Home cooking has a range of benefits, from saving money to being able to cook according to personal preferences. In addition, as a rule, homemade meals are more satisfying, and there is no doubt about the quality of the products used. But not everyone knows how to cook, let's look at how to learn this skill and what it takes to become an experienced chef.
Meal Prep for Beginners - Practice Meal Prep Tips for You!
It is important to learn how to correctly combine ingredients and additional elements in the process of creating culinary masterpieces. On the one hand, the cuisines of different countries of the world have proved that it is quite possible to combine the incompatible. On the other hand, experimenting on your own is better if you have significant experience. It is worth carefully studying the products, the joint preparation of which will not only spoil the taste but can also cause unpleasant reactions in the body.
How to Meal Prep - Learning to Use Spices in Practice
The use of spices is a special trend in the field of cooking. They are able to both transform and spoil the dish.
It is customary to use the following types of spices for vegetables:
- anise, basil, melissa;
- cumin and white mustard;
- thyme, mint;
- dill, parsley, and others.
For meat dishes
The meat itself is quite saturated, but it is permissible to improve the palatability by adding herbs such as dill, mint, tarragon, and marjoram. They should be used in a minimal amount otherwise spices will drown out the taste of the food itself.
For fish dishes
For fish, as a rule, fennel, parsley, and chervil are used. In general, spices used for meat dishes are also suitable.
Most often, the taste is complemented by a combination of several types of hot peppers.
Sometimes bay leaves or oregano are used.
When to use lemon?
Lemon is a special fruit that can completely change the taste of a familiar product. Adding lemon to vegetable salads is acceptable. Sometimes its zest is used in the preparation of cakes and pastries.
Where to use cheese?
Cheese as a product is self-sufficient, but many cuisines of the world use it as an additional ingredient. For example, in Italy, cheese is present in almost all meal options in one form or another. The product is good both fresh, for example, in a vegetable salad, and cooked.
Soy sauce instead of salt
The use of soy sauce instead of salt is common in Japanese cuisine. The advantages of the product are as follows:
- contains vegetable protein;
- filled with vitamins B and E;
- contains minerals.
Soy sauce promotes metabolism and is less harmful than salt. However, not everyone likes the taste.
Meal Prep Guide for Beginners
In addition, the process of cooking is, in fact, a chemical transformation of substances. Therefore, knowledge of recipes is not the most important. It is much more important to understand how this or that type of processing affects the taste of products.
For example, starchy foods are better boiled in an alkaline environment. Therefore, if you are preparing mashed potatoes, you can add a little soda to the water during cooking.
Vegetables for soup should be cooked over low heat, in a heavy-bottomed dish. Don't try to deep fry them to a dark crust - half-frying and half-simmering will give you a much more pleasant taste. Sauteed vegetables are added at the very end of cooking the soup.
Basic meal prep - a win-win classic
There are food combinations that always give excellent results, so novice cooks should remember them first of all:
- Tomatoes + basil + garlic. This combination is suitable for salad, pie, and soup.
- Beets + soft cheese + nuts. It doesn't matter what you do - sandwich, salad or soup. Remember these three, and you no longer have to puzzle over where to attach root crops lying around in the refrigerator.
- Apples + cinnamon. The warm and warming aroma of this duet is good in sauces, main dishes, desserts, and drinks.
- Potato + nutmeg. Nutmeg will give potato dishes an unusual flavor that you will definitely like. Try it with regular mashed potatoes and you'll regret not adding nutmeg sooner.
- Mushrooms + fenugreek. Just a pinch of aromatic seasoning will turn an ordinary mushroom dish into a masterpiece.
- Rhubarb + raisins. The sweetness of raisins perfectly complements the fresh sourness of rhubarb.
- Pumpkin + millet. Are you used to cooking pumpkin porridge with rice? Try the millet option and you won't regret it. By the way, a small amount of millet will make any pumpkin soup more satisfying.
Onion + vinegar + sugar. Vinegar removes the excess spiciness of the onion, and sugar compensates for the excess acid.
Meal Prep for Beginners - The Main Rules of the Novice Cook
Good tools for the job. Do not rush to buy everything, but if you decide to purchase something, let it be the best quality item available to you. Of course, the taste of Julienne is primarily influenced by the skill of the cook and not the brand of the pan, but it is more convenient to cut with a high-quality knife, and it is more convenient to cook milk or sauce in a good-quality ladle with a thick bottom, and not in a thin tin for pennies.
Learn to choose good products. Even the simplest dish will be delicious if it is prepared from high-quality and fresh ingredients. “Delicious” is not synonymous with “expensive”. Do not try to buy all the rarest and most expensive. Focus on the quality of products, but do not chase rare delicacies. Delicious food should be healthy. Study how food affects your body, and eat only those foods that are beneficial, not harmful.
And most importantly, don't expect a couple of books or a month in culinary school to make you an instant chef. The love of cooking is a lifelong passion. You will have to study every day, and constantly try something new, and only in this way will your skills be able to develop.