Sometimes the real obstacle to healthy eating is not knowing all the little tricks that make cooking real food real simple. So today I have 20 cooking tips to help make getting real food on your plate easier (and more flavorful!).
- When cooking meat in a slow cooker, sear it first. This will help seal in the juices and give extra flavor to your meal.
- Keep cheesecloth in your kitchen. It’s handy for straining liquid from yogurt, and keeping a bundle of herbs together in a pot of soup.
- Rub your steak or roast with fresh cut garlic before cooking. Stick slivers of fresh garlic deep into your meat for incredible flavor.
- Be prepared! Always keep your pan lid handy for dowsing fat fires – they do happen! (Put lid onto pot to smother flames.)
- Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen – and learn what to do for different types of fires.
- Do as much of the prep as you can the night before for stress-free cooking. (What do you set out in advance?)
- To add oil to a dish already cooking, add it in the edge of the pan. That way, it will be heated when it reaches your food.
- Wash your fruit and veggies before peeling – not after. (Too much risk of contaminating the knife, if you wash after.)
- Soak veggies like broccoli and cauliflower in cold water for at least three minutes to make sure contaminants are released from the florets.
- When storing fresh herbs, stand the stems in a glass of water in your refrigerator. They shouldn’t go limp and will stay fresh for days.
- Save leftover sauce in ice cube trays. When frozen, add to a freezer bag of same type of sauce cubes. Reheat and use for quick dishes.
- If you need to finely chop bacon, put it in the freezer for 20 min. This will make it easy to chop without being stringy.
- To test if your oil is hot enough for frying stick the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. (Bubbles=ready!)
- Always let meat “rest” for at least 10 minutes when you take it out of a slow cooker, pan or oven. It will cut much more easily.
- Get to know parchment paper. It’s great for lining baking pans or steaming fish and veggies in the oven.
- Learn “base” recipes and then experiment by adding different seasonings or ingredients.
- Learn basic cooking techniques by signing up for online cooking classes with Smart Kitchen. Click here for a free 7 day trial!
What are your favorite cooking tips for real food? Leave your tip in the comments below!
Photo by Till Westermayer is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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