We all want to eat delicious food, right? After all, meals should be pleasurable and memorable, not just another thing to cross off your to-do list. In fact, research shows that sitting down to enjoy a meal with friends and family has incredible benefits to your health and well-being. Eating alone, away from your computer or television, allows you to really enjoy your meals and may even prevent weight gain because you're focused on what's going into your mouth instead of inhaling it so you can get back to other things. Ready to make the commitment to making mealtimes the best they can be? Try any of these tips to make your food totally beyond.
1. Salt Your Veggies 🍅
Before tossing together a salad, dice your veggies, then sprinkle them with a little bit of salt before adding them to the bowl of lettuce. This adds mega flavor to your salad without being too salty. The salt draws out excess moisture from your vegetables, allowing their full flavor to shine through. This works for bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers.
2. Cook with Stock 🍝
Instead of using plain old water when you prepare rice, couscous or pasta, use stock instead. You'll still get the perfect texture you crave, but the stock adds loads more flavor than water will. Chicken, beef or veggie stock all work well.
3. Use Breadcrumbs in Burgers 🍔
The great thing about adding breadcrumbs to burger patties is that it helps them hold their shape so your meat doesn't fall apart while you grill it. You'll also get a firmer texture which tastes good and gives you the perfect palette for your toppings.
4. Tenderize Meat 🍗
Tender meat is much tastier and easier to work with. A quick tenderizing before you cook it makes for delicious meals without a ton of effort. Use egg whites and a bit of cornstarch to make the perfect meat tenderizer.
5. Soak Onions in Cold Water 💧
Onions can be pretty strong, but soaking them in cold water removes some of the bite. You can blame that spiciness on sulfates, but the water helps soak some of them up so that your onions are still tasty, but not quite so pungent.
6. Room Temperature Cheese 🧀
Who doesn't love a good grilled cheese sandwich? The best chefs will tell you that bringing your butter and cheese to room temperature before grilling the sandwiches will make them taste better and a more evenly melted slice of cheese. Yum!
7. Vodka in Pie 🍰
Just when you thought you couldn't improve on a slice of pie comes this fabulous tip. Try adding a splash of vodka to your pie crust to make it perfectly flaky and delicious. Don't worry - the alcohol will cook off when you bake the pie so you can still share it with your kids (but you don't have to).
8. Cornstarch in Eggs 🥚
It can be tricky to get a plate of scrambled eggs just right. They don't taste good if they are overcooked, but they aren't safe to eat if they are undercooked. Use a dash of cornstarch to make your scrambled eggs deliciously fluffy and creamy. The cornstarch also helps them cook faster.
9. Salt, Rinse, Dry 🍖
This is the order you should be using for cooking the perfect cut of meat. Doing this in the right order gives you the perfect crust on your steak without overcooking the middle. Salt your beef, allow it sit for a couple of minutes, then rinse and pat dry before searing in a piping hot pan or grill.
10. Condiments Add Flavor 🍴
When you're making sauces or dips, a tiny dash of all those condiments lounging in your refrigerator add loads of flavor. Try peanut butter in Asian sauces and marinades or mustard in homemade salad dressings. The best thing about this is that you can experiment to find what you love best.
11. Use Kosher Salt 🍛
Yes, there are several kinds of salt to choose from. Kosher salt is bigger, which means you can get lots of flavor from it without using a whole bunch of it. It also adds great texture to your meals. To top it all off, kosher salt is more affordable than sea salt.
12. Salt in Baked Goods 🍪
It might not sound all that appetizing to put salt in your muffins, cookies or cakes, but it's there for a reason. Salt really brings out the flavors of the other ingredients, giving you a treat you won't be able to resist. You don't need a lot - a half teaspoon or so will do the trick.
13. Warm Your Plates 🥘
There's nothing worse than serving your meal only to find that it has cooled down by the time you take your first bite. The same is true for cold foods - they can warm up quickly, making them unappetizing. Warm your plates for hot foods like casseroles and cooked meats and chill them in the fridge for cold foods like salad or gazpacho.
14. Thicken with Tortilla Chips 🍚
If you cook a stew or chili and realize it's much too thin, simply add a few handfuls of crushed up tortilla chips to help add texture and substance to your meal. Masa flour works the same way so you can certainly try that too.
15. Stock up on Balsamic Vinegar 🍶
Balsamic vinegar is delicious and pairs really well with a wide range of other foods. Try it splashed on strawberries, roasted vegetables or noodles. It's such a simple way to make your food absolutely incredible.
16. Add Cinnamon to Coffee ☕
Cinnamon has tons of flavor and just a little bit will go a long way. If you're tired of the same old cup of coffee, try grating in a bit of cinnamon to take things to an entirely new level. Mornings will never be boring ever again once you sample this delightful beverage.
17. Use Cold Ingredients in Pie 🍮
When you make a pie crust, you'll have way more success when your ingredients are cold. That includes the butter, sugar and flour so chill everything for several hours before you get started. When you add the water, you want it to be cold too. You are going to be so surprised at how much flakier and delicious your pie crusts turn out when you use this method. A la mode, anyone?
Did you pick up any new cooking tips here that you are dying to try? Which one do you think you'll test out first? What other ideas can you add to make meals the tastiest they can be? Here's to a great meal every single day!