There is no denying that many people are just now in the habit of cooking at home. Whether out of necessity, as a way to pass the time, to maintain a healthier diet or even as a therapy, cooking always means creating a loving relationship with food.
And although many people do not take chances in the kitchen because they consider themselves “too bad”, the truth is that with practice we learn a lot! So, to help those who are getting started, we have gathered some essential tips to facilitate the routine in the kitchen. As a bonus, at the end of the post you can download free a weekly menu template to plan your weekly meals 😉
HAVE THE BASIC UTENSILS
Before thinking about food, we need all the devices to prepare meals. At least have basic kitchen utensils like some pans, good knives and a multipurpose spoon is already a start. Besides them, the cutting board and a pressure cooker are essential.
If you also like to venture into the world of sweets, it’s worth buying the most important confectionery items. The silicone spatula, a wooden spoon and the fouet are some of them. Having these accessories, you are already equipped for simpler preparations that do not require very technical utensils and appliances.
USE THE RIGHT POTS
Having pans, as we already mentioned, is the basics of the basics. However, it is necessary to understand the function of each one of them so as not to make mistakes in some preparations. Beans, for example, need to be made in a pressure cooker so that the beans soften – as well as stiffer meats.
The frying pans are used to grill, fry and sauté the food. Other pans like the casserole and the one with the traditional handle are more versatile, being used for a multitude of preparations.
THE pot material it also makes all the difference. Those made of clay and ceramics, for example, retain more heat. Therefore, it is necessary to leave them out of the fire before the end of the preparation, as they continue to heat and cook the food in them.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL THE INGREDIENTS
With all the necessary utensils to cook at home, it’s time to think about the food itself! Each meal has a number of ingredients, ranging from main foods to seasonings.
So, before starting any preparation, make a list of everything you will need. That done, look in the closet if you have all the necessary ingredients. Some simple substitutions are always possible, but be careful that this change does not affect the texture or flavor of the preparation.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, we have separated one
post with several substitution tips to exchange animal foods for those plant-based.
MISE EN PLACE
Another detail that makes all the difference when we are cooking at home is to prepare the mise en place. In addition to separating all the ingredients, mise en place it is like an organization ritual. The name itself, in French, means “put in order”.
Basically, the ideal before starting to cook is to read the entire recipe, separate the already portioned ingredients and separate all the utensils necessary for the development of the recipe. Then, organize the entire bench and, yes, get your hands dirty. If you want to know more about this “ritual”, just tighten here.
CAPRICHE IN THE SEASONS
When preparing meals, the main secret is in the spices. Anyone who is starting a career as an amateur chef does not always remember this and, for this reason, the food often ends up being boring.
To prevent this from happening, bet on a mix of spices of your taste. Some more common and used in the kitchen, in addition to salt, are oregano, paprika, black pepper, parsley, chives, rosemary, bay leaf, thyme, cumin… And, of course, the classic sautéed garlic and onion.
MAKE THE SAME INGREDIENTS OF DIFFERENT WAYS
The beans don’t always have to be the side dish of the rice, the potatoes don’t have to turn into mashed potatoes every time and the chicken yields delicious dishes in addition to its cooked version! Although it is a difficult exercise when we are not creative, we have to imagine different preparations for each ingredient, because they are always very versatile.
It is worth testing new spices, preparation methods, combinations … There is no rule! And when you’re having trouble thinking and being creative, just look for revenue ready to use what you have at home 😉
Not everyone has time to cook every day of the week, and it’s okay to order one delivery now and then. However, this cannot become a habit. Especially because, food prepared at home is always healthier.
If you fall into the group of people who have a hectic routine, a good solution is to set aside a time of the week to prepare meals for the next five or seven days. It can be weekend, in the morning or in the evening – whichever best fits your schedule of appointments. With everything prepared, separate the food into daily portions and place in the freezer. So, just thaw what will be consumed on the day and give that good heat!
The cleaning time is not the favorite of the crowd, but it is just as important as all the other steps. I know, sometimes it gives that despair to see the sink full of pots, plates, pots, glasses and cutlery. But, if you postpone this task, cleaning all of these utensils thoroughly becomes even more difficult.
With that in mind, try to clean and wash everything that has been used as soon as food is prepared or right after each meal. In this way, you accumulate less dishes and do not suffer from scrubbing too many dishes and cookware. If any pan or pan has stuck to or burned food, leave it with a little hot water inside while you wash the rest of the dishes. So, it will be much easier to clean what was stuck 😉
HOW TO SET UP A WEEKLY MENU?
Now, how about talking a little bit about planning? During the week everyone keeps asking “what am i gonna eat?”Before each and every meal. So, it is time to prepare the food that the person looks at what they have in the refrigerator, in the cupboard and decides which menu.
This doubt and uncertainty ends up generating a certain laziness of cooking, a fact that can be avoided with something very simple: Weekly menu! Planning and forecasting all your meals of the week, in addition to saving time on a daily basis, makes shopping easier. After all, you can already prepare a list of the ingredients needed to prepare each dish.
Having this overview of what you eat in the week will also help you maintain a more balanced diet. Because, you will be fully aware of all the preparations and what ingredients were used.
In order not to have errors when assembling the menu of the week, it is necessary to have some details in view: (1) how many people are going to eat, (2) what is your time available for cooking, (3) the meals you eat outside the home and (4) seek a balance between the ingredients. If you prefer, you can add desserts to your planning!
If you liked the idea and already want to put all these tips into practice, just download our monthly menu to print here! This file even has a space for you to fill with the ingredients you need for each day of the week, so enjoy 😉
👉 FREE DOWNLOAD