Thursday, 16 May 2013

Cooking Tips for Anyone who Hates Cooking

Recently, a friend left who follows my blog left a photo on my Facebook page in response to the chili recipe I posted a few weeks back. We joked about the photo and the recipe, but I realized that she had a good point – cooking sucks.

It’s a lot of stirring, straining, sautéing and smushing to just prepare the meal, and all of this work normally results in a debacle of sauce-smeared counter tops, crusted-over frying pans and chopped-up vegetables rolling about the kitchen floor.

Yeah, but who doesn't feel that way sometimes?

Unfortunately, fast food also sucks – whatever you do, don’t look at the salt content of pretty much any restaurant food out there – and just isn’t practical to live off of for more reasons than I can even list.

Which brings us back to cooking.

While I can’t give you many suggestions that would make the experience more entertaining (Bring your laptop into the kitchen and watch Youtube clips? Plug in a radio and use a spatula as a microphone?), here are a few tips that should help shorten the amount of time spent in the kitchen. 

Get Cracking. Eggs are the anti-chef’s best friend. Why? Because they’re filled with healthy-goodness, are tasty, can have just about anything added to them and can be cooked in about 5 minutes. 
Chop up some of your favourite soft veggies, crack a few eggs, sprinkle in your preferred spices and scramble away. If you're feeling really ambitious, you can always make some home-made hash browns to go along with them.

Be Prepared. Let’s face the facts: the prep work involved in making a meal generally takes about as long, if not longer, as actually cooking. That being said, if you have all of the ingredients prepared before hand, the time you spend cooking will be shorter, simpler and, as you won’t have dirty knifes and cutting boards lying around everywhere, a lot easier to clean up.

Spend a few hours each week or two spicing and frying batches of ground beef or chicken (or turkey or pork). You can stick them in the freezer once you’re done, and then thaw them out whenever a recipe calls for it. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can do the same with any veggies that you often cook with.

Long Live the Left-over. Take a moment to imagine your favourite food ever. Think about how it tastes, how it looks, how to smells when its cooking and how it feels in your mouth.

Now make a whole bunch of it, divide it up into meal-sized portions and stick it in a few Ziploc containers.

While deliberately making left-overs is a lot of work, you now have the satisfaction of knowing that you don't have to undergo any major cooking endeavours for the next week or so. Your bank account -- and your waistline -- will thank you for the restaurant food respite.

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