Your Favorites Made Non-Dairy

Your Favorites Made Non-Dairy

I dug up some of your favorites made non-dairy for today's post. If you're like me, you LOVE  cheese and yogurt and….well I won't go on. That's what's kept me from doing the Whole 30. I gave up soda on my 50th birthday. I drink decaff coffee since I was around 40 and found out it affected my blood pressure.

While I do love my wine,  I'd have no problems giving it up for 30 days and sometimes have.  A friend likes to play Parched in March. And I can cook without grains. I do that about 2 to 3 times a week.

My Weakness

But dairy? That's where I stall out. So I knew if I really wanted to try it (purely for research to help you, of course), I'd need to find some substitutes for cheese.  I've already tried soy-based cheeses. The American slices are good on toast…but then I wouldn't be eating toast during the Whole 30. I could still melt it on broccoli and zucchini, though.

No, what I needed were things that I could rotate in that I use almost daily like yogurt and cream cheese.  I love making cucumber subs. And once I found a few of those, I found some other good nut-based cheeses.  Let's go take a look.

Cream Cheese Favorites Made Non-Dairy

You can make a cream cheese substitute out of almonds and cashews. The key is to soak them for at least 8 hours so they're soft. Most recipes call for a food processor. I don't have one, so I use my Vitamix. If you use a blender, make sure it's got enough power to cream the nuts. Also, one cup of raw, unsalted nuts can create enough for a few days.

Store any extra in the refrigerator for up to one week.

One other quick tip is that you drain the soaked nuts before tossing them into your food processor. Otherwise, you end up with nut milk instead of nut cheese.

Sweet Options

You will need to add in some additional items like 3 Tablespoons each of lemon juice and melted coconut oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Then you can start playing around. You could add in 1/4 cup of your favorite fruit jam or preserves. I'd recommend sugar-free or something you've made yourself.  You could use very ripe fruit as well.

If you like chocolate, add in some cocoa powder and a healthy sweetener.

You could also add in some vanilla paste and adjust the lemon juice down to get a deliciously creamy treat.

Finally, you could add in some chopped walnuts and pecans along with maple syrup.

Savory Options

You want to find a nice mix of things like vinegar, nutritional yeast and miso paste to mimic a savory flavor. There are a lot of recipes out there for using almonds or cashews. This is also a great ricotta substitute.

One recipe I found uses 2 Tablespoons each of yellow miso paste and apple cider vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast.  Then season with garlic powder and salt. If you use almonds, you may need to add in some unsweetened almond milk for consistency. Another nut cream cheese base recipe uses 1/4 cup of coconut oil in place of the miso paste.

Then you can add in dill or chives or roasted garlic or just about anything you happen to like.

Whipped Cream Favorites Made Non-Dairy

You can make an excellent whipped cream out of full-fat coconut milk that's been refrigerated until it's cold (so, overnight is good). You do that so the coconut cream will separate to the top of the can.  Enjoy the coconut water while you whip the heck out of the coconut cream.

Ice Cream Favorites Made Non-Dairy

I've posted before about using frozen bananas to make a non-dairy ice cream. And you're also getting a good hit of Potassium!

You definitely want to make your own from scratch since a lot of manufacturers put in additives and preservatives and goodness knows what else to mimic the texture of dairy ice cream.

Culinary Nutrition has a simple recipe that they make up, and then put the ice cream in the freezer.  Alton Brown showed how to do this in a Good Eats once. He mixed it up periodically to reduce the ice crystals and have a more consistent product.

  • 3 cups dairy-free milk (coconut, almond, cashew, sesame, etc.)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup natural sweetener (maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, etc.)
  • Flavouring to taste (vanilla, cinnamon, cacao powder, maca, mint extract, etc.)
  • Add-ins of choice (fruit, cacao nibs, nuts or seeds, chocolate chunks, etc.)

The Kitchn recommends using full-fat coconut milk to get the creamy texture and flavor we crave.

I would use vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract for a more intense flavor.

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.

Learn to Love Your Brussels Sprouts

Learn to Love Your Brussels Sprouts

For many years, it seemed cool to make fun of the poor Brussels sprouts. They smelled funny when you cooked them. They usually only showed up at Thanksgiving. And often, they were steamed within an inch of their poor lives.  But no more.

Learn to Love Brussels Sprouts

They can be easy to cook, and work well with a variety of flavors like bacon and apple. Here's a video on cooking them simply.

Did you know that those mighty little sprouts can enhance DNA repair in cells and help block the continued growth of cancer cells. They are best cooked by steaming, roasting, or boiling, and combined with a variety of spices and dressings. They vegetables make a fabulous base for casseroles and salads or work as a satisfying side dish.

And here are lots of light Brussels sprouts recipes to get you inspired.

The Favorites

Hubby and two friends all loved shaved Brussels sprouts salad. It's not my personal favorite way of preparing them. I'd suggest trying one and see if you like it. The difficulty is getting the sprouts shaved finely enough. But put it in front of my hubby and two friends? It's gone in a second and they're asking for more.

Want More Ideas?

Pasta with Bacon, Shredded Brussels Sprouts, and Lemon Zest
I love that this uses orecchiette pasta.  I think that means “little ears.” It's a fun shape and gives you a happy experience eating. And instead of  bacon slices, you could use pancetta. I have a bunch of Myer lemons right now that would go great with this.

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo and Garlic
There are a few types of chorizo available.  I'm more used to the Mexican style than the Portuguese or Spanish style.  Chorizo is spicy so go carefuly with additional seasoning. That doesn't mean it's hot. I found that out once when I was in a Caribbean restaurant and wanted Cajun style spicing.  I was young and didn't know there were vast differences. Anyway, seasoning matters. Taste as you go and find what you enjoy.

Brussels Sprouts Braised with Cider and Bacon
I have braised sprouts before and didn't like it. But I think it was my recipe. I want to continue trying braised veggies. This could be good with plain cabbage as well.  Or I may be fooling myself and will never actually like them and always prefer roasted or grilled or steamed. The thing is you should try and get comfortable with different methods. You don't have to like it.  Just go on to the next method and find the way you do enjoy them.

Even MORE Ideas!

Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Sauce
This is a whole meal. I love that it calls for whole-grain Dijon mustard which has a nuttier flavor to me. You can also add in 1 tablespoon of light cream to add a little bit of lovely luxurious flavor into a sauce without adding a lot of calories. I like the mouth-feel of a finished sauce that seems to be creamy.

In this Craftsy course Love Your Vegetables (w/ Anna Bullett), AnnBullett said that overcooking vegetables can take you past the sharp flavor and into a sweeter, more mellow flavor. When I overroasted Brussels sprouts the other night, they were very soft, and very sweet.

So are you ready to try preparing them?

Resources

Roasting Pans

Craftsy Classes

Love Your Vegetables (w/ Anna Bullett)
Roasting Techniques Every Cook Should Know (w/ Molly Stevens)

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.

Chicken Mushroom Sage Casserole

Chicken Mushroom Sage Casserole

Chicken mushroom sage casserole is a great time saver.  I'm going to review how to make it healthier, and then lower carb. Finally, I'll make recommendations to make this in a slow cooker. You can also make this with any leftover turkey you may have.

But first, watch this video to get inspired:

You can find the full recipe here at My Recipes.

What Would I Change

They use a lot of butter. Granted it does add to the flavor. And they're using it with flour to make the gravy.  What I'd recommend is not putting so much butter in and see how it turns out. You could probably cut it back by two tablespoons and not affect the flavor.

Also, I'd look for rice instead of a rice mix. It will save you money. And what would you do with the spice packet that's leftover anyway.

Wild rice would go great with the sage and mushroom flavors. So you may want to find a package of wild rice.  You may need to parboil it a bit before it goes into the oven since it usually takes about an hour. If you put it with the chicken, it would dry out the poor chicken thigh before it would be done.

So one way would be to put in the rice and other ingredients for thirty minutes. Then put the chicken on it and cook the rest of the way. You could substitute chicken breasts, but they cook faster so you'll need to keep an eye on it.

You could also substitute in turkey. My market sells turkey legs and turkey wings as well as the usual turkey breast.

Another option would be to take ground turkey or chicken and use that so it's more like a sausage rice instead.

How to Make In the Slow Cooker

I looked for similar recipes. Most called for cream of mushroom soup. My concern with that is the amount of sodium in the cans. Plus, I'm trying to advocate natural from scratch.  However, there are now some healthier cream of mushroom soups out there. And you can make it yourself.

Here's two good sounding recipes. They also call for rice mixes. If you substitute in real wild rice blends, you will need to increase the fluids:

Easiest Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice

Chicken and Wild Rice Slow Cooker Dinner

So this was my favorite sounding recipe.

Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Resources

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.

Nom Nom Paleo Books Review

Nom Nom Paleo Books Review

I thought I'd start something new by doing a Nom Nom Paleo books review. I'm addicted to cookbooks. So much so that sometimes I'm so busy reading that I have to scurry to get anything on the table by 6pm.  Thankfully I have my Instant Pot, chicken in the freezer and there's always vegetables hanging around.

What Is Nom Nom Paleo

Nom Nom Paleo was a blog started by Michelle Tam to chronicle her move to a Paleo lifestyle. She was working the night shift and found she was gaining weight and had poor energy. I always loved her authentic energy and enticing photos done by her husband Henry Fong.

At first, Michelle wrote articles for regular cooking and slow cookers. She then joined the Instant Pot cult and started updating her recipes. My absolute favorite is the kalua pork. I can eat that as is, in tacos, in salads, and also in wraps. It's super simple and yet very flavorful and flexible.

Paleo is a way of living more simply and using whole foods. It's low processed carbs and you use substitutes like cauliflower for rice. You can get a free book on the Primal lifestyle mailed to you. Check that out here.

 

What Are the Nom Nom Paleo Books

The first book is Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans

And the second is Ready or Not!: 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo

If I were to do it all over again, I'd read Ready or Not first. It allows you to start from where you're at and ease into the primal lifestyle. And even the authors aren't perfect. They tend towards the Paleo lifestyle, but also use butter. It's not about perfection, but about cooking good meals from real foods.

Michelle also wrote in a “conversation” using the questions she gets the most like if she ever gets bored of the Paleo eating. She feels better without gluten because of her body. Everyone will respond differently.

I personally love to mix it up with some meals being low carb and others having carbs when I'm cooking Mediterranean style. So in a nutshell, these books will inspire you. And there's nothing that says you have to be strict. just get inspired and try new things because it's fun.

When you read the books, they're full of comics and photos, and you really feel like you're in their house. She's got picky eaters, and works hard to ensure that everyone feels happy. On Wednesdays, she does a Facebook Live in the evening to demonstrate a recipe.

Are they ok on e-readers?

I know some ebooks look pretty crummy on Nooks and Kindles.  So, yes, they look fine. I did almost buy Ready or Not as a real book because it's color coded for which stage you may be in (Get Set, Ready, Kinda Ready, Not Ready and Beyond Ready).

Still, it's easy enough to move around if I'm on my Fire or reading using the Cloud Reader.  The only downside? If I want to print something out, it's difficult. But that's OK. I'll keep my Fire with me in the kitchen.

How to Keep Your Knives In Good Shape

How to Keep Your Knives In Good Shape

If you want to prepare quality meals at home, it's important that you know how to keep your knives in good shape. We talked a little in the past about knives. I wanted to go more in depth as to knife types and keeping them sharp and well cared for.

Types of Kitchen Knives

There are quite a few types of knives that you can use in the kitchen. The main two are a paring knife and a chef knife. The chef knife does most of the work when cutting up vegetables and cheese and things. The paring knife is great for cutting into a bell pepper and doing more close work.

I have two sizes chef knife which is great when you have large and small things you're cutting. Also, I use the smaller chef knife on mushrooms, smaller potatoes, and onions and the larger chef knife on large onions, potatoes, and butternut squash.

I have a small serrated knife for tomatoes. I used to go crazy trying to slice them until I invested in the tomato knife. It's so awesome.

And I have a carving knife that came with the set. My husband loves that. When I need to carve meat, I use a large serrated knife that I bought just for that purpose. It has a different blade pattern than the bread knife. The meat knife is the one on the left and has more a scalloped edge. Also the meat knife has the bumps going towards the outside whereas the bread knife has the bumps going on the inside, if that makes sense.

Finally, the kit I bought came with a utility knife. I don't often remember that it's there. I used to use it for cheese, if I remember correctly.

The bottom line is that you need one good chef knife and one good paring knife to do the majority of your prep work. After that, you can get when you find you would use the most. Or you can be like me when I was 22 and moving in to my own place after college and thinking “I need a good knife set.” So I went to Emporium (yes it really was that long ago) and found a good set on sale. And it's lasted me 28 years and counting. I've never had them professionally sharpened because I take good care of them.

This was the large chef knife, small chef knife, carving knife and fork, paring knife, utility knife, tomato knife, meat carving knife and bread knife. Whew. And yet, I really only use 2 of them the most. But it is nice to have the others.

The carving board is a maple one I bought off of Amazon. I had no idea how big it would be! Another tip on how to keep your knives in good shape is to use a good cutting board. Don't cut on tile. So let's move into the other tips.

Taking Care of Your Knives

There are some simple things we can do to keep our knives sharper and happier. First off, don't let it hang around in the bottom of your sink. Things can fall on it or hit the blade knocking it out of alignment. Wash it right away and put it away. It also ensures no rust gets on them. If you have stainless steel, it shouldn't happen…but why take a chance.

Store your knives carefully. You don't want them jumbling around in a drawer. I have a wooden knife block that I got with my knives. If you don't have the space in your kitchen for a block, try and find a cover for the blade to protect it.

When scraping food that you've cut, use a food scraper. If you don't have one, use the back spine of the knife rather than the blade side.

Use the steel to hone your knives regularly. It's actually not how you sharpen. Knives have an edge that can sometimes get folded over one way or the other. The steel helps straighten the edge of the blade.

Keeping Your Knives Sharp

This was a great video on sharpening your kitchen knives. I have the third motorized sharpener. It reminds me…I should go sharpen my knives before Thanksgiving.


And that, in a nutshell, is how to keep your knives in good shape!

Resources

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.

Sumac Chicken with Cauliflower and Carrots

Sumac Chicken with Cauliflower and Carrots

Sumac chicken with cauliflower and carrots is a quick and easy sheet pan dinner. You know how I love easy clean up. But what is sumac? It's a spice made from a dried berry. I'll tell you more after the video.

Now watch this to get inspired:

You can find the full recipe at Cooking Light.

Tell Me About Sumac

Sumac is made from a deep red berry that grows on the sumac bush in the Middle East. It was used to add tartness to dishes until the Romans found a way to grow lemons.

You may have to go to a specialty store to find it or purchase it online as it's not widely available. (Update: I found it in my local Safeway, so it's not as hard to find as I thought)

It pairs well with lamb, chicken, and fish. You can sprinkle it on top of hummus.

If you can't find it or don't want to buy any, you can mix the zest of a lemon with some salt and use that in place of the sumac.

What Would I Change

Not a lot. This recipe sounds really delicious. I may use a little less oil. You could substitute in lamb in place of chicken. And I would be interested in trying it on pork. I love making pork with either a bit of lemon juice or orange juice.

You could substitute in romanesco for cauliflower, or do a mixture of both depending on what you have on hand.

Another good substitution is parsnips in place of the carrots. I just got some baby turnips in my CSA box. I'd probably cut them in half and add them in as well.

You could put in leeks and whole garlic cloves.  I'm always using roasted garlic cloves in other areas, so if you're going to be heating up your oven anyway, toss in some garlic to get roasted as well.

How Mine Turned Out

I'm updating this since I made it this weekend. It was really tasty. I'm a huge sumac fan now. I found a small box in my local supermarket for under $4. (Safeway if anyone is asking.  Safeway has a great spice section compared to my Nob Hill. I didn't check Lunardi's or Whole Foods.)

I only used two pieces of chicken and a few carrots and cauliflower florets. However, I did add in some small potatoes that I quartered. And I didn't finish it with the extra olive oil. I did chop up fresh flatleaf parsley from my garden with cilantro and it added a great herby flavor and smell to the dish.

Here's how it looked before putting it into the oven for the first twenty minutes:

And here's where I added in the onion wedges before the final twenty minutes. I did stir things up a bit.:

Here's the final dish. I should get prettier dishes, but I so love these Southwestern dishes hubby and I bought from Costco or Priceclub when we were first living together.

 

Make It More Paleo

To make this dish more primal, you'd want to use sweet potatoes or turnips rather than white potatoes. And you'd want to substitute in ghee for the olive oil.

Interested in learning more about the primal lifestyle? Check out this free book offer.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Little Tips For Big Improvements In The Kitchen

Little Tips For Big Improvements In The Kitchen

Little tips can lead to big improvements with your cooking. It also makes it easier. And let's face it. You're going to cook more if it's easier. And when you cook more, you lose weight and save money.

Quick Tips

A cool area is the best place for you to keep your spices for maximum freshness and taste. Exposure to excessive heat, humidity, or light will affect the flavor of dried seasoning. Ground herbs and spices retain their flavor for 12 months under normal circumstances. If spices are kept whole, they could stay fresh for up to five years. Spices that are stored correctly remain fresher for longer.

One thing that you can do is to bake a pie or tart crust longer to optimize quality. Wait until the crust turns golden rather than pale blond. When you see the golden color it indicates carmelization, which lends a crisp, sweet flavor to the pie crust.

Store your spices in a cool, dark place. Leaving your spices out will expose them to moisture and light, which will diminish their quality. To keep your spices spicy and fresh, store them in an area that is cool and dark. Your food will be even more delicious if your spices are fresher.

You can save the sauce if you use the following information. Mix together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir the sauce constantly to avoid letting it get too thick. Be sure to add the mixed starch slowly, you don't want the sauce to get too thick.

Getting thin strips of meat is a lot easier if you partially freeze the meat first. This works well for Asian dishes, like Chinese or Thai. It's easier to slice meat that has been partially frozen because the fibers don't tear and stretch, so you can make clean cuts. Though, before cooking the strips, they must completely thaw.

Test a small sample of your seasoned meats prior to cooking the full dish. It's hard to correct overly seasoned meat but spices can always be added. Never prepare the full amount after its initial seasoning. Cut a little piece of meat into a patty before cooking it thoroughly. This gives you the option of cooking the entire meal with this seasoning or altering it according to taste.

It is possible to lower the fat and calorie content of mashed potatoes without impacting the taste or texture by replacing some of the potato content with cauliflower. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as potatoes, offering you a perfect way to add another vegetable to your dish while cutting calories.

Keep flour, sugar and other items for baking in tins with seals that keep the air out. Containers that are airtight will help keep your foods fresh a lot longer because they aren't exposed to air, while also keeping it safe from bugs. You can find these containers in a variety of sizes online or at local stores. Regardless of where you purchase them, using these containers is a choice you are unlikely to regret.

Get More Protein Cheaply

Want to add more protein to your diet? Consider incorporating beans and tofu! They can be bought at pretty much any grocery store. Tofu can be fried in a pan with just a few seasonings. It is a tasty and healthy meat alternative. Boil beans with a sauce or herbs, or add them to a salad to serve up some additional protein.

If you have decided to serve salad with the meal that you are preparing for guests, be sure to serve the salad dry and serve the dressing on the side. There are many people who prefer little to no dressing on a salad. If you allow everyone to apply their dressings on their own it will allow them to have the amount they like. Make sure you have a wide selection of dressings to choose from as well.

Leave the bone in a roast when you are cooking and pressed for time. The roast will get done sooner because the bone will direct the heat right to your roaster. Once the meat is done, you then just cut the meat off the bone and enjoy.

It's necessary for a cook to organize all cooking supplies. Supplies and staples kept in disarray will have you scrambling when trying to find a needed utensil or ingredient. Store items of a similar nature together. To be more specific, put peanut butter and jelly on the same shelf, since they both serve the same purpose.

Have A Few Cutting Boards

Many popular veggies and herbs have a strong residual odor that can remain on cutting boards well after use. Make a mark with permanent ink on the end of the cutting board, so you always know which side to use for the item that you're cutting.

Prepare your meal ahead of time so you can leave it sitting for a few minutes. A lot of people may be unaware that it is important to allow the meal to rest. It has become almost habit now to serve up a meal as it comes right off the stove. However, you are missing out if you do so. Instead, allow each dish to cool briefly before serving it.

When chopping fresh herbs, sprinkle a small amount of salt on the cutting board. Doing this not only adds some flavor, but it also ensures that the herbs are right where they need to be, which is on the board. Then monitor the amount of salt that you add to the food as it is cooking. The salt used on the board provides that extra bit of flavor by sticking to the herbs.

There is more to cooking than putting a meal on the table. Cooking can be exciting and interesting to try. As you practice cooking, you'll produce some meals that don't live up to your expectations, but this will happen less frequently if you make use of this article's advice. Use the tips from this article to help in your kitchen so you can prepare successful dishes.

Want to learn more about the Primal Lifestyle? Check out this free book offer.

Spiced Apple Muffins

Spiced Apple Muffins

This Weight Watchers recipe for spiced apple muffins sounds super delicious. You can watch the video here.

They're in Oprah's latest cookbook as spiced apple mini-cakes.  I suppose saying mini-cake sounds more decadent than muffin. Also, it's not necessarily a quickbread. The recipe was in the comments.

Paleo Spiced Apple Muffins

If you're going low-carb, you can still enjoy spiced apple muffins. You have to look for gluten-free options like almond flour or rice flour. You will also want to use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. Some primal eaters will use regular butter, and that's fine if you do. The key is finding what makes you feel best.

You can learn more about the Primal Diet here. It's a free book offer.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Simple Ways To Avoid Ruining Your Food

Simple Ways To Avoid Ruining Your Food

Do you love to eat different foods? Do you have an insatiable appetite when it comes to sweets? How about some savory ethnic food? Have you ever wanted to cook exotic dishes in your own kitchen? Simply start cooking and stop thinking about where to begin! The tips in this article can teach you how to cook tasty meals.

Cool, dark and dry places are ideal for keeping herbs and spices. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. Another little-known fact is that ground spices tend to lose their flavor quicker than whole spices. Whole spices may keep their flavors, possibly, three years or longer. If you keep these properly stored, they can sometimes stay fresh for an even longer period of time.

Preparation is one of the most important things that you will have to do before you cook a meal for your friends or family. Make sure you have all the ingredients ready. Get everything set to cook the next day. Determine if you have you got the right utensils, etc. Having everything ready will take some of the stress off and increase the chances of your success.

Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and cool. Exposing spices to heat, humidity, and light will shorten their lifespan. Try to find a cool, dark cupboard if you want to increase the flavor and lifespan of your favorite spices. You can prepare tastier meals if you use fresher spices.

It is possible to do a lot of preparation beforehand in order to speed up the cooking process and make it easier. Peruse your recipes and look for things you can do ahead of time. Choose items that will not spoil. Lots of prep work can be completed the day before cooking. The most complicated recipes can be transformed into easy, enjoyable kitchen work with advanced preparation.

If you are left with extra sauce after a meal, find a clean ice cube tray to pour the leftovers into and store the tray in the freezer. When you'd like to make a quick and easy meal later on, you only have to pop out a few cubes of sauce and reheat them in a pan. No worries, because the sauce is still quite edible after being frozen in ice cube trays.

Have you ever experienced difficulty judging the time your meat should be grilled? Use an accurate digital meat thermometer to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked. Another tip is to close the lid on your grill if the meat you're cooking is thicker than an inch and a half.

You should think big when preparing chicken stock. If you prepare a large pot of stock, it can be frozen and stored for future use. You can use the stock as a base for all kinds of soups or even casseroles. Freeze premeasured amounts of your stock in freezer proof containers or bags when cool.

Skewers should always be soaked in cold water for a minimum of 30 minutes before they are used in cooking. By soaking, you can prevent the skewers from burning while cooking your food. To ensure that your food stays on the skewers, use two skewers instead of one to hold the food firmly in place.

If you are about to serve salad to multiple guests, serve the dressing separately instead of putting it directly on the salad. Some people enjoy lots of dressing when eating salads so it is important that each person add their own dressing. Offer your guests a variety of dressings.

Implementing the tips mentioned will have you creating wonderful meals you are sure to enjoy. Go out on a limb and experiment with exotic spices and herbs. You may find a new food that you love! Follow the tips presented above, and with the help of your taste buds, you can discover your inner chef.

Simple Ways to Cook Delicious Meals Without Gluten

Simple Ways to Cook Delicious Meals Without Gluten

When you're trying to lose weight, many diet books talk about how to cook delicious meals without gluten. They want you to remove anything that may cause an inflammation. So goodbye bread and cheese, alcohol and nuts.

While I'm not sure that's the answer for everyone, I can understand the desire to cut something out for a week to see how your body responds.

So I came up with some quick tips for making it easier to cook without gluten.

Quick Tips for Delicious Meals Without Gluten

Cooking with skewers may seem easy; however, there are some tips that will make your skewer cuisine delicious every time. Metal skewers will work better if they are twisted or squared.

Here is a tip that will thicken your sauce quickly and easily so that all your hard work will not have been wasted. Mix together a solution of one tablespoon cornstarch and two tablespoons water. Thicken your sauce by stirring in this solution. Be sure to add the mixed starch slowly, you don't want the sauce to get too thick. You can also use arrowroot.

Using chicken broth is something you can try when you're making vegetables. Simmering vegetables in the broth will keep them from adhering to the bottom of the pan and also infuse them with rich flavor. Chicken broth is readily available at most grocery stores, and it is very affordably priced.

Buy a spiralizer and replace noodles with vegetable noodles.

Think about other ways to present meals using vegetables instead of bread.

Quick Tips When Cooking for Others

If you have a meal that is important, like for a date or your boss, try cooking one of your better dishes so that you are familiar with it and know it tastes good. Avoid trying out new recipes or new ingredients in such a situation. You will have a more relaxed and less anxious cooking experience.

Remember, if you like it, they probably will too!

Try out this free Primal Living book (just pay shipping & handling) to find other ways to live gluten-free!

Resources

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.