“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.
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.
Remember, the smaller the item, the higher the baking temperature. Small cookies will bake on a higher temp than a full cake would. Make sure to double check your recipe to find out the exact temperature it needs to be. You don’t want to prepare a perfect item only to have it burn or be under cooked.
When you have a really important occasion where you are going to be cooking for someone that you love or your boss, try to stick to a food that you know will turn out good. This is not the time to be trying new things as you want to be certain it comes out right.
Make sure that you have the place settings set beforehand so that you can reduce the stress that you will have when you are bringing your food to the table. High levels of stress do not mix well when you are cooking, given the danger, so you will want to reduce this as much as possible.
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.
Microwaving a lemon or a lime for a few seconds can release the juices. Sometimes the citrus at a grocery store is not as fresh as it could be, making it difficult to juice. If you microwave it for 10 seconds, and then roll it between your hand and the counter it will release more juice.
Learn some proper knife-work techniques to make your time in the kitchen safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Proper cutting techniques not only help to ensure safety in the kitchen, but food cut properly and uniformly looks better (which of course makes it tastes better!) and cooks more evenly. Stop cutting off your fingertips and burning half of the French fries with proper cutting skills!
Ginger roots can be used for several dishes so it’s worth learning how to store them. For a few days you can just put them in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. For a much longer storage, freeze the unpeeled ginger root and cut the piece you need while it is frozen.
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.
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!