Make Cheaper, Healthier Meals With These Simple Cooking Tips

When you know how to cook, you have a skill that is extremely valuable. Food prepared and enjoyed at home is delicious, healthy and cheap.

A great tip to follow if you use oil to cook is to put it on the sides of the pan while cooking, so it’s already heated by the time it reaches the food. This helps to enhance and maximize the taste of your cooking.

TIP! A good tip when cooking with oil is to put it on the sides of the pan so it’s already hot when it slides down into the food. This will give your food the highest level of flavor.

Save yourself some time and stress by doing prep work a day ahead. Be prepared in advance to make your cooking go smoothly. When you have a timeline for your meal to be ready, things can get a bit stressful once you start cooking. Having as much prep work done as possible will save you both time and frustration!

Don’t throw away that runny sauce, as there is an easy fix available. Combine 1 tablespoon corn starch with 2 tablespoons water, and stir together in a separate bowl. You can then add the solution to the sauce and it will become thicker. Keep stirring your sauce and add the corn starch little by little.

TIP! There are ways to fix your work and make it so you are able to instantly use it. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch.

You can start cooking simple meals out of a cookbook you can borrow from the library. That way you can try different meals that you can prepare and when you are done you can take it back. Try a few recipes, and be patient with yourself as you are mastering this new skill.

Sharp knives are essential to cooking. Dull knives not only make it difficult to cut foods with, but dull knives are considered dangerous to use also. A cut is more likely when you push down hard on a dull knife that when you cut easily with a sharp one.

TIP! Sharp knives are imperative when being used in the kitchen. When you cook using knives that are dull, you create more work for yourself because they make cutting more difficult.

When adding oil to cooking food, pour it on the sides of the pan. This way, it will already be heated by the time it reaches the food. Using this technique ensures that your food will have more flavor.

Sauteing vegetables in chicken broth is very healthy. The broth will add to the flavor of the vegetables and cut back on the amount of oil that is typically needed to saute them. This technique is a tasty way to cook healthier while not skimping on flavor.

TIP! Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth for an extra kick. Not only will the flavor be enhanced, but they will be lower in fat without the need for oils and butter.

Here is a little trick that can help you save your sauce so that you can use it right away. In a bowl, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water. Use this solution to instantly thicken any sauce. However, it is important that the sauce is stirred often while the mixture is being added so as to stop it becoming too thick.

When buying a recipe’s ingredients, read the labels. Many common cooking ingredients include substances that may not be very healthy. Be sure that the ingredients you are buying do not contain high amounts of sugar or sodium, as these both can cause health problems if overdone.

TIP! Always read labels thoroughly when shopping for a recipe. A lot of ingredients that are common to cook with have hidden, unhealthy ingredients.

If you’re cooking food for an important person, such as a new date or even your boss, you should make sure you are cooking food you are experienced at. You don’t ever want to try new ingredients or recipes that you don’t have experience with. This can keep your stress levels in check while you cook.

To cook a whole pumpkin, cut an upright pumpkin in half vertically. Arrange each half face down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a tiny bit of water on them and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

TIP! To prepare a pumpkin for baking, you should first prop up the pumpkin so that it is upright. Next, use a large knife to bisect it evenly.

Freeze sauces by pouring leftovers into ice cube trays. All you need to do next time you want to use it, is reheat in a saucepan. The sauce is still good after it is frozen.

If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. When you cook vegetables you can use chicken broth or add beef instead of water. Buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream can be great substitutes for milk. Varying the liquids that are in your recipes is an excellent method of adding nutrition and variety to a dish.

TIP! Rather than using water or milk in a specific recipe, try a different liquid to add a new flavor. If the recipe has called for water, you could easily use chicken broth, beef broth, or juice when suitable.

Chicken Stock

If a particular wine’s flavor is unknown to you, then you shouldn’t use it as an ingredient in your food. If you mix random wines into your food, you may find that the wine you have chosen spoils the dish. Several wines suitable for cooking purposes are readily available in the market.

TIP! Avoid cooking with a wine that you ordinarily would not find palatable to drink. If you select wine that you do not enjoy or use a bottle that you have never tried, you may not like how your food turns out.

When you make chicken stock, a good piece of advice is to make it in a big quantity. Make sure that you prepare a large amount of stock so that you will have more than enough to store and use for future kitchen adventures. You can use your homemade chicken stock for soups, casseroles and stews. Let your stock cool off and pour it inside Ziploc bags.

Store your herbs and spices in a dark and cool place so that their flavors are preserved. Storing spices and herbs in cabinets above the stove or in other warmer locations will result in a loss of flavor and a loss of money.

TIP! To maintain the freshness and flavor of herbs and spices store in a cool dry place away from direct light. The quality and freshness of spices and herbs will diminish when locked in warm areas.

When you plan on using wooden skewers for cooking, soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking. Using this method, you will not burn them when you’re cooking. You can keep food on the skewer when you use two parallel skewers instead of one.

After purchasing fruits that are not quite ripe, store them in a plastic bag that is perforated with holes. As the fruits ripen, ethylene gas is produced. When they are placed in a perforated bag, the air can circulate, which ensures the ethylene gas is absorbed, so the fruit retains its great taste.

TIP! Store unripened fruits in a plastic container that has holes in it. As fruits ripen, ethylene gas is released.

Tofu and beans are great sources of protein that can easily be added to your diet. Both of these protein-rich foods are available at most grocery stores. Fry up the tofu with seasonings to get a great meat alternative. Boil kidney, navy or pinto beans with seasonings and you can enjoy a protein-rich side dish.

Bundle your fresh herbs together and cut the appropriate amount off with scissors. This will prevent them from clumping together and they will be drier than when you chop them.

TIP! To quickly cut herbs, bind herbs together and snip with scissors. The herbs can be fluffier, lighter, and drier than if you just chopped them.

Using these tips, you can cook healthy and enjoyable meals at home very easily. As you become more successful at cooking, you’ll no doubt also become more excited about trying new things. Homemade meals also promote healthier eating habits for the entire household. Take these tips to heart, and start creating delicious meals today.

When you are planning to make quite a detailed meal, do some of the prep work the day before to reduce some of the stress involved. Always look at the recipe and do the menial tasks such as chopping and measuring in advance. Verify that you have all ingredients. You can reduce a lot of recipes to a matter of mixing everything together and putting heat to it if you do good advance preparation.

TIP! For dishes that involve multiple steps, make it easy on yourself by doing portions of the work on the evening prior to cooking. Group ingredients, verify that you have all necessities on hand, and do all measuring and chopping tasks that can be done ahead of time.