Recipe tips and tricks
This is an often forgotten part of cooking – have fun! Be playful while you cook and surround yourself with positive things like music to make the experience fun and relaxing. Cooking doesn’t have to be boring and stressful – it can be therapeutic and fun.
Quick and easy recipes such as scrambled eggs and omelettes are ideal options for breakfast, and make great midnight snacks too. To make them more healthy and filling, add spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, spring onions or any other vegetables to the frying pan.
You can make a single meal in one small or medium size pan, saving time and reducing what you need to wash up afterwards. Google and YouTube have many examples of one-pot meals such as pasta dishes, noodle soups, and stews.
If you’re trying out a new recipe, remember you don’t have to make everything from scratch! There are lots of ready-made options which can make your life easier. Making pastry, for example, requires a lot of kitchen space and can be time-consuming. Instead, use ready-made pastry, savour pastry cases, sweet pastry cases and ready-rolled shortcrust and filo pastry. This way, the hard part is done!
As for pre-chopped fruit and vegetables, they don’t require chopping, meaning your prep time and waste are both reduced.
If you order from a takeaway service, store your leftover food in airtight containers and place them in your fridge.
When it comes to pizza, reheating it correctly is essential: resist the urge to use the microwave or cooker and using a frying pan instead. Put the pan on a medium heat stove, place the pizza slice in the pan for three minutes, add three drops of water, turn the heat off and cover the pan with a lid. After three minutes, your pizza will be as good as new.
Instant noodle recipes
Instant noodles are sold in most shops and supermarkets, and are quick and easy to make, whether you use a pot, pan or microwave. To make your dish more filling, add spring onions, spinach, corn or tomatoes. Also, you don’t have to just stick with the packet of seasoning that comes with them – you can add whatever extra seasoning you fancy.
Youtube is filled with simple step-by-step visual recipes. Sometimes it can be easier to listen and watch a meal being made rather than reading it.
Using your freezer
Use your freezer to store your food. Frozen fruit and vegetables can be stored in freezer bags or Tupperware containers, as well as loaves of bread. Put a label on your boxes or write on the bag what’s in there and when it was frozen – this can help you quickly see what you’ve got in the freezer.
Herbs and spices
Seasoning can bring food to life – and I mean more than just salt and pepper. Essential herbs include: chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, mint and sage.
As for spices, these include: black pepper, chilli powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, onion powder, cumin, curry powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, red paper flakes, garam masala and ground ginger. Also, stock cubes can add real flavour to sauces, stews and rice.
Buy in bulk
Try to buy your dry food in bulk, such as pasta and rice, or tins (tinned tomatoes, veggies, and baked beans). This saves time and money, instead of making continual trips to the shops.
There are lots of quick and easy microwave recipes for a kitchen with limited space. They can be good for scrambled eggs, jacket potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and quick-and-easy nachos!
Stir-fries are very quick and easy to make – just use a little bit of oil, egg, noodles, seasoning and mixed vegetables. You can make a tasty snack in just a couple of minutes.
Use your leftovers
Throwing away food is wasting money, so use your leftovers by incorporating them into new meals or freezing them. For example, leftover potatoes could go into a delicious soup, stew, curry or potato salad!