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10 Cooking Tips To Make Your Food More Delicious

10 Cooking Tips To Make Your Food More Delicious

Lately everyone wants to learn about healthy eating and even sustainable eating, but what about just making your food more delicious? Tasty food can make a huge difference in our quality of life and may even reduce the amount of waste you go through each week.

Here are 10 cooking tips you can use alongside a healthy diet in order to make your food even tastier. These are some quick changes that will make a huge impact on the reception of your food.

1. Quick Spice Guide

Spices can be intimidating to people who are unfamiliar with them. Instead of giving you a list of exotic spices to start using right away, here’s a simple list of some starter spices and how to use them.

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  • Cumin: Adds a rich smokey flavor and is often used in Mexican, Indian and African dishes. Add it to ground meats and stews.
  • Paprika: Adds a subtle sweetness and a nice red color. Used like cumin with ground meats, sauces and stews.
  • Allspice: For a touch of earthy warmth to sauces, marinades and baked goods. Used similarly to cinnamon.
  • Ginger and Ginger Powder: Ginger is often used in Asian cooking, with baking and is especially delicious when used in sauces and marinades.

2. Quick Herb Guide

Herbs can be equally intimidating to the uninitiated. Here are a few common herbs you can start incorporating in everyday meals.

  • Mint: Mint has a strong, fresh, green flavor and is used commonly with lamb, green vegetables and desserts.
  • Chives: Instead of using a whole onion, add the crunch and flavor of an onion using chopped chives. Chives are usually added after cooking, on top of baked potatoes for example, but also add flavor and texture to soups.
  • Rosemary: Another Italian favorite, rosemary adds a bright, piney flavor to your food, similar to citrus. Mediterranean cooking also favors rosemary. Use it in rich sauces, lamb and poultry for uplifting flavors.

3. Flavored Salts

We all know it’s important to use salt in moderation and you can use less salt if it’s more inherently flavorful. Flavored salts come in a number of enticing options, like lemon salt, sriracha salt, and even vanilla salt. Here’s a guide to making your own salt.

4. Be Careful About Seeds and Pits

Before cooking most fruits and vegetables, you’ll want to get all the seeds out first. Raw or cooked, seeds tend to be bitter and can leech some really toxic-tasting chemicals into the food when cooked. Tomatoes are the exception, where their seeds pack the most flavors and should be left in when cooking.

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5. Make Your Own Stock

Stock is really easy to make on your own and it’s leagues are better than the stuff you buy at the grocery store. You’re free to season it as you like and make it as thick or thin as you need. Here’s a recipe for a quick and easy vegetable stock that costs about as much as the stuff on the grocery store shelf.

6. Cook Pasta in Sauce or Stock

The experts will tell you that cooking your pasta in sauce is essential to infuse it with the proper flavor and achieve a nice, even distribution of sauce and noodle. Cook your pasta in water until it is al dente, or undercooked but flexible. Strain, then add your pasta to the saucepan and allow it to finish cooking there, stirring often. Alternatively, you may boil pasta in stock instead of water.

7. Chop Onion and Garlic as Needed

Both garlic and onion have strong, pungent qualities that add a big kick to our dishes, but from the moment they are cut, they begin losing flavor. Always prepare your onion and garlic right before cooking, and make sure the leftovers are sealed and put in the fridge to preserve.

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8. Versatile Vinaigrette

If you love acidic flavors, vinaigrette should be your new best friend. It’s not just for salads, and it’s incredibly easy to make on your own (again, leagues better than store-bought). Use vinaigrette on deli sandwiches, picnic salads like potato and noodle, French fries, grilled vegetables and more. Here’s a quick guide to making your own vinaigrette.

9. Grill Sandwich Breads

We promise that the time it takes to grill your bread before making that amazing sandwich you have planned will be worth it. You may have noticed restaurants always do this before sending out a sandwich and there’s good reason ; grilled bread tastes much better, and releases the aromas of the ingredients. It also holds up better against wet toppings and is ideal for soup. Even the modest PB&J can be enhanced with grilled bread.

10. Wheat Germ

Wheat Germ is a nutritious and versatile food that has fallen somewhat out of favor in recent years. We’d like to bring the trend back by sharing some of the ways you can incorporate this woody, nutty food in your diet. First, wheat germ is great on dairies like ice cream and yogurt. Just add a spoonful and enjoy the boost of flavor and texture. It’s great with fruit, and can be used as filler in recipes like meatballs.

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We hope you learned a couple new tricks to make your meals both healthy and delicious. By making your own staples like stocks and dressings, you can actually reduce the amount of sugar and preservative chemicals while enhancing flavor. Taking a few extra minutes in prep can also go a long way in making your food tasty, like always removing seeds from fruits and vegetables.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive is the most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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