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Sticking to a long term diet plan with whole, real food calls for not only creativity when it comes to herbs and spices but also cooking methods.  A la plancha is a great cooking option that lends itself to a healthy lifestyle and is super easy.  Many recipes that call for grilling can easily be substituted.

What is A La Plancha?
La plancha translates to “metal plate.”  Unlike your normal flat top griddle, the plancha is traditionally heated by wood or charcoal and is usually made of slate, cast-iron, or carbon steel.  It also gets much hotter than the everyday griddle, reaching up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Since the food cooks so quickly, the food ends up light and flavorful.

The Origins of La Plancha
The first flat top grills were for cooking corn dough.  These flat top grills originated in Central America and Mexico and were made of clay.  Later, the flat tops were produced with metal materials.  The Spanish adopted the grills and began calling them planchas or “metal plate.”  In these cultures, foods cooked with a plancha picked up fancy names.  For example, steak grilled on a plancha became grilled steak a la plancha.  Today, you can find versions of the planchas online for under $40 that can be used on most stovetops and grills. 

Benefits of Cooking A La Plancha
Not only is cooking a la plancha a super healthy option but it also adds a rustic twist to your diet plan.  Cooking a la plancha helps keep the integrity of fresh foods.  Moreover, foods cook quickly due to the high temperatures.  Additionally, the caramelization and charring help add more flavor to foods without adding calories.  This helps add variety to your diet plan menu.  If you are the type who likes brick-oven food, a la plancha is for you!

Getting Started
You can cook anything from seafood to lean meats to seasonal veggies on the flattop griddle.  To get started, consider cooking thinly sliced vegetables on the grill and then preparing shrimp to go alongside the veggies.  If you want to make cooking a la plancha a family affair, take a trip to a local farmers market and pick up fresh seasonal veggies to prepare.  This is a great cooking method that is super easy and diet plan friendly.

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