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.
Are you cooking using fresh basil? If so, put lots of fresh basil into a glass. Add water until the stems are covered. You can put it on the kitchen counter and keep it for weeks. If you occasionally change its water, it will sprout roots. By picking leaves you will encourage the basil to put out new growth. This will ensure that you have fresh basil on an ongoing basis!
A salad spinner can be a great addition to your kitchen. It will help to spin the water out of your lettuce so your salads aren’t soggy and droopy. Salad spinners are inexpensive and can be found at most discount stores. They’re also small so they store easy.
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.
Having trouble with your meats sticking to your paella pan or grill? This is an easy thing to fix. Just spray your pan or grill with a spray oil before you begin to cook. This will put a coating on the surface of the pan or grill, and will keep your meats from sticking to a dry surface.
Write out a list for all of the ingredients that you will need for a recipe before you go to the grocery store. This way, you will not forget anything. Many people forget one or two important ingredients for the recipe, which causes them to not be able to make the meal.
You can save time and energy by cooking larger batches of a meal at one time, and then storing some of it in the freezer for later. Divide the meal into several serving-size containers and put them away. On a night when you don’t have time to cook from scratch, just pull a container out and defrost it.
Keep vegetables fresh longer by covering them with a wet paper towel and then putting them in an airtight bag. They will stay fresh for several more days if they are kept slightly damp. Refrigeration and lack of air will also keep them fresh. It is important to get the most out of your vegetables by sealing them tightly and storing them away immediately if you do not plan to use them.
Stock up on ingredients at your local farmers’ market. This fresh, healthy food pretty much prepares itself. The flavors of natural foods dress up the taste of any dish. Avoid over preparing these foods to preserve the natural flavor, and follow your instinct when it says to leave an ingredient out. Sometimes, the most simple dishes are the best.
When you are planning to cook a big meal try prepping all of your foods the day before. This will help you save time and it will also be less mess to clean up after the big dinner. Chop all vegetables and cut up all your meat and store appropriately.
Cook perfect rice every time. When cooking plain white rice, follow these simple steps. Put 1 cup of long-grain rice into a heavy-based saucepan, with a pinch of salt and 2 cups of water. Put a lid on the saucepan, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cook for 12 minutes. Check the rice at this point: there should be no water left, and small steam holes should have appeared in the rice. Replace the lid, and let the rice sit for 2 minutes. Enjoy!
Buy good-quality knives and other cutting tools for your kitchen. You can save time not having to sharpen or deal with dull knives and sharper knives are safer to use. You are taking the risk of getting frustrated and hurting yourself with old and dull utensils.
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!