Meal boosters are simple ingredients that elevate any dish, fresh or refrigerated.
The key to “having it together” (or at least looking like you do) is being prepared. Plan and prep as much as you can, whenever you can. That way, when you’re in a groove, or running from one place to another, you have the fundamentals automatically taken care of. And then go from there.
Planning is not only meal prepping, it’s having the right ingredients in the house. A fridge stocked with easy items that you can throw together or toss on top, is equally as efficient, and a certain kind of systemized.
If you aren’t a planner, or if you want to plan to have this under your belt, here are some easy items to keep in your fridge that will boost any meal. They’ll add instant oomph, flavor, and freshness to whatever you’re eating.
These are: Instant meal boosters to ALWAYS have on hand.
Tuscanini Balsamic Glaze or Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce:
Take my word for it. Try these.
The Tuscanini is a thickened glaze made with real Italian balsamic while the Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce is a mix of teriyaki and soy sauce. Both add a boost the flavor if drizzled on top of a salad, a protein, a veggie bowl, honestly everything. They are out of this world.
Lime/Citrus/Herbs: That’s it! Simple sounding yet incredibly fresh.
Squeeze half a lime on top of your meal and a new taste dimension will be added to vegetables and proteins alike. The fresh flavor and aroma instantly boost your meal in a way even a lemon cannot. Plus a fresh squeezed lime is totally an island vibe, and it doesn’t hurt to taste vacation in your home.
Avocado: A new texture, a complimentary taste, and a pop of color. It just makes everything better. Sliced and spiced avocado is one the best meal toppers and boosters out there.
Pickled Vegetables: Toss any cut vegetables you have into a jar and cover them in pickling brine. It can be the Prep + Rally pickling recipe or even a jar of leftover brine from store-bought pickles. Pre-cut veggies are easy to find in store, and these pickled veggies can last months in the fridge, so a big batch can take you far. Elevate your meal with this sweet yet tangy, and crunchy addition.
Roasted Pepita or Sunflower Seeds.
Not necessary to keep this one in your fridge but it does help keep them fresher longer. These add a nice crunch and a toasted nutty flavor to your dish. Any nut in your pantry can accomplish the same- but these seeds are a real level upper. How’s that for an instant meal boost?!
Pepperoncini, Capers, and Parmesan: I know we already mentioned zesty pickles to add mega flavor and crunch, but these items pack a different kind of punch. They’re tangy, salty, briney, and add such great umami to any dish. I love using them to make salads more exciting and vibrant. They also take a leftover grain bowl and instantly boost the depth of flavor.
Hot Sauce, Tahini or the Two Mixed Together!
Add some heat to a dish and mellow it out slightly with some creamy tahini. Just trust me!
Is your meal feeling a little dull? Always season liberally with salt.. That’s usually the problem!
Something you love: This sounds broad but is actually the most specific. A scoop or handful of something you genuinely love is the best way to elevate your dish. Whether it be chips, a sauce, or a pantry item, add your unique twist to make your meal perfect for you. Of all the instant meal boosters, this is easiest to have on hand. Just scour your pantry for that perfect item to boost your meal!