The Two Tips You Need for Easy Cooking
There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and it’s my deepest desire to help you feel a little more at ease in both your life and home, where I can only assume like everyone else, you’re spending a lot of time right now.
If you feel like you’re not equipped to cook and you’re worried about how current events will impact your eating habits, don’t worry – as a retired professional chef, I can teach you how to make simple, affordable meals, and I promise (chef’s honor!) they are both nutritious and delicious.
And if you’re concerned with that description, contrary to popular belief, cheap and simple doesn’t have to be boring! My most popular and delicious recipes contain very few ingredients. You’re going to be a pro in the kitchen.
Let’s get started.
I have two tips to share. I will share more as we move along, but these tips pretty much summarize everything you need to know about cooking. If you don’t remember anything else, remember these.
1.KEEP IT SIMPLE
Don’t pressure yourself to be a Master Chef. No one is winning any competition for cooking right now. When it comes to being victorious in any area of life, mindset is key, and cooking is no different. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into a client’s home and heard them say, “I’m a horrible cook, I’ve tried a lot and I just can’t do it.” When I dig deeper, this mindset is usually the result of a failed potluck recipe five years ago or a holiday dessert disaster that family still talks about.
Not easy to move past, I get it.
But, once my clients begin to get comfortable in the kitchen, I begin to notice that they are actually quite talented and much better cooks than they give themselves credit for! What they really need is a little guidance, support, and a healthy self-esteem boost. A few failed dishes here and there do not make you a hopeless chef.
Of course, some people are born with a knack for cooking like some people are gifted artists or naturally athletic. But most cooks (and artists and athletes!) become great because they practice relentlessly. They make a lot of mistakes, they make adjustments, and they stick at it.
Their skill and knowledge do not develop overnight; instead, they’re a result of consistency and hard work. While it’s important to let yourself make mistakes, I understand now is not the time for endless experimentation. I’ll say it again – you’re not trying to be the next Master Chef right now.
Allow yourself error, be gentle with yourself, but stick with the basics.
2. SEARCH FOR RECIPES THAT ARE IN LINE WITH YOUR COOKING SKILLS
Google is here to help us all. If online recipes scare you, you’re not alone. A simple search can pull up anything from a quick 30-minute meal to a 9-hour slow-roast extravaganza that would overwhelm even the most competent chef! To overcome this challenge, try adding terms like “easy” or “simple” to your searches which will help rule out complicated dishes that require advanced culinary skills. What you’ll end up with are recipes with fewer ingredients, easier techniques, and dinner on the table in no time at all.
I may be an experienced cook but even I still do this when searching for recipes. Why? Because, like I mentioned before, recipes don’t have to be super complicated to be delicious; and like you, I don’t always want to spend hours in the kitchen, nor do I have the time to find 80 million different ingredients to pull off one recipe. Professional chefs – they’re just like you!
Some other terms you can play around with are “sheet pan suppers”, “casseroles”, or “one-pot dinners”. You can also add “healthy” to make sure you’re maximizing the nutrition value of your dish which is especially important for casseroles, as many traditional recipes tend to be loaded with processed, nutrient-deficient foods.
If you have specific dietary restrictions, you can also use terms like “gluten-free”, “dairy-free”, or “vegan” in your search terms, too. Some people love hacking a recipe to fit specific dietary needs, but luckily those same people usually love sharing their recipes, too. That means you don’t have to spend hours experimenting, trying to make “dairy-free” alfredo sauce – with the right search, you’ll find at least 30 versions, right at your fingertips.