You need to know more than just what ingredients combine together to make a palatable dish; you need to know what dishes go together to make a good meal.
All kinds of theories have been bandied about by nutritionists and health scientists and dietitians. We have the four major food groups, and the food pyramid and any number of cockamamie theories. Most of us can tell what constitutes a good meal without resorting to a textbook. And if you are in any doubt about trusting to your own instincts and senses, you can use my simple method of color coding.
We all know that food gets mixed up once it has been consumed and the result will inevitably be brown. My theory proposes that there is an optimum browness that you should achieve, a burnt sienna or a plain crayola brown. Knowing this to be true, you do not strictly want to serve a meal that has all light foods. For example: chicken breast, boiled potatoes, cottage cheese and corn. Sure, it's an okay meal, but something is lacking. You want to throw something green in there. Nearly any green vegetable will do. Alternatively, you don't want to eat just plain green vegetables. Not only will it not fill you up, it will have adverse effects upon the digestive system.
So, when you are putting together a meal, think of yourself as a painter. If you must, get out that old color wheel that you saved from art class in high-school. Put together something that hits as many of the colors as possible on the spectrum. I only will caution you to go light on the blues, and if you need red, beets give you a big bang for the buck.
Women and Cooking
Tools of the Trade
Aprons n' Other Gear
Baking vs. Cooking
Alcohol at Mealtime
Preheating the Oven