Your own Chef’s Toque..

Although you may not own a Chef’s toque which is the tall, round, white, starched and pleated hat which has been worn by many chefs since the early 1800s, but you can read on for great advice on how you too can create simple gourmet meals that are beautifully presented and nutrient-dense.

The time, thought, and energy that you put into preparing a meal is a labor of love. Beets, carrots, bell peppers, or cucumbers are packed with anti-oxidants and vitamin C but may lack pizzazz on the plate. Your creativity can change that. A vegetable peeler or mandolin can shave the vegetables into a colorful mountain of twists and curls. The wow factor may inspire an overindulgence in fresh produce (not a bad thing.)

Why not pull out the fine china and a melon baller for a feast of fruit decorating your plate. Surround it with grape and tomato halves, add some vinaigrette and indulge. Use a cookie cutter to make decorative cucumber slices, or toast pine nuts, slivered almonds, and walnuts for a nutritious crunch to your meal. Toss in some golden raisins for a splash of additional color.

Read HERE for secrets to use foods full of beta carotene, vitamin K, and calcium to create elegant and savory dishes. You may even want to pull out the white linen napkins.