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Help From a Chef/Nutritionist – 8 Kitchen Tips and More

iStock_000002636443XSmallToday I was thinking of how many times I hear my friends and aquaintances harp on their cooking or their culinary frustrations….

Here are a few tips of my own that make my life a whole lot simpler, enjoyable and even more delicious.

  1. Buy local and seasonal at your local farmer’s market!  Trust me, your food will need as little as possible.  Rely instead on your instincts.  Google what you got or what you want to know more about and tons of ideas will pop up.  When in doubt, olive oil, salt and herbs.  Garlic optional.
  2. Don’t be afraid to experiment with recipes or new ingredients.  See something you like in your favorite cooking mag that you don’t have on hand or includes heaven forbid ingredients like canola oil or processed condiments? Change it up and use grass-fed butter or olive oil.  Use homemade stock intead of boullion.  See number 3.
  3. Stop with cooking show addiction and get in your kitchen!  I know, you love all the visual kitchen excitement of the sizzling pans and personalities. I assure you – it is taking away from the time YOU spend discovering your talents.  Get your prep list together and cook away.
  4. Invest in a slow cooker and start making your own delicious stocks, soups and braises.  Freeze what you don’t use in small containers or ice cube trays.  Home made is so much healthier for you and taste amazingly better than the store processed crap.
  5. Season and taste as you go.  Don’t fear the salt!  Place some good quality sea salt in a tiny bowl and gather a pinch here and there to add to my food each time you add a new ingredient to the pan.  Better to feel how much you are putting in rather than shake it on and not know how much you are really using. Tasting every step of the way is important, because flavors change. Tasting before seasoning and after seasoning is one great way to learn about your ingredients and your palate as well….
  6. Get a good chef’s knife and keep it sharp.  It makes your work so much more efficient and  productive.  Your food appears prettier and you might end up saving a finger or two.
  7. Use a cast iron skillet.  They create a fabulous sear and are a cinch to maintain.  Here’s a double tip –  Make sure to blot your meat or fish dry, (so it sears and doesn’t steam) before you add it to your hot pan.  Don’t let your oil smoke.  It’s not good for you.  Use clarified grass-fed butter or butter and olive oil, or coconut oil.
  8. Be patient and always let your meat rest.  Think of a steak as a bunch of little cells, each one filled with juice. When you cook it, the heat causes those little cells to contract, which in turn squeezes the juices toward the center of the steak where it’s cooler. Imagine a water balloon. When you squeeze it at one end, the water shifts to the other end. So your hand squeezing the balloon is like the heat of the grill. Fortunately, the way those little cells get squeezed is only temporary, provided you’ve cooked the steak properly. Given a few minutes to cool down, those cells will revert to their former shape and the juices will migrate back from the center to be redistributed throughout the steak.

I wish you all the best of health and kitchen craftiness!  Please comment below on your own kitchen experiences….

Cat

Cat Dillon

This blog is my journal, where I share everything wellness. From tips on healthy lifestyle to creating as much deliciousness in your life as possible.

Cat Dillon is the Cat in Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness is a unique combo of nutrition, fitness and cooking coaching all in one pretty package. Read more about Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

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