and that is probably why I keep on going back for more.  I think another package will prove the blandness wrong.  And each time, I eat a serving and think, this really tastes like nothing but paste. Then I salt and pepper it in hopes of saving the meal.  I've been known to add marina sauce as well, and that's an improvement.  But I've finally come upon something that's really good at turning "delicate" into "delicious".  Cook up that tortellini, then add tomatoes, artichoke hearts, pesto and stir.  Like I said, delicious.

Other good supplementing that I've discovered includes adding stuff to your bottled marinara sauce.  I like to add balsamic vinegar (my sister taught me this one), a can of tomatoes, fresh spinach, and Parmesan cheese.  And lately, I have been adding Greek yogurt to anything sweet for a kick of protein.  Try this recipe for waffles.  It includes yogurt as well as oatmeal.  Fiber, here we come!

Is there any creative supplementing you do?  I'd love to hear.


jo said...

Ah, so many good (?) memories of the supplementation of our childhood.

But I like your suggestions! I need to try your store bought tortellini recipe.

I like to supplement many a dish with red bell pepper (not sure if you're a fan of those?). Whether it's beans, stir fry, omelets, or a burger red bell peppers not only add flavor but color. Mmmm, delicious color.

Jess said...

"Delicate." That's classic.

Chap said...

I was laughing while I read this one. I'm with you about how noodle-like those filled noodles taste.

Chap said...
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