Some habits can be tough to break. When it comes to cooking, you may have some bad habits that you’re not even aware of. Some may be keeping your meal just short of reaching perfection while others may actually be hazardous to your health. Below are 10 common bad cooking habits that you should break:
1. Heating Oil Until It Smokes–Most recipes start with heating oil in a pan. It usually takes a little time for the stove to warm up, so we pour the oil and then turn our backs on the pan to do something else while it heats. Before you know it, you see wisps of smoke, which means the pan is hot and ready for cooking, right? Wrong! Not only do many oils taste bad once they have been heated to or past their smoke point, but when oils are heated to their smoke point or reheated repeatedly, they start to break down, destroying the...read full post »
Before I had a baby, one minute was one minute. Just 60 seconds. And I had a lot of minutes. I could use them where I wanted, and mostly I chose to use them at dinnertime—leisurely pulling a meal together, eating slowly, sipping wine, then cleaning up. Fast-forward nine months and now my dinnertime routine looks like an episode of Iron Chef. I’m scrambling around, food is flying off the cutting board and I’m yelling, “Hurry up!”
I’m trying to bank some minutes. I’m now acutely aware of their value and the prospect of having a few of them set aside at the end of a long day after the baby is asleep makes me giddy. Sure, I could just call for takeout, but I don’t want to be the mother who develops healthy recipes for a living, then feeds her family Chinese takeout from down the street three times a week. (...read full post »
Following a recipe is easy for most people, but not always practical. Oftentimes what we have in our fridge is a hodgepodge of ingredients that a single recipe can’t cover. So we wing it. When I develop recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, I rely on a few basic principles to get me through the first test and ensure that (hopefully) what I make is tasty. Below are some tips to keep in mind when you’re cooking without a recipe:
Take an inventory – Before I decide to cook without a recipe, I do an inventory of what I have in my fridge. Maybe it’s a chicken breast that inspired me. Or an almost-wilting bunch of kale that I need to use up. Whatever it is, I choose one ingredient as a focal point, then I move on to see what else I have in my fridge or pantry that I could add to it to make it a meal. I...read full post »
Chances are you have a microwave sitting somewhere in your kitchen. They’ve gotten smaller over the years, but even the most svelte version takes up precious real estate. It’s time to put that baby to work.
Here are 7 unexpected uses for your microwave:
1. Cook fish – Cook a steak in the microwave and you’ll end up with shoe leather. Fish, on the other hand, can be cooked perfectly in the microwave. Simply wrap your fish in microwave-safe plastic with a little seasoning (salt and pepper and some lemon, perhaps) and cook for about 2 minutes on high. (The time for doneness will vary depending on the strength of your microwave and...read full post »
When it comes to cooking a “starch” for your meal, there are few sides easier to make than couscous. It’s simple, versatile and incredibly fast to cook—it’s ready in just 5 minutes! I made a lot of couscous when testing recipes for our story on this super-fast pantry staple in the January/February 2012 issue of EatingWell Magazine. And through all of that cooking I picked up on these 5 mistakes to avoid in the pursuit of perfect couscous.
Mistake 1: You don’t choose whole-grain...read full post »