Interested in saving money? In today’s economy, who among us isn’t? What about losing weight and improving your overall health? If your answer is a resounding YES, then making one change in your life can help you accomplish all three of those goals! The solution is as close as your kitchen.
For those dishes that have longer cooking times, you will want to add your spices and herbs about an hour or so before eating. If these spices are cooked too long, then the resulting flavors may be too strong. In addition, it’s best to keep it simple by not using any more than three herbs or spices in any dish.
The most difficult and time consuming thing about cooking is doing all of the prep work. You can buy pre-prepped vegetables or prep your ingredients the day before to cut down on the time you are in the kitchen. This is very helpful if you need to get dinner out in a hurry.
Freezing meat slightly before cutting it will help you to get a nice, even thin slice. This works great when you are cutting steak thin for philly’s or if you need to cut pancetta into thin slices or strips. Do not freeze it solid; freeze it just enough that it is slightly firm.
Season meats evenly. It is important to season all of the meats you are going to be cooking evenly. Sprinkle the seasoning lightly over the meat like it was snowing down. This will keep the seasoning even and prevent clumping. The taste will be more consistent all through it.
If you are following a recipe, make sure that you do not follow this religiously, as you should always add a personal spice to your meal. Instead of following a pizza recipe to the tee, add some red pepper to inject a punch into your dish to make it unique and individualized.
Long cooking processes, like boiling, can “zap” nutrients from foods, like vegetables. For nutrient preservation, saute, blanch or steam your vegetables or simply enjoy them raw.
To maintain a vegetable’s quality, cook it quickly. When you cook veggies slowly, they lose many nutrients. These cooking techniques will yield vegetables that are healthier and taste great as well. Discovering how to quickly cook veggies in a safe manner is an important step in preparing more nutritious vegetables.
Cooking is all about preparation. To take the edge of cooking, whether it is a small appetizer, simple dish, full nine course meal, or elegant dessert, prepare for your cooking a day or two ahead. Plan what you are going to make and for how many people you are going to make it for. Gather your ingredients ahead of time to ensure that you won’t have to rush.
When making homemade salad dressings it is a good idea to use extra-virgin olive oil. It has a fruity flavor that really adds to a salad. Extra-virgin olive oil can be somewhat expensive so it is important to buy it when it is on sale or with a coupon to make it more affordable.
Never cook when you are tired. You need to be alert when you are cooking, to increase your level of safety, and put you in the best position to create quality food. Besides, you’re not going to enjoy the experience if you feel exhausted.
When you are going to purchase beef, make sure that the package does not have too much liquid in it. An excessive amount of liquid may indicate that the beef was not stored properly or that it is no longer good. Make sure you always check the expiration date as well.
If you are going on a picnic, put lettuce and other vegetables in separate containers from condiments. Condiments are not to make sandwiches soggy, so by separating them, you are ensuring your sandwich will taste fresh. Also, do not place any food items next to drinks inside of the basket.
Don’t store your spices above the stove. While many traditional kitchens place the spice rack above the stove for convenience, this practice can actually reduce the flavor and shelf life of your herbs. Humidity, heat, and light can all cause spices to lose their flavor, and above the stove ensures they are exposed to all three.
Taking on cooking is a great way to make yourself feel better about your food choices. You can see what you put into a dish and then be rewarded by the tastes and flavors you’ve tailored to you specifications. Getting a few recipes from close family members or magazines are great places to start.
To test the freshness of an egg, place it in a cup of water. If it sinks, it’s fresh. If it floats, it’s getting old. As an egg ages the fluid inside slowly evaporates as oxygen and gases seep inside. This makes the egg lighter and causes it to float.
If you are new to cooking, remember that there are great meal kits that you can use to save time and avoid a taste mishap. Meal kits are designed to offer a quicker method of creating a meal, while ensuring that those that need a great meal idea have all they need to make a delicious meal that is completely fail proof.
If a dish requires thinly sliced meats (like some Chinese dishes, for example), freeze the meat before slicing. This makes it hold its shape better when you are slicing, which allows the knife to cut through with a cleaner line. When meat is thawed out, you often have to use a sawing motion to cut the beef, which can make your lines uneven and jagged.
Preparing more of your own meals has numerous financial and health-related benefits, and regardless of your motivations for cooking, you’ll see the benefits in various aspects of your life. You’ll also take a great deal of pride and satisfaction in preparing a delicious, home-cooked meal. So what are you waiting for? Go get to it!