We all have a few friends who seem like they’re naturals in the kitchen. They appear to automatically know the best flavour combinations. They can ‘whip up’ a delicious meal for 10, in no time and with no stress. Just remember, each one of these people had to start somewhere, cooking doesn’t come naturally for most of us. It’s a learned skill beginner cooks! Here are a few tips that have helped me get more comfortable and skilled in the kitchen.
3 Tips to Make Cooking Easier
1. Have basic spices on hand.
I challenge you to find a recipe that doesn’t list even one spice or herb as an ingredient – I’ve never come across one! When I first started cooking, I remember being completely overwhelmed by not having any spices on hand. Many of the initial recipes I tried making, called for at least one of these common spices: garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, chili powder or cumin. Alleviate this fear by stocking up on them right now! Spices and herbs are the healthiest way to add flavour to a meal without adding calories or fat to it.
2. Be organized.
Organizing yourself right at the start of the cooking process, the grocery list and store trip, will save you time and stress. Spend time each week building your grocery list from the menu you create. It’s often easiest to schedule the grocery trip as reoccurring event in your calendar. Shopping on the same day and time, gets you in touch with the busyness of the store at that time, and what the inventory levels will look like. Finding one or two stores to frequent, makes the trip faster because you’ll get to know the store layout. We break our list out by department, so that we’re able to quickly move around throughout the store.
Keep your kitchen organized by placing all commonly used dishes at the front of your cupboards and drawers. Put everything back to the same spot each time you use it. Organization will save you time in the future!
3. Use your freezer.
Freeze already cooked meats. I love dicing up BBQ’d chicken and freezing it to use in meals or on our salads throughout the week. When all you have to do is defrost your protein, your cooking time will be significantly less, and the whole meal-making process seems much simpler.
Embrace frozen vegetables too beginner cooks! It can’t be any easier or quicker than to open up and defrost a bag of frozen veggies. Toss on your favourite spices and eat them as a healthy side dish at dinner. Or add the veggies into homemade soups, stir-fries, stews and casseroles.
To Sum it up…3 Tips for the Beginner Cook
Cooking doesn’t come naturally to most people, it’s something that is learned over time, and gets better with practice. There are three tips I’ve shared in this blog to help you beginner cooks get more comfortable. I use spices in every dish I make, so having a wide variety of them on hand is a must for me! Cooking is easier when you’re organized throughout the whole process. Organization is important right from the grocery list list through to putting putting your dishes away. Having cooked meats and frozen veggies on hand, is a great way to simplify and speed up the cooking process.
What are some of the tips that you seasoned chefs have for us? I’d love to hear from you.