Cooking fresh and tasty food has benefits beyond creating a healthy balanced diet; cooking for yourself can be a great way to release tension, be creative, and helps many to wind down after a long, stressful day at the office. However, many Americans find they don’t have the time to explore healthy, homemade meals and often opt for easy yet unhealthy options. All too often the convenience of the takeout menu becomes the enticing devil on your shoulder. We at NetCost Market are not immune to the draws of a takeaway or restaurant meal, but also believe there’s a lot to be said for cooking from scratch, so we’ve put together a clever array of useful cooking hacks that kick to the curb those excuses and can save you time and effort in the kitchen!
Get to know your herbs and spices!
Lots of people find that home-cooked food often tastes bland and boring, causing them to opt for flavor-packed takeout food that is packed with salts and trans-fats. Getting to know your herbs and spices will allow you to make tasty, lower salt meals at home that pack much more flavor than takeout… and it saves you money in the process. Try using ground cumin to spice up Mexican beef tacos, a sprinkle of smoked paprika to give chicken breast a spicy punch, or adding fresh basil to pasta sauce for that authentic Italian taste!
Beat the onion blues!
Cutting onions can be a painful experience for your eyes, and it often puts people off preparing dishes that require the potent produce. So many dishes have the onion as key base, you’ll find them in everything from soups to salads so it would be a shame to miss out just because you hate chopping onions. Place an onion in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before you need to cut it and you can avoid that teary, stressful experience altogether.
Make easy work of ginger and garlic.
Peeling garlic and ginger (two other key ingredients for many tasty meals)! can be a real tedious task, but once you know how to do it properly it becomes a breeze! For Garlic, simply press down on the clove with the flat side of a large knife until it splits, and then pinch the pointed end and watch the pulp easily pop from the skin. With ginger, use a spoon to scrape off the skin, rather than a knife. This is easier and you waste less of the flesh inside of the root.
Organization goes far in the kitchen.
It seems obvious but so many of us don’t do it! Making meals in advance can literally save you hours of cooking time throughout the week. Why not spare a little extra time at the weekend to cook up your lunch meals for the week? Not only does this save time, money and effort, but many meals including curries, chili con carne, pasta bake, stews, and soups actually taste better after a few days of marinating in the fridge!