“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.
When cooking any recipe, use the best ingredients that you can afford. Splurge a little on imported cheeses or better quality meats when you can, so that you can experience a restaurant, quality-tasting meal at home. To enhance the experience even further, try to creatively plate up the meal with a little thought, for something different every now and then.
One of the things that you will need to make sure of is that you do not store your spices above the stove, as this can reduce their quality upon use. Store all of your spices in a cool temperature to maximize the level of flavor that you taste upon consumption.
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.
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.
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.
Cooking a big meal? Do the preparations the day or night before! This way, you will have less to do on the day you are going to make your meal. For instance, if a salad will be part of your meal, make it the night before.
You should use real butter when you are cooking for your family. There are some people who choose to use margarine when they cook instead of butter because it is more affordable. They may not know that they are feeding their family something that contains hydrogenated oils and trans fats that are unhealthy.
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.
To preserve more of the nutritional value of your vegetables don’t cook them for too long. As you cook a vegetable, its nutrient content diminishes. Good techniques for quickly cooking vegetables are steaming and stir-frying. Slow cooking has its place, but don’t neglect the quicker techniques with their greater nutrition.
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!