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!

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

 

Cooking Tips For Your On The Go Lifestyle

Cooking Tips For Your On The Go Lifestyle

I got a request for some good cooking tips for busy people. I hear you. Some days, I'd rather call Door Dash, but I know I'd regret it.  Another problem is when I get into cooking ruts. Has that ever happened to you?

Your kitchen may seem boring sometimes. But a few new cooking tips can change that. Your kitchen will transform into a place that you like to be, and you'll be able to make delicious meals the whole family will love. The next few parts of this article will inspire you with a few tips that revolve around cooking.

Plan And Prep

You should do the prep work for your meals in advance. You'll be glad you have your prep work done when it's time to cook. When you're ready to begin cooking and have set your deadline to finish, you can get really stressed. Do the prep work as early as you can to avoid stress later.

And do what I do. Buy prechopped garlic and onion. I promise it will taste just as good.

Also, prepare extra when you're in a good mood. Your future self will thank you. Some days are just easier than others. So if you have one of THOSE days, it's nice to come home and have food on hand to throw together something that will make you feel all warm inside.

Freeze the Meat

In order to make it easier to slice meat into thin strips, you should first marginally freeze the meat. If you are making Asian dishes, such as Thai or Chinese food, this is a great idea. When meats are partially frozen, the slicing is neater and the meat's fibers don't tear and stretch as easily. Allow the meat strips to completely thaw before you throw them in the cooking pan, so you can be sure that the strips all cook evenly.

Better Veggie Cooking

When you cook vegetables for a long time, like boiling them, a lot of essential nutrients will be cooked away. To get the greatest health benefit from vegetables, cook them quickly with methods like steaming or sauteing, or serve them raw.

Protect Your Apples

Apples are currently in season. It's fun to use them for cooking with pork or chicken.  Ok, and for pies and crumbles. But if the fruit is incorrectly stored, it will spoil very quickly. You can keep apples fresh by storing them in a cool basement or refrigerator as warm or dry air makes them rot. Make sure you check them periodically, however, because even one spoiled apple can cause the others in the bag to rot very rapidly.

Protect The Stuff In Your Cabinets

It is important to keep your items fresh, so always store your perishable items, sugars, flours, etc, in sealed, airtight bins. Bugs can creep into your food, and most food items will become stale if exposed to the open air. These are just a couple of solid reasons that you need solid containment. Airtight containers are your best friends in the kitchen. The containers can be bought anywhere and can be an invaluable investment.

 

And don't forget to check out my free Primal Living offer. It may be a fun change that gets you excited about cooking again.

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

Cast Iron Steak Tips with Mushrooms

Cast Iron Steak Tips with Mushrooms

I love cooking steak tips with mushrooms. It's such a satisfying meal and goes great served over brown rice.

I found this recipe at America's Test Kitchen where they cook the steak tips in cast iron and make a gravy with the mushrooms and onions. Cast iron is a great way to cook. It keeps the temperature much more even than aluminum or steel pans. Plus, they're so heavy that you can skip the gym when you use them. Just kidding. Sort of.

What Are Steak Tips

This is the mystery of the ages. Chances are, it's whatever the butcher had on hand and mixed them all up. Some may be tender and some may be tough. You could work around this by buying regular meat and cutting it up into smaller chunks. This will save you money usually. Whole chickens are often less per pound than a package of cut-up parts.

While you could use stew meat, it may be a bit tough unless you cook it for a long time. (that's called braising)Then you could add in the mushrooms and onions and finish it.

The video above also recommend flap, skirt and flank steaks.

The truth is that the tougher cuts of meat do have more flavor. I'm going to be making this tonight with some tips from tri-tip. I bought two untrimmed tri-tip roasts for $2.99/lb and will be practicing my butcher skills. The leftovers will make a great dinner. I just need to pick up some mushrooms and onions!

If you're interested in learning more about butchering your meat, check out this Craftsy class on Make the Right Cuts: Butchering Basics. I'm in the middle of it, and have learned so much about the grain and looking for natural places to cut.  Now I just need to get my knives sharpened.

I also highly recommend Cooking Essentials: All About Beef (w/Raquel Pelzel)

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

Healthier Fish Stick Recipes

Healthier Fish Stick Recipes

I bought some rockfish last night to make some healthier fish sticks. They also had Dungeness crab at $5.99 a pound, so I got two small crabs, and well, we had the crab for supper last night.

I was poking around the cabinet looking for the box with fish fry coating. And thankfully, I'm out. So it's time to go find out how to make a healthier fish stick.

What Kind of Fish

The classic fish stick is made out of cod. You could easily make them out of flounder or halibut. If you can find mahi mahi, it will make a nice firm fish stick. You could also look into haddock, pollack, black cod, striped bass, hake, and grouper.

You want to find fish that is fresh. And it helps if the fish is thicker.

How to Make A Healthier Coating

There are a few types of fish batter. Some are smooth like beer batter and others are crumbly like a cornmeal based fish fry coating.

For crumbly fish fry coatings, most people use panko.  You can season it with spices like Old Bay, parsley, salt, paprika, cayenne, or just about anything. Some people like having a kick. You could look into putting in some jalapenos that are finely diced as well.

You can also use normal breadcrumbs if you want a finer crumb. And some people crush potato chips or cereal.

Here's how to make a Paleo crunchy coating:

For a smooth coating that's Primal and Whole 30 friendly, check out these

Paleo Cupboard Fish Sticks

Bowl of Delicious Fish Sticks

PaleoHacks Fish Sticks

But I saved the best for last. This is what I consider to be a classic beer batter, and it's Paleo

Happily Unprocessed Paleo Beer Battered Fish

How to Cook the Fish

We want our fish sticks to be crispy on the outside and flakey on the inside, right?

You could fry in a large cast iron pan using vegetable shortening. Keep the temperature higher (around 350F) and cook quickly. Then transfer the fish to a cooling rack. I put mine in a baking pan to keep the draining oil in an easy to clean up space.

Or you could bake the fish. I will use a cooling rack on a baking pan so the fish cooks evenly. You may still want to turn the fish midway in cooking.  Cook using a high heat (450F) for about 10-12 minutes depends on how big your fish sticks are.

Finally, you can use your air fryer if you have one. It's on my birthday wish list!

Side Dishes

I love cole slaw. You could make it healthier and make broccoli slaw.

And I confess to loving french fries. If you have an air fryer, go for the potato! You can also make fries from sweet potatoes that are super delicious.

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

More Paleo Tricks for Your Favorite Foods

More Paleo Tricks for Your Favorite Foods

Today let's look at some more Paleo tricks for your favorite foods. If you missed Part 1, you can find Paleo Tricks for Your Favorite Foods here. I'm going to skip cauliflower since I've already done a few posts about substituting cauliflower into your recipes. I'm also going to skip spiralizing since I talk about that here.

So let's dig in.

Mushrooms

If you're not sure about using lettuce wraps for your hamburgers, feel free to substitute Portobello mushrooms. They're large and meaty. And they hold everything together very well.

Stuffed mushrooms are also a wonderful appetizer or small plates dish. You can put together a wide variety of flavor profiles like lamb, mint, and feta or sausage with spinach. Here's a great video for spinach stuffed mushrooms.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another great way to serve things hot or cold. You could make a tuna, shrimp or crab salad and serve them in a hollowed out tomato.

Or you could try this Paleo lamb in a tomato recipe.

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

Paleo Tricks for Your Favorite Foods

Paleo Tricks for Your Favorite Foods

I found these Paleo tricks for your favorite foods. What do we love? Sandwiches and tacos!  But what do we avoid? Carbs. (well, sometimes we do.) If you're going Primal, Whole 30, Paleo, or just low carb, then this is the post for you.

Replace Taco Shells With Zucchini

There's actually two ways to use zucchini in place of taco shells for Paleo tacos. First, you can cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Next,  scoop out the center and bake the zucchini until it's soft. Then you can put in your taco filling and go to town.  If you're eating cheese, you can sprinkle it on and toast the zucchini boat until the cheese is all melted.

Quinoa stuffed zucchinis
Quinoa stuffed zucchinis

The second way is to shred the zucchini and create tortillas with them.

Another Quick Paleo Trick

You can also use cauliflower to make a tortilla. And these can also be used as wraps for well, wrap sandwiches.

A Common Paleo Trick

You can get large lettuce leaves and wrap your taco filling inside of that. It's somewhat more like a burrito, but it's still very tasty.

And lettuce wraps are perfect for burgers, pulled meats, and just about any filling you can think of. I know some people don't like that they tear and have the filling spill out. I look for thicker leafed varieties like romaine.

Replace Sandwich Bread with Veggies

Use cucumbers in place of bread for sandwiches. I did a blog post on this earlier. You need to hollow out the center and then use something like cream cheese to hold everything in place.

 

Another great idea is to use avocados in place of mayo, and then eat right out of the avocado. This is perfect for things like tuna salad, shrimp salad, crab salad, and BLT's.

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

Personal Bean Dip Cups

Personal Bean Dip Cups

I just saw this fantastic video for making personal bean dip cups. It's a terrific way to enforce portion control if you are left after a party wondering just how many tablespoons of salsa you really ate.

You could add in ground beef if you wanted more protein. And you can dip vegetables instead of chips. Imagine never having to worry about someone else double dipping again.

Other Ideas for Personal Snack Cups

These could be great with other flavors as well. You could make a hummus cup with tzatziki, feta, cucumber, and tomato.  You could also substitute in lamb crumbles.

And if you wanted to be crazy, you could use a zip top bag as a piping bag and put in onion dip, guac and hummus so you could get a small taste of your favorite dips.

 

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

Easy Vegetarian Soups from Scratch

Easy Vegetarian Soups from Scratch

Why should you make easy vegetarian soups from scratch? Soups are a great way to get filled up. When you make them from scratch, you can save a lot of money. And if you go back for a second bowl, you won't feel guilty.

Bean Soups

Most people think about black beans when they think of bean soups. I love Jamie Oliver and find him fun to watch. Hope you do too.

Here are some other fun bean soup recipes:

Slow cooker white bean soup

10 High Protein Low Fat Bean Soup Ideas

Smoky Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup with Lime Cashew Cream

Vegetable Soups

easy vegetable soups from scratch

You can make amazing cream of vegetable soup recipes without using cream. I love making creamed vegetable soups out of broccoli or asparagus. It feels so decadent and yet it's so incredibly healthy.

I cooked Cauliflower Leek soup last night and will toss it into the Vitamix for lunch today (and then heat it up). And I got two large bags of broccoli in my CSA so I'll be making this Creamy Broccoli soup later this weekend.

Other Types of Vegetarian Soups

I love minestrone. This recipe is a copycat of Olive Garden's minestrone recipe and is vegetarian since you need to use vegetarian broth. You can also try this Tuscan Vegetable Bean soup (I love Ellie Krieger).minestrone soup

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

Resources

Taco Pie with Avocado Crust

Taco Pie with Avocado Crust

Taco pie with avocado crust sounds, well, interesting, doesn't it? Avocado is a great and healthy fat. If you don't like it, you won't taste it.

Watch the video to see how easy it is:

 

Even I'm thinking I could roll out a crust like that. Now, I hear you going “But…but…SHORTENING?”  Well, first off, it's not that bad for you. And secondly, there is all vegetable shortening out there that is vegan

Make Taco Pie with Avocado Crust Your Own

What I love about recipes like these are that you have so much opportunity to adjust it. If you're feeling vegetarian, skip the beef and add in mushrooms or more varieties of beans. Want more vegetables? Add in corn or spinach. (or any other diced veggie. I would totally put diced zucchini in here.)

And you could put in whatever spices you prefer. I love chipotles with adobo sauce for an all over warmth. Jalapenos are more like a fast jolt. I'm not saying I don't love jalapenos. Pickled ones absolutely belong on my burgers. But, I'm just saying you can change the whole dish just by changing the spices.

Now, what if you used ground lamb and Meditteranean spices? Then you could put feta and diced cucumbers and tomatoes on top and have a Greek gyro pie with avocado crust.

But Can You Make It Paleo

You could easily use rice flour to make the crust. There are also alternative baking mixes that are gluten-free. And, you could skip the idea of a crust altogether and substitute in thinly sliced sweet potatoes or riced cauliflower to make the crust.

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

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