It’s a struggle for any parent to find time to make tasty and healthy meals. Sometimes it’s tempting to give up on cooking and just order take-out. But before you place that order, read this article. You’ll find some tips that will help any busy mom or dad in the kitchen.
One of the best things that you can do to save money and improve the quality of your dressings is to make your own. Homemade dressings will save you a lot of money in the long run and will also taste great, as most of the ingredients are natural and healthier.
To prepare for the meal that you are going to cook, make a comprehensive list of everything that you are going to need to cook your meal when you go to the supermarket. This will allow you to stay as organized as possible so there is no part of your meal that you leave out.
In brief, learning how to cook is learning how to avoid pre-packaged foods and meals. These convenience food products, all too common today, have speed as their solitary real benefit. Home-cooked meals will always beat them in taste and cost. In most cases – even with meals that are not especially healthy – the version made in the kitchen will be healthier than the packaged version.
You want to cook healthier meals, and one place to consider with regard to changing your menus is in sauces and dressings. Rich, creamy dressings and sauces tend to be extremely unhealthy. You do not need to eliminate these meal-toppers entirely; simply learn how to make lighter, healthier alternatives. Healthier sauces and dressings can go a long way towards making your entire diet healthier.
Cooking can be a joy if you invest in a good, sizable cutting board able to handle all of your cutting and chopping needs. If a butcher block table is out of the budget, look for a durable bamboo or sturdy maple for the job. A cutting board with a recessed groove surrounding the cutting surface is handy to catch juices from carving meats and makes clean up easy. If you will be using a cutting board on a smooth surface, look for one with rubber feet to avoid slipping. Maintain your cutting board with food-grade mineral oil (vegetable and olive oils can turn rancid) and make sure that you properly clean, and more importantly, dry your cutting board after each use to prevent warping.
Planning out meals for the coming week can save you both time and money. You can buy all of the things you will need beforehand without having to make spontaneous trips to the store during the middle of a busy week. You can have a planned schedule and it will make it easy for you to prepare things before you actually cook.
Trying to cook with little children running around under your feet? Give them something to do. Any small and simple task will make them feel like they are helping with the meal, and it will keep them out of trouble for a little while as you try to finish up the dish that you are working so hard on.
Always have a lot of napkins handy when you are cooking in the kitchen. You never know when a spill will occur, so always prepare for the worst. Purchase thick napkins that can hold a lot of liquid if you want to get the most absorption when cleaning up a mess.
While some foods need to be cooked at a high temperatures for short times, larger foods need to be cooked at lower temperatures for longer times. Doing so will allow the larger foods to slowly release their flavors as they cook and to be cooked evenly without under or over cooking.
If you are deep frying, make sure to use tongs to add the food to the hot oil. If you submerge the food below the surface of the oil with the tongs for about five seconds before you “drop” it in, the outside of whatever you are deep frying is sealed. This prevents it from sticking to other food in the oil.
If you make your own salad dressing, consider using yogurt as a substitute to half the mayo. By doing this, you drastically cut the fat and calories in the dressing. When you use Greek-style yogurt, you ensure your homemade dressing is just as delicious and creamy – just not as bad for you!
Don’t skimp and use cheap olive oil. More expensive olive oil is not only fresher, it often has a richer flavor. High-quality olive oil can draw the flavor out of all your favorite dishes, including pizza, pasta and many types of fish and meat. Even a small drizzle of more expensive olive oil can make the difference that takes your meals from drab to fab!
When you are adding food to a slow cooker make sure that you add tender vegetables like mushrooms, peas, fish, and squash during the final half hour. This is important because adding them too early will cause them to disappear in to the dish. You will be able to taste them, but you might not be able to see them.
Timing is everything when cooking several courses. Anything that has to be baked for a long period of time should go in the oven first. If you have to have a pot of boiling water to whip up some instant potatoes put it on next. Then gather up the rest of your ingredients for various stove top dishes that are quickly prepared.
For easy low-fat cooking make sure that you measure the oil that you use in your recipes. If you just pour it from the bottle it is easy to accidentally include too much oil in the dish. By measuring it out, you are giving yourself much more control over how much oil you can use, which will help you to keep your dishes healthier.
The one thing that no parent has enough of is time. Luckily, the advice in this article will save you precious time in the kitchen, and will help you make meals your whole family will enjoy. You’ll be amazed at how much time you can save just by following these simple tips.