How to Braise: Simple Healthy Cooking Technique for Juicy, Delicious Results!

Are you looking for ways to keep meat juicy and tender? How about a heart-healthy way to cook with less salt, while still having your food taste exciting and delicious? Then braising is the healthy cooking technique you're going to love!

If you're struggling with meat drying out, tired of the same-old boring vegetables, or can't bring yourself to eat one more boring baked chicken recipe, I can't wait for you to experience your new weeknight go-to way to cook that will allow you to bring exciting, healthy delicious dinners to the table more often.

Braising is great for meats, but also try it to create exciting, flavorful vegetables and one-pan meals!

  • Imagine a braised chicken, carrots and potatoes meal brought to life with North African flavors, from start to finish on the table in less than 30 minutes.
  • Maybe you're meal prepping and want to make a big batch of flavorful protein to use throughout the week? I bet you'd love to enjoy saucy Latin braised pork tenderloin to serve on salads, in wraps, in rice bowls and more all week long, with hardly any effort, and definitely packed with flavor. Or, try our easy, flavorful take on beef birria for a slow cooker full of tender goodness you won't believe took just 3 ingredients to make.
  • Caribbean spiced braised potatoes will definitely bring life to your table, and you'll never have to eat a bland potato side dish again.
  • Try a super fast Creole braised fish for amazing flavor, toss in some frozen blackeyed peas and chopped collard greens and you've got a complete meal in minutes.

Our healthy cooking sauces, with authentic flavors inspired by vibrant cultures from around the world, are the perfect braising sauce.

They are made with simply fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs, so you just pour on and enjoy! They have a bit of vinegar and citrus juice to really help impart all of that  flavor into your ingredients which helps you use less salt, but still create flavorful meals.

Our Whole30 cooking sauces are also gluten free, dairy free, have no added sugar, and are Paleo friendly, so you can create meals that everyone can enjoy together.

Try braising with any one of our flavor bases and you can make something new and exciting several times a week! Plus, our sauces have more than just one use, so keeping them around means you'll be able to make all kinds of mouth-watering meals in minutes anytime!

Now, I'm not saying that braising and our sauces could change your life, but if it helps you eat more quick, healthy and delicious meals at home, maybe allows you to cut back on eating out or ordering takeout as often, well - actually that can change your life, right?

Think of the money you'll save versus eating out, throwing away wasted ingredients that go bad before you use them, the money you save when your health is improved, and above all, the life-enhancing benefit that sitting around the table enjoying good food with family and friends offers.

Let me know if you come up with any especially amazing flavor and ingredient combinations! Share any photos on social media by tagging Mesa de Vida (links below), and use the hashtag #MakeItWithMesadeVida. You'll be entered to win our monthly giveaway!

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How to braise:
  1. Season your ingredients with a bit of salt, optional.
  2. Cut your ingredients into uniform-size pieces to allow for more even cooking.
  3. Heat your pan, skillet, Dutch oven, etc. over medium-high heat.
  4. Add just a bit of healthy oil/fat of your choice (optional if using a nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron pan), swirl to coat.
  5. Add your ingredients to the pan in an even layer, allow to develop a nice golden brown sear before flipping to the other side to brown.
  6. Pour in your Mesa de Vida healthy cooking sauce. Use a little for a more subtle flavor, or use a lot if you want lots of saucy goodness. Stir to combine.
  7. Add enough water or broth to bring the liquids up 1/2 way up the side of your ingredients. If you're doing a longer, slower braise for large pieces of meat such as a roast, bring the liquid up 3/4 of the way.
  8. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to achieve a low simmer.
  9. Cook until the ingredients are fully cooked and tender. The time will depend on the ingredients and size. Small boneless, skinless chicken breasts and quartered potatoes take about 10 minutes, larger cuts of meat on-the-bone, or large pieces of hard root vegetables can take longer.
  10. Optional step: Once the ingredients are fully cooked, remove to rest in a warm place. Keep the pan of cooking liquid in the pan and raise the heat to a fast simmer. Reduce the liquid until you have a thick, rich sauce to pour over your delicious meal. Or, add your favorite grain and additional liquid (using the appropriate ratio of liquid:grain depending on what your'e cooking) to cook and serve alongside of your ingredients. YUM!

I hope you try this method of cooking soon, please let me know what you make!


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Watch me demonstrating how to braise on Seattle's King 5 morning news!

Discover all of our braising recipes here!