Monthly Archives: February 2016

Healthy Cooking Tips for a Healthier You

People nowadays choose fast-food chains more than home-cooked meals. Why? Because fast food tastes so good, convenient, and you don’t have to wait for that long. But don’t you know that you are compromising your family’s health with the habit of eating in these food chains?

Has it ever crossed your mind that home-cooked meals are way much cheaper and healthier option? And you know it’s safe because you prepared it yourself. Preparing your own food together with family members even help creates a greater bond, and it’s so much fun to do.

So better minimize your fast food consumption and start cooking healthy and delicious food right in your own kitchen. And if you’re one of those who have the passion for cooking for your family, these simple healthy cooking tips will help you, and your family, avoid the habit of eating outside, and start saving your money plus living a healthy lifestyle.

Choose your cooking oil wisely

Cooking oil plays a very important part in cooking and to your health too. By choosing oils that contain unsaturated fats such as olive, sesame, safflower and canola can help lower cholesterol level, which is good for your heart. But using these oils in a large quantity can also pack plenty of calories, so better cut your consumption by half or quarter if you can.

Steam instead of boiling

Steaming has plenty of benefits. First in line is cooking without using oil, which can reduce your fat consumption. Steaming locks in nutrients needed by our active bodies. It also retains the food’s color and flavor, a factor that usually activates anybody to eat. Also, try steaming with bamboo steamer. The organic steamer doesn’t affect the food’s flavor, and it cuts cooking time, thus saving you money.

Avoid skin and fat

Whenever you prepare poultry meats such as chicken and pork, you may want to take away the skin and fat that contain unwanted cholesterol, which is not good for our bodies, not to mention that by doing so it will leave you with the tastier and healthier part of the meat.

Reduce your salt by half

Instead of making your food tasty by adding salt, why don’t you try some fresh spices as an alternative? It will give you a better tasting food with a lesser amount of sodium. You must also avoid using packed seasoning mixes, which are loaded with MSG and unhealthy amount of salt.

Prepare your vegetables with salt

What would you choose; a cabbage without blemishes or the one that has it? Of course, you’ll choose the one without blemishes. But your choice is cured with insecticides, and it’s harmful to your health. So, better soak your veggies in a basin with water and at least 2 tbsp of salt before you cook them. This will help reduce the chemical compounds of insecticides, leaving you with only organic and safer veggies.

Last minute veggies

Green leafy vegetables need only shorter cooking time. So instead of cooking it together with meat and other ingredients, wait until all the ingredients are almost done. Then add your veggies on the last minute. This is enough to cook the vegetables, but it will retain the color, flavor and the nutrients.

These simple yet healthy cooking tips will pave your way into a much healthier diet, but the most important thing you should know is to enjoy while cooking, as negative emotions can also affect the way you cook thus affecting the taste of food. And don’t forget that dining in a restaurant serving freehand-cooked foods is not a bad idea, especially when your mood doesn’t agree with cooking for yourself or for your family.

 

Barbequing And Outdoor Cooking Tips

BBQWhen looking for outdoor cooking tips and barbequing, many people aren’t sure where to start. Meat might be burned on the outside and raw on the inside, but they can’t work out where they are going wrong! So getting a few straight forward outdoor cooking and barbequing tips, you can get your meat safely and tastily cooked and prepare grilled vegetables, or bake bread and wood-fired pizza.

If you have considered building an outdoor barbeque, brick pizza oven or smoker oven, it isn’t really that hard and it will undoubtedly improve your outdoor entertaining. Barbequing and outdoor cooking tips will make your social gatherings much better. Although if you are considering any building, you may need designs or plans for outdoor kitchens, brick barbeques or ovens. You can find such things online, but there are a few easy things to consider when you are cooking outdoors:

• Cook larger pieces of meat indirectly, do burgers, steaks or chops on the fast grill. Build your coals on the opposite side of the grill to the meat and close the lid or door. This lets smoke and heat penetrate the meat and slow cooks it, making it ideal for roasts, fish, briskets and ribs, making them more tender and flavorsome

• Cook vegetables indirectly or directly depending on what sort they are, but it doesn’t take as long for them to get done, unless they are root veggies which take a little longer

• Burgers, steaks and chops should be cooked by the direct method, but make sure any direct flames have died back. Then put the meat on the grill surface – this seals in juices. So leaving the meat on the same side for a few minutes before turning ensures burgers stay together and meat cuts will be juicy and tender

• Remove meat from the grill when required to be medium-rare, and place it in an indirect heat area for medium-well or well-done steaks. Remember that steaks, burgers and chops are juicier and more tender when cooked to medium-rare because they will continue to cook for a few minutes after being removed from the grill

• Never use forks to take your meat off the grill because this pierces the outside and allows juices to run away, causing dried-out meat

• Try adding marinades and herbs to meats prior to cooking. You can even add more woody herbs directly onto the coals to flavour the smoke, such as rosemary for lamb

These are just a few outdoor cooking and barbequing tips you can use to enhance your skills. There are other helpful barbequing and outdoor cooking tips online – search for cooking websites for precise instruction on certain meats and vegetables.

Simon Michie invites you to enhance your lifestyle with Best Garden and Outdoor Living.

 

6 Best Turkey Cooking Tips Tricks

It’s almost the festive season again – and even if it isn’t, many family meals could benefit from learning the basics of turkey cooking tips tricks and more guidelines on getting the best bird, cooking it right so it tastes just right and sets the mood for a good time!

1. Select the correct size of this wonderful bird: 3/4 pound per person is a good way to estimate you have enough left for seconds unless you are the type that enjoys having extra leftovers; then you can calculate on buying a turkey with portions decided as 1 1/2 pounds per person.

2. Whether you want a Hen or a Tom is largely dependent on your preference for bigger or medium sized birds; hens less than 16 pounds), Toms (over 16 pounds) do not matter so much as getting a young turkey as one a few weeks old at processing time will ensure tenderized meat that is easy to cook and eat.

3. Roast right by preparing right: remove neck and giblets from body cavities; rinse the hollowed insides well with cold water and those choosing to stuff the turkey can do so in a loose manner before clamping the leg back on in place.

4. Cooking tips tricks for the turkey: place in roasting dish, keeping plastic timer in clear view before covering with a lid; you can choose a foil wrap also. Do not forget to remove this cover an hour before browning.

5. Tips and Tricks for Cooking Turkey Roast: preheat oven to 325 degree Fahrenheit and roast for 15 minutes per pound of un-stuffed bird; the stuffed kind will need an extra half or 1 hr of cooking before done, though it’s best to go according to the recipe guidelines that come with the turkey stuffing at times. Cooking temperatures may differ for ovenware and bird-size, so you may have to turn over for even roasting on all sides.

6. Choosing to Baste? Remember this: a suction basting tube is a cheap tool that makes basting turkeys easy and convenient besides decreasing the frequency of opening the oven door to check for how much roasting has been done – it also helps avoid heat escaping each time this is done, so get yourself one today.

There is no dearth of web sites that offer free information about cooking turkey meals and various cook-books also offer valuable tips and guidelines on this matter; it’s only a matter of finding the right information and applying them right so once you’ve made a smart purchase of the right-size bird, you can go about setting that perfect family meal that’s cooked just right and is filling too!

 

Cooking Tips and Techniques For Your Home Cooking

Cooking is indeed enjoyable. It is also one thing that most people want to learn because we always deal with food every day. We please our family with our good cooking skills; we impress our partners with great dinners; we want to cook for ourselves to make sure we eat healthy; indeed, cooking is one thing we want to learn and we want to do it good.

We all have our own practices in the kitchen that make our cooking easy and smooth sailing. The more we cook the more cooking tips and techniques we discover. If you are looking for some cooking tips and techniques to add to your list, below are some that you might find helpful.

* If you want to cook ahead of time and store food in freezers, make sure to know what food is not good for the freezer. Do not freeze boiled eggs, as it will cause the egg whites to become watery. Freezing will also cause the mayonnaise to separate and milk to curdle.

* Freezing is also not friendly to cooked potatoes, as it will darken them and create an unattractive texture. To keep the color of sliced potatoes, place them cold water until they are ready for cooking. This will also improve its crispiness if you intend to fry them. You can also whiten them by putting a few drops of lemon during boiling.

* To enhance the flavor of stewed chicken, let it stand in its broth until it cools down before cutting it into chunks.

* If you are barbequing, brush the grate with cooking oil or spray with vegetable cooking spray to prevent the barbeque from sticking. When fire flares up during barbequing, sprinkle a little water over the flames. Be sure also to remove the barbeque before the fire will burn one side of the meat. To lessen overbrowning of your barbeque, you can apply the sauce only 20 minutes before it is done.

* You can drop lettuce leaves in your soups, gravies and other dishes to get rid of the extra oil. You will notice the oil will easily cling into the leaves so you can easily get rid of them.

* When baking cookies, it is best to make similar shapes and sizes so you can arrange them in even rows and that they will heat evenly. Large spaces in between the cookies can cause them to burn. Do not also leave cookies in the hot baking sheet after they are cooked as this will continue to cook or may burn them.

There are a lot of cooking tips and techniques that we can actually learn when we spend time in the kitchen. These tips and techniques do not only make our cooking easy, it is also very useful to preserve the nutrients, the color and texture as well as the flavor of our food. Knowing some cooking tips and techniques also helps us a lot in mastering the art of cooking.

Carolyn Anderson loves cooking in her free time. To learn about popular healthy recipes, check out most wanted recipes. Another highly recommended resource is Competition BBQ Secrets, where you find the secrets of barbequing, whether you want to enter BBQ competitions or just backyard barbequing.