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21 cooking tips and tricks

 

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1. Broth is so easy to make and cheap too.

Don’t buy it. Follow this recipe and slow cook while you sleep. Make it a weekly habit.

 

2. Yes a slow cooker is a great investment.

They’re under $100 usually and some even have a timer (although I have a timer from Bunnings). Throw your ingredients in the pot in the morning before work and let your dinner cook while you’re out of the house.

 

3. When you cook grains or rice or beans, don’t just cook your standard 1 cup.

Cook enough for the month, portion into snap lock bags and freeze. Remember to date your bags before freezing and use within 3 months.

 

4. Get to know your spice cabinet and experiment.

If you don’t like buying spices, invest in good quality therapeutic grade essential oils. 1 drop will flavour a whole dish and their used by date is years as opposed to months for your spices.

 

5. Cook 2 meals at once in the oven and save one for the next night’s dinner.

You will save an hour or more in the kitchen and save on electricity too. The following night all you’ll need to do is reheat in the oven for 20 minutes (or so), depending what you’re cooking.

 

6. Roasting any vegetable and blending with some olive oil, sesame seeds, salt, pepper and garlic (optional), to make the most delicious dip.

Yes it’s really easy to make your own dips, if you’re short or cash and like dips. Do yourself a favour and make your own. Dips can make a boring soup amazing, they can transform a salad. Or even be an acceptable complete meal with some veggie sticks, home-made crackers and an egg – my favourite type of meal.

 

7. Make the most delicious ‘chips’ by slicing up some wraps.

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C and make a quick paste with oil, garlic and herbs. Lightly drizzle the paste over the the wrap slices and bake for 10 minutes (or so) until crunchy.

 

8. There is nothing a good slice of haloumi cannot fix.

And I mean nothing. Bad moods, boring salads and cravings.

 

9. Learn to make your own ghee, it’s just butter heated in a pan and separates the milk solids.

It has a long shelf life and adds the nuttiest most interesting flavour to roasted veggies. Also it’s the cooking oil/fat of choice in most Indian cuisine.

 

10. Roasting a whole chicken is quite possibly the most impressive meal in the world. 

Big call, I know. All you need to do is add some flavour and throw it in the oven. CAN IT GET ANY EASIER?? Jazz it up by alternating your cooking oil – try coconut oil and scattering a few spices like cinnamon, cumin, coriander and fennel over the top.

 

11. Leftover bones from your roast?

Throw them in a zip lock bag in the freezer to use for your next stock.

 

12. Blend your herbs in some oil and freeze in the ice cube container.

Once frozen, place in a zip lock bag in the freezer. Anytime you need herbs for a dish, just grab an ice cube or 2 and you’re ready to rock.

 

13. Make a salad dressing every Sunday.

Store in a 500mL jar and use throughout the week.

 

14. Roasted veggies are always a good idea.

Roast 2-3 trays on a Sunday to use throughout the week when you’re unsure what to add to your meal. Or make that dip I was talking about in point #6.

 

15. Soft boiling an egg takes 6 minutes.

Drop into boiling water and put the timer on! If you’re having trouble peeling your eggs, let them cool completely first and peel them while submerged in water.

 

16. Make your citrus extra juicy, use the palm of your hand and roll on the bench.

Apply a bit of pressure and you will feel the flesh inside loosen up as you roll. You. are. welcome.

 

17. Make your salad dressing creamy by blending in 1-2 tablespoons of nuts or seeds.

Yes indeed, that’s right. Your dressings can be creamy. So many of clients think a dressing needs to be liquid, runny and clear.  Adding nuts can give the impression of a mayonnaise style dressing, or a ranch dressing – but so much better.

 

18. Pasta sauce is made by cooking some onions in a pan for 10 minutes, adding garlic, herbs and fresh tomatoes. Don’t bother with that bottled stuff.

Let that simmer for another 15-20 minutes and you have yourself a sauce. Simmer with the lid on for a thinner sauce, or simmer with the lid off for a thicker style sauce.

 

19. Learning to cook is one of the most important life skills anyone can learn.

Male or female. Young or old. Get involved. Take back control of your health in the kitchen and have some fun!

 

20. Cooking at home is a great way to start losing weight.

You’ll know exactly what’s in your food. You’ll be in charge of the portion sizes. You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something. You’ll be happy your meal cost $2 instead of $25.  Most takeaways contains a lot of sugar, weird hydrogenated oil and bad vibes. Have you ever checked out who is actually cooking your food in the kitchen? Or how healthy or happy they look. Whether you believe it or not, you are getting their vibes in your food. If you can’t cook at home and need to choose from a foodcourt situation – read this guide.

 

21. Cooking is (one of) the greatest acts of love, generosity and creativity that you can share with your nearest and dearest.

It builds community, sparks creativity and connects us with nature, feeds, fuels and nourishes. It adds colour to our day, is made by the sun and dances on our tastebuds like no manufactured product ever could.

 

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