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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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