“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.
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.
Substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in creamy salad dressings. If you are on a diet or just trying to eat healthy, you can still make creamy salad dressings with healthy ingredients. Just substitute the mayonnaise in them with a low-fat Greek-style yogurt. This will make the dressing much healthier.
Since you are going to be using a lot of sharp knives in the kitchen to cook your meals, you will want to maintain precautions at all times. Instead of simply putting your knife in the drawer, make sure that you put a wine cork on the tip to protect against cuts and scrapes upon use.
If you are cooking pasta and are tired of the same taste, you can add a hint of lemon. Lemon will give it the extra taste that you desire, and this additive is also a very powerful antioxidant. Adding spices and different flavors can help improve the quality of your meals.
Always continue to taste test all of your food as you cook them. Cooking a sauce, and you’re not sure if it needs more salt? Just taste it and you’ll know right away. Getting into a habit of testing all of your foods will keep you from accidentally over-spicing or under-spicing it.
When you want to make a soup using stock, follow this tip. Be sure to make a large amount of stock, pour it in a plastic bag, and place it in the freezer. This will allow you to quickly make soup whenever you want to by simply thawing out the already made stock.
When you are going to fry a food, use long tongs to add food to the oil. For about five seconds, hold the food just underneath the surface of the oil and release it. By placing a food into oil this way, the exterior of the food will be sealed and it will not likely stick to the pan.
Even the humble sandwich can benefit from a little cooking expertise. Mayonnaise, mustard and other condiments should be spread evenly from edge to edge of sandwich bread. This improves consistency and ensures that every bite of the sandwich gets the benefit of the condiments. Even spreading produces superior sandwich results every time.
Soak wooden skewers before cooking with them. They need to sit in water for about half an hour before they are used. That way, they will not burn during the cooking process. To ensure that the food doesn’t fall off the skewer, use two skewers for each item.
Place fruit that is not quite ripe in a plastic bag with a few small holes to allow it to ripen. The plastic helps retain the gases used by ripening fruit while the holes allow fresh air to circulate across the fruit. This also helps you keep your fruit fresh longer!
Spices don’t last forever; replace them every 6 months. Many times, spices are kept for too long, and they lose their flavor. If you do not think you will use all of the spice within six months, split it with a friend.
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.
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.
For important meals or dinner guests, stick with cooking what you know. Whether you are cooking for a new significant other or your boss, use a recipe you have cooked before. You can change it up a bit with a new a new ingredient or two. However, never ever try a new recipe with an ingredient with which you are not familiar – the results are unknown!
When cooking a stew or pot roast, remember to skim the top of the stew to remove the excess oil. It’s best to skim before the stew is mixed up because the oil will dissolve into the mixture and remain there until it eventually separates later.
When you have decided what you want to prepare for the evening meal, make sure you have left yourself enough time to prepare it. This includes the prep time, as well. If this is the first time you are making this particular recipe, you may want to add on 10 or 15 minutes to the directions just to be sure you aren’t rushed at the last minute.
It is a good idea to cook your green vegetables in boiling hot water. If you place the veggies in cold water and wait for it to come to a boil you will lose a lot of the green color because the chlorophyll in them will leech into the water.
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!