“Cooking my own meals? I just don’t have the time for that!” If you’ve ever said this to yourself, chances are very good that preparing simple, healthy meals is much easier than you think. Read below for a variety of tips and suggestions about preparing your own meals.
Stir-fry meat needs to be sliced thin, on the bias. This can be quite tricky and time-consuming. When it has firmed (not frozen), take it out of the freezer and then cut it against the meat grain at an angle of 45 degrees.
Try to plan for a week’s worth of meals. If you can get in the habit of planning a weekly menu, it will save time on grocery shopping, and will reduce the stress of having to come up with a meal idea at the last minute. Also, keep a magnet-backed notepad on the refrigerator, and jot down any items that you are running low on. This way, your kitchen will always be stocked with the ingredients that you use regularly.
Kneading is a tiring task, but the constantly moving board makes it even more difficult. Have you tried a few unsuccessful tricks to secure the board? Try the simplest of all which always deliver the best results. Place a damp towel under the board you are using to knead the dough. It will keep the board in place.
If you want to add a unique touch to your dinner, use fruit as a side dish. Fruit will help to flush down the thick pieces of meat that you just ate and will serve to re-energize your body after consuming a lot of calories. Add oranges, pears and apples to your dinner to optimize your experience.
Much like a sponge, the mushrooms will absorb the water. Get a soft, clean and wet cloth to wipe the dirt off each individual mushroom for better results.
When trying to cook healthy foods, it is important to cut back on the amount of oils and butters that you are using. A great alternative is using nonstick bakeware or a nonstick cooking spray. Many of the sprays have little to no calories and make foods healthy and cleanup a breeze.
Marinate meat in a bag. A lot of recipes call for meat to be marinated in a dish for a few hours, turning occasionally. This can be frustrating, as the meat is never completely coated by the marinade. A better way is to throw the meat and marinade in a ziploc bag, remove as much air as possible, and shake well to coat the meat. Place it in the fridge and simply flip the bag occasionally.
When you are roasting meat, you should save the juice left in the pan. You can use this juice for making a rich gravy to accompany your meal. When you are done cooking, put the juice in a pan with spices and add flour to it. Stir until thick and you have gravy.
When picking out a melon for purchase, make sure that it is still fresh. Many times, people get sick from melons that have gone bad. You can check its freshness by checking the part of the melon that was connected to the vine. If it is soft, then the melon is still good.
Before you cook any ground meat, blot up any excess moisture. Blotting away the moisture on ground meat is always a good idea. If you leave the moisture on the meat, it’ll release when the meat is cooked. The water will then cook in the pain. This will cause your meat to be steamed rather than seared.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “A cook who doesn’t taste his own food is no cook at all.” Well if you want to be a good cook, make sure you taste your own creations. The better the taste to you, the more likely it will taste good to the other people tasting it.
For a juicier turkey, soak it in brine for at least 12 hours before cooking. You can make a simple brine by combining ice water and sea salt. After seasoning the turkey, submerge it fully, cover, and leave to sit for 12-24 hours. Then, cook the turkey as usual. Not only does the turkey come out juicier, but it tends to have more flavor than un-brined turkeys.
Store your spices in a cool, dark place, such as a cabinet or pantry. One of the biggest cooking mistakes people make is storing herbs and spices above the stove. The heat, humidity and light will causes herbs and spices to lose their flavor. For the most flavorful meals, take good care of your spices.
Cooking made easier! Make soup stock in large quantities and put them in freezer safe containers to freeze for next time you need stock. This takes a lot of the work out of making homemade soup! Some people even think broth and sauce tastes better, after it is frozen.
Be careful when adding oil to a pan in which you are already cooking. If you just pour oil anywhere in the hot pan, it will not only lower the temperature of the food you are cooking, it may also splatter. To avoid this, you should slowly add oil to one spot away from the food.
If you’re cooking with cast-iron pots and pans – never clean with soap, unless you want to lose its non-stick properties! Instead, use a paste of salt and water to scour the pan, if needed, or boil some water in the pot or pan to loosen stuck-on foods. Remove the remaining residue with a paper towel, and rub on a thin layer of oil before storing.
Although many people think that preparing meals will be time-consuming, too hard, and stressful, the reality is often far from it! Making your own food can be an excellent way to save money while eating healthy, it’s a win-win situation! Leftovers are, after all, the original fast food!