How to Make Great Meals at Home Every Time
In the ideal world, your meals would come out perfect each and every time. In the world in which we live, however, a number of external factors can compromise your cooking efforts and lead to less-than-delicious outcomes. While we've...
In the ideal world, your meals would come out perfect each and every time. In the world in which we live, however, a number of external factors can compromise your cooking efforts and lead to less-than-delicious outcomes. While we've all had dinner saved at one time or another by the local pizza delivery guy, there are ways to increasing your chances of consistently produce high-quality, home-cooked meals. Let's take a closer look at some tips and techniques enjoyed by the most efficient and effective home chefs.
Meal Planning Matters
No one stumbles into seven perfectly executed dinners a week. Pulling that off takes planning, and a good bit of it. If organization is not your strong suit, look into meal planning systems, many of which not only provide a weekly menu plan, but also the comprehensive shopping list to go along with it. Today, smartphones and apps make it easier than ever to plan ahead.
However, having a meal plan is only part of the equation. The other part? Sticking with it. Whether your goal is to save money or to eat healthier, deviating from your meal plan can lead to snap decisions, poor eating choices, and wasted food.
Look To Your Pantry
Heading to the grocery store before inventorying your supplies can lead to mishaps like a spice cabinet containing five jars of cumin and yet a potato-free pantry when shepherd's pie is planned for the day's meal.
Don't assume you do or do not have a key ingredient, particularly if your household includes other eating and shopping individuals. The more thorough you are in evaluating the contents of your fridge and pantry, the less likely you are to buy something you don't need while overlooking something you do.
Do Your Prep Work
When time is tight, don't squander precious weekday cooking time on prep work. Instead, designate part of your weekend to chopping, cutting, and other tasks which can be done in advance. For example, if multiple meals require diced onions, combine a week's worth of onion prep into one afternoon and store in an airtight container. This saves both time and cleaning. In addition to prepping vegetables in advance, you can also take on more advanced tasks, such as cutting meat and making sauces.
Occasionally, even the most delicious meals can be tiresome after multiple servings, which is why mixing things is an important part of keeping things appetizing. From international nights where you serve up tacos or homemade pakoras to breakfast-for-dinner surprises, the willingness to try new things can help you push your personal boundaries and grow as a chef while making mealtime fun for family members.
Between soccer games, dance classes, and PTA meetings, there will be some nights when you simply don't have the time to cook. Resist the need to head through the drive-through by freezing meals for this very reason. Many recipes, such as soups, chili, casseroles, and meatloaf, are perfect for freezing. Be sure to incorporate nutritious, budget-friendly make-ahead strategies into your plans when time is tight.
While setting yourself up for foolproof meal preparation takes some initial investment, consistency pays off. Not only will the job get easier the more you do it, but you and your family will enjoy the many delicious benefits of healthy, home-cooked meals. Visit Cilantro The Cooks Shop today to browse our collection of cookbooks and start your menu planning.