Kitchen tips and cooking wisdom feature photo

18 amazingly simple kitchen tips

20 Years of Kitchen Tips

I have spent the last 20 years becoming a master in the kitchen. My journey is filled with poor food choices, burnt recipes, and unhealthy eating habits. Through it all, I learned and collected a wealth of straightforward kitchen tips. Feel free to leave comments below.

Food Buying Kitchen Tips

Food buying kitchen tips photo

Buy Fresh when possible

As a culture, we appreciate the convenience of prepared meals. These products save time and reduce the burden of preparing meals from scratch. However, food processing and packaging reduces or strips away valuable nutrients found in fresh food. Moreover, food manufacturers include additives to enhance flavor and shelf-life. Finally, food manufacturers use cheaper low-quality ingredients to keep their costs down. Check out Farmer’s Market Article by TheBossyKitchen

Buy organic if available

Fresh produce usually comes in two varieties: organic and non-organic. Organic foods are grown naturally and retain their nutritional value. On the other hand, non-organic items are sprayed with pesticides or growth-enhancing chemicals. Once again, more processing leads to less healthy food.

Look for Non-GMO

The debate of GMO versus Non-GMO still rages in the food world. Both sides make compelling arguments. However, we will ride the fence on the issue. That is to say, we have no opinion one way or another. Instead, we boil the argument down to two compelling facts. First, Non-GMO Verified is a highly sought after label meaning it is a food label that has fewer loopholes for food manufacturers to slip through. Second, Non-GMO indicates less processing in the production of the food item. As health-conscious cooks, we appreciate the extra quality control involved with Non-GMO food products.

Read nutritional labels

If you are buying processed or canned goods, take time to study the nutritional and ingredients labels. Often items have hidden nutrition bombshells or ingredient nightmares. Learn to spot the “red flags” like High Fructose Corn Syrup or high sodium levels.

Don’t shop on price alone

Often when shopping for food, we look at the price tag to make our choices. I understand that families are constrained by budget. Yes, it is crucial to saving money and for some, every penny counts. However, price should not be the sole factor, especially when you are buying essential stables such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats.

Try online food stores

Online food sites are becoming more popular. We use these sites to stock our pantry because their selection is often far greater than your local grocery store. For example, we readily find a can of “No salt added, fire-roasted, petite diced tomatoes” at these food service sites. However, we rarely see them stocked on shelves in grocery stores.

Skip fast food

In the US and many other parts of the world, fast food is readily available. Fast food is just that – Fast food. It is designed for convenience, not nutrition. In short, fast food is perhaps the worst food buying choice you can make.

Cooking Wisdom

Kitchen tips - Cooking wisdom photo

Buy decent equipment

Cooking utensils pay a vital role in the preparation of food. Generally, inexpensive appliances produce poor results. Keeping in mind that success breeds more success, decent kitchen equipment provides better food. Moreover, high-quality equipment typically lasts longer. See our article What kitchen knife should I buy?

Cook to your taste

So many people blindly follow recipes. We don’t. For example, we like our food spicy, so we add more hot peppers to our recipes. Some people focus on low carbohydrate diets, so they skip starchy items like rice, potatoes, and bread. When cooking, pay attention to your dietary needs and desires. Naturally, we could give you many opinionated suggestions, but we prefer you to make those choices. What is important here is that you cook the food and not succumb to the convenience of buying premade food.

Prepare ingredients ahead of time

Every week you will find us in the kitchen chopping onions, mincing garlic, slicing peppers, and cutting vegetables. When sealed in air-tight containers, most ingredients will last a week or more in the refrigerator. Having prepared ingredients such as onions will ease the burden of preparing a whole meal.

Pass along cooking wisdom

Whether you pass it to your family, friends, or complete strangers, your cooking experiences should be given freely. We all have to eat, right? Passing along our success and perhaps, more importantly, our failures to others should be our goal. In fact, Today in the Kitchen exists with that goal in mind.

Take your time

In our kitchen, simmer is a very important temperature. We believe in allowing flavors to meld together. Likewise, we often lower the heat and increase the baking time of oven recipes to produce a slow-cooked taste. Naturally, crock-pot recipes are a favorite in our household.

Show no fear

You are the master of your kitchen. As such, you should never fear testing out new recipe ideas, flavor combinations, or fresh ingredients. Many times these experiments are stupendous failures. Learn from these mistakes. On a similar note, cooks often get negative feedback from their dinner guests. That is to say, they complain about the food. Remember, show no fear – You are the master of the kitchen.

Three Dollar Rule. When I receive especially negative complaints, I hand the person three dollars and direct them to the nearest fast-food restaurant. This strategy lets me use the famous Chef Ramsay saying…”Get the bleep out of my kitchen.”

Kitchen Tips – Eating/Diet Wisdom

Kitchen Tips - Eating and Diet photo

Skip Fast food

Fast food is the epitome of unhealthy eating. Simply put, fast food is substituting convenience for nutrition. In our minds, there are just too many things wrong with fast food. It should be noted that we can extend the argument to include many restaurant experiences. Most restaurant chains purchase their ingredients through large food distributors like Sysco or Gordon Food Service. Comparatively, these distributors deliver higher quality, more nutritious ingredients than what ends up at fast food establishments. On the other hand, their ingredients are often over-processed and still fall short of the idea of fresh and nutritious.

Eat smaller portions

This is a rather simple idea. We mention it because many of us eat until we are satisfied. That is to say, we overeat at meals. Please don’t be ashamed. We believe it is human nature and physiological. Our stomach tells us when it is full. Unfortunately, there seems to be a time delay between the stomach and mouth, so we eat more than we need.

Eat more vegetables

As a child, I was taught to focus on the meat portion of any given meal. Conversely, I was taught to hate vegetables. Most of this was accomplished through subtle methods. My palette was trained to crave “the meat” and avoid “the vegetable”. Now, as adults, we see the importance of balancing our diet. However, as cooks, we still tend to place a great deal of attention preparing the meat while seemingly ignoring the need to cook fresh, nutrient-rich vegetables. Instead, we simply open a can of green beans. See our 5 Healthy Veggies article.

Drink more water

I am amazed by the benefits of water. And perhaps “benefits” is too mild of a term. Water is essential to the proper digestion of food. All other forms of consumed liquid have serious digestive implications. Don’t get us wrong, there are health benefits of consuming different types of drinks. However, the fact remains that water is essential.

Avoid bad snacking habits

Snacking is OK. However, we often make terrible snack choices. In particular, chips and sugary snacks offer very little good nutritional value while at the same time filling our system with sodium, fat, carbohydrates, and sugar. Also, carbonated colas are one of the least healthy liquids you can consume. As mentioned, snacking is OK, just make better choices.

Final Thoughts

It is my sincere hope these kitchen tips and bits of cooking wisdom will help you become a more healthy person. Most of these tips are simple, common-sense ideas and hopefully you already practice many of them. I certainly enjoy bringing you these kitchen and cooking tips. Do me a favor and tell us what you think in a comment down below.

From Zero to Hero in the kitchen. I have spent 20 years learning to be an avid cook. Today in the Kitchen is a celebration of my culinary journey. Cook well, eat well, & live well.

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