Chicken drumsticks are cheap and they are tasty. That's a good combination. Even organic dark meat chicken is generally inexpensive. These drumsticks were marinated in homemade honey mustard with a little cayenne pepper and white wine vinegar then coated with panko bread crumbs and baked in the oven until golden. Simple and delicious. I served it with my favorite sweet potato risotto and fresh green beans.
Now just imagine the same items on the plate above spaced out and laying haphazardly on the plate. Imagine the shapes, colors, and textures all being similar. Boring. I recently finished the most recent cooking lesson from Rouxbe.com on plating, and while the notion seems like it would be common sense, I actually picked up on some things I'd never really taken into consideration about presenting the food I put so much effort into when I put it on the plate. Proper plating makes all the difference in how visually appealing and appetizing a dish will be. Thoughtful plating isn't time consuming and it's not OCD behavior, it just means thinking about the colors, shapes, textures, space, portions, and arrangement for a second. For example, odd numbers or items tend to be more appealing to the eye than even. As you can see, different shapes, textures, and colors on a plate keep the dish from looking and tasting dull and monotonous.
You can do it. For example, you can divide a round plate into thirds around the imaginary center. Then place a starch in the upper left section, a veggie in the upper right resting against the starch, then a meat in front of both facing the diner in the bottom section. Keep the portions even and no space between. Remember to use different shapes, colors, and textures. Don't crowd the plate with too much food. It's that easy, so give it a try.