Connect with us

Food

10 Ways to Get More Creative With Home Cooking

Published

on

10 Ways to Get More Creative With Home Cooking

If you cook at home regularly, you might eventually find yourself running out of ideas – or making the same things over and over again. Even if you love these dishes, they may eventually become stale and boring, both in terms of taste and preparation.
Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help you be more creative in the kitchen – and find more inspiration for dynamic food preparation.

Experimenting in the Kitchen (and Beyond)

These are some of the best ways to get more creative with your home cooking:

  • Ditch the recipes. Recipes are great. They make it easy to replicate dishes at home, they provide straightforward instructions that are difficult to mess up, and they provide you a system of organization that can remind you of things you’ve made in the past. But if you’ve spent enough time cooking and baking, you probably know most of your favorite recipes by heart – and you understand the fundamentals of cooking well enough to experiment on your own. Stop depending entirely on recipes and start coming up with your own creations. Deviate from the instructions and trust your own culinary instincts.
  • Invest in a wood stove. A wood burning stove is an excellent source of heat – and you can even cook with it! If you’re used to preparing most of your meals over the stove, in the oven, or in the microwave, this can be a dynamic new way to cook almost anything. Even if you’re using the same ingredients, you’re going to be using a different preparation method and you’ll end up with a finished product that tastes at least slightly differently.
  • Buy ingredients from multicultural markets. Multicultural markets are one of the best ways to find new, exotic ingredients that you can’t normally find in your local grocery store. Some of these ingredients may not be palatable, and some of them will be so strange that you don’t know how to use them properly, but sometimes, this extra novelty is exactly what you need to spice up your old favorite dishes or break out of your rut.
  • Experiment with seasonal produce. When produce is in season, it tends to be much more plentiful and much less expensive. Use this as an inspirational opportunity to experiment. Create some new dishes out of whatever produce happens to be in season – and find the perfect ingredients to compliment them.
  • Create a competitive challenge for your family. Iron Chef and similar competitive cooking shows have been popular for decades now, since people love food, cooking, and the thrill of competition in the same setting. Why not create a competitive challenge for you and your family? For example, you can have you and your spouse create two similar, yet distinct dishes and call upon the kids to judge which one was better.
  • Invest in a new spice. Visit a local market and buy a spice or herb you’ve never tried before. Taste it carefully and try pairing it with various other ingredients to see how it fits. Then, start incorporating it into dishes where you’ve never had it before.
  • Make your own signature spice blends. It’s not hard to find recipes for homemade spice blends, but have you ever considered making a blend that’s entirely your own? Take a handful of your favorite spices, preferably ones that complement each other, and mix them all up. Once you stumble upon a formula that works for your taste buds, you can mix a larger batch and add it to a wide variety of foods.
  • Coordinate with colors. You’re probably used to cooking with your senses of smell and taste at the forefront. But what about vision? Consider cooking entire dishes based around a color, or a set of complementary colors; it’s a great way to force some creativity.
  • Find outside inspiration. Are you struggling to come up with creative new ideas on your own? Consider branching out by visiting new restaurants, watching new cooking shows, and talking to skilled chefs in your own life.
  • Splurge on a new piece of cooking equipment. Finally, consider splurging on a new piece of cooking equipment. A new appliance or tool, like an air fryer or multicooker, could be exactly what you need to make the kitchen feel refreshingly new.

Committing to Creativity

The best way to keep things fresh in your kitchen consistently is to commit to your creativity. Make a plan for more culinary experimentation and stick to it. For example, you can set Fridays as a total experimentation day, where you try a new recipe, tinker with a new ingredient, or do something crazy in the kitchen. As long as you keep trying new things and adjusting old formulas, you and your family will never be bored with your food.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Food

6 Healthy Dishes from Around the World

Published

on

By

Global cuisine has never been more accessible with people all around the world able to explore and discover foods from other nations.

While every country has a range of traditional dishes, there are some which they have become especially renowned for that deliver both delicious flavours and an injection of healthy nutrients.

Here’s a closer look at six dishes from different countries which are guaranteed to tantalise the tastebuds as well as giving your body a real boost.  

#1: Shakshouka – North Africa

Arguably one of the most traditional dishes in North Africa and originating from several countries, Shakshouka is a health-giving stew that combines eggs with a spicy sauce and vegetables. Frequently served as a hearty breakfast, it is also eaten at other meals, sometimes with the addition of potatoes or chickpeas to add more carbohydrates.

The eggs are poached in the sauce and served up baked alongside the vegetables to deliver protein and a veritable feast of vitamins and minerals. With eggs starring as the superfood alongside tomatoes, there’s protein, antioxidants, healthy fats plus Vitamins C, A, B6, B12 and D. Finally, not forgetting the minerals, this dish tops up copper, zinc, iron, potassium, choline, and selenium, making it a feel-good food that also tastes delicious.

#2: Katsu Curry – Japan

Japanese cuisine is renowned for being one of the healthiest in the world, full of fresh ingredients and carefully balanced.

Katsu curry is one of their signature dishes which feels more decadent but still retains lots of health benefits. The recipe has an interesting history as it was introduced by the British but over the years has become to represent Japanese cooking. It’s very different to the heavier Indian style curries and offers all the flavour but in a much healthier presentation.

The dish includes chicken, a source of protein that’s naturally low fat. Any type of rice can be used but brown rice provides slow-release energy and helps to keep tummies feeling full.

The aromatic sauce is served alongside an array of vegetables including edamame beans, dressed mixed leaves and shredded carrot for a glorious explosion of colour – and taste – on a plate.

#3: Winter Borscht with Brisket – Russia/Ukraine

Best described as a hearty broth, borscht originates from Russia and Ukraine with a long tradition of serving the dish in both the countries. Although it’s a natural fit for the winter months with its hearty and filling ingredients, it can be served chilled in the summer, making it truly a dish for all seasons.

Borscht is a soup that’s crammed full of vegetables, but there’s no specific rules about what to include. Borscht tends to always have the same core ingredients, namely garlic, white cabbage, potatoes, red beets, onions, and carrot. Beets are the star of the dish and help to give borscht its distinctive red colour, plus a generous dose of folate, manganese, B6, iron and antioxidants. 

To add more protein and make it even more filling, it’s possible to add brisket. Unlike other cuts of beef, brisket is lean and brings all the benefits of red meat to add to the superpowers of the vegetable combo. 

#4: Fish Tacos – Mexico

It’s off to Central American for a spot of Mexican food now, but there’s none of the beef burritos that the country is famous for.

Mexico has many sensational dishes but they’re not always the healthiest – an accusation which can’t be levied at fish tacos. Freshly caught seafood has an abundance of health benefits and with lots of fresh fish available, it’s a part of the Mexican diet which isn’t spoken about so frequently. 

Fish tacos feature freshly caught fish from the ocean served up with corn tortillas and salad. Much lower in fat than their beef equivalent, fish tacos deliver all the flavour and none of the calories of their counterparts. Add in a fresh salad and there’s a big plate full of health-giving goodness.  

#5: Apricot and Almond Souffles – France

If your taste buds are craving a little sweetness, this dish from France proves that it doesn’t need to be savoury to be healthy.

Souffles are renowned for being a rich and heavy dish, and a challenge to cook, but this version is completely different. Apricot and almond soufflés are made from fruit puree and egg whites and offer a light and airy bite to eat which also delivers a powerful nutritional punch.

Almonds are higher in fibre and calcium than any other nut while apricots provide a rich source of beta-carotene and potassium, two nutrients which are vital for cell and organ health and essential bodily functions.

There are other fruit-based soufflés in France which offer the same light and airy experience without any of the rich chocolate decadence of their naughtier cousin. So, if apricots aren’t for you, there are lots of other light and fruity soufflés which also bring great health benefits too.

#6: Bibimbap – Korea

This Korean dish is one of the most popular Asian dishes that offers incredible flavour and macronutrients while still being respectful to Korean culture.

A single bowl of food which incorporates all elements, bibimbap features rice, protein, pickled vegetables, and a special sauce. The vegetables can vary but typically include spinach, radishes, carrots, and kimchi plus a sprinkling of mushrooms. The great thing about bibimbap is that you can switch out anything you don’t like.

The vegetables are picked in salt and sesame oil and sautéed until they are tender while still retaining some bite. Along with the rice, there’s protein in the form of bulgogi but it’s the gochujang child paste which is the real hero of this warm and flavoursome dish.

Which One Would You Choose? 

If the above menu of global recipes has got your mouth watering, why not try recreating your favourite one at home? With simple ingredients, it’s surprisingly easy to dish up a different plate of food from another country and you might just discover a new recipe to impress your friends.

Continue Reading

Destinations

The Different Types of White Wine Explained

Published

on

Have you tried to select a good white wine for a special meal, or as a gift, but get overwhelmed by the endless white wine options at your local winery? 

So many different bottles, with different labels and categories, can be frustrating. While you might not want to become a wine connoisseur, you wish you had a little knowledge of the types of white wine and its flavors.

The guide below will introduce you to the basic types of white wine and how to pair them with food. Knowing your white wine options and how they affect your palate will help you make the perfect selection later.

Chardonnay/Chablis

Chardonnay might be considered the “go-to” white wine for casual gatherings, rather than for a large meal. But, Chardonnay is actually a very full-bodied wine, and best paired with creamy, heavier food. 

There is a distinction between Chardonnay and Chablis. Chablis is a region in France where wine is made from the Chardonnay grape. Chablis is not usually cured in oak barrels, as is a lot of Chardonnay, so it has a much lighter taste and is often paired with light appetizers like raw oysters. 

Pinot Grigio/Gris

Pinot Grigio has really taken Chardonnay’s place as the “go-to” wine these days, due to it’s consistently dry, light, and slightly fruity flavor.

Lighter in color than Chardonnay, a Pinot Grigio can be paired with pasta and heavy salads, as well as most seafood. A Pinot Grigio stands well all by itself as well.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon white wines are on the dry side, with a tart taste. Certain varieties, particularly those from New Zealand, have a more fruity taste. Many describe the taste as having a slight hint of grapefruit or sour apple flavor.

This is a great stand-alone wine, but pairs well with cheese, and fresh seafood.

Moscato

Moscato is a sparkling white wine that is often thought of as a “dessert” wine, due to its sweet flavor. But these days, Moscato is becoming a popular dinner wine, as it pairs well with spicy foods, and even with a refreshing summer salad. And, of course, you can pair it with your favorite dessert.  

Moscato is lower in alcohol content as well, making it a good starter choice for someone new to drinking white wine.

Reisling

Riesling is also a popular dessert wine, as it is quite sweet, though not as sweet as Moscato.

Again, pairing it with spicy Asian or Indian dishes is a great idea, or with fruity desserts.  

Gewurztraminer

From a region in Germany, Gewurztraminer is a great dry/sweet combination wine and is slightly fruity. This white wine is less popular in the United States, usually because the other wines listed here are more familiar. 

If you are unsure whether to go to a dry wine or sweet one, try a bottle of Gewurztraminer and pair it with cinnamon-laden desserts, creamy bisque soups, or curry dishes.

Choosing from the Types of White Wine 

With so many types of white wine, how do you choose? 

First, decide if the wine will be paired with food, and if so, what kind of food, and work from there.

If the wine is a gift for someone else, find out if they prefer a dry or sweet white wine. If the wine is for you, choose one from each of the types of white wine, and have a tasting party!

Do you love to travel, and dream of exploring the world?  Stick with this site for content that will help you expand your horizons.

Continue Reading

Food

7 Ways to Eat Cashew Butter

Published

on

By

Are you looking for a versatile, healthy, and delicious snack? Look no other place than cashew butter.

Full of monounsaturated fats, plant-based protein, and vitamins and minerals, this nut butter has the ability to keep you fuller for longer. Even better, you can opt to purchase small packets so that you can take it with you to the workplace or on the go. 

With this in mind, read on for the top seven ways you can enjoy cashew butter today! 

1. Add to Smoothies

One of the easiest ways to enjoy cashew butter products is within your favorite smoothies. Regardless if you’re enjoying a green smoothie or a fruit smoothie, adding nut butter will add a creamy savoriness to the mix.

The added nutty flavor can also enhance fruit smoothies and add some extra protein so that you feel more full afterward. 

2. Create Healthy Desserts

If you’re a fan of nut butter products, adding cashew butter to a variety of treats can make them more decadent, delicious, and healthy. For instance, consider baking a sweet potato and topping it with sliced bananas, cashew butter, chia seeds, and cinnamon for a breakfast meal or a delicious evening dessert. 

You can also stuff dates with cashew butter and top them with sliced fruits or even chocolate. The sweet bite of the dates paired with the savory saltiness of the cashew butter is a pairing worth craving.

Cashew butter can be a dessert all on its own with some added flavors–see more here.  

3. Delicious Breakfasts

When it comes to eating cashew butter, we recommend not just eating it for lunch on a piece of bread. Instead, try having it for breakfast.

Mixing a little jam and cashew butter in Greek yogurt can create a sweet, protein-packed breakfast in only a few minutes. Consider topping your yogurt with berries, bananas, or even granola. 

You can also add cashew butter to your oats in the morning along with a drizzle of maple syrup, plant-based milk, and a pinch of salt. Remember to add your favorite berries on top to complete this healthy and delicious breakfast. 

4. Cashew Butter Snacks

Cashew butter is also a great snack, especially if you need some energy during the late afternoon. If you want to keep it simple, try adding a little cashew butter to your apple slices for a mixture of savory and sweet.

If you’re a fan of baked kale chips, consider drizzling them with some cashew butter before you’re about to eat them. Although this combination may seem dangerous, the creamy butter pairs great with the crisp kale.

Lastly, cashew butter protein balls are a delicious way to get some protein in your diet and curb your sugar cravings. Combine equal parts cashew butter, almond flour, shredded coconut, and chopped cranberries in a bowl till you get the texture of cookie dough.

Afterward, consider adding your favorite spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, along with one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil. 

After you form them into balls, you’ll be able to enjoy them throughout the week if you store them in an airtight container in the fridge. 

5. Vinaigrette and Dressings

Remember that you can use cashew butter in a vinaigrette for your favorite salads or to marinate meat. With equal portions, mix together your cashew butter, balsamic vinegar, and water.

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl into their well-blended, and you’ll have yourself a flavorful vinaigrette that you can add to virtually anything! 

Cashew butter is also the perfect addition to an Asian-inspired dressing for your noodle dishes or marinade. With a third of a cup of almond butter, add two and a half tablespoons of tamari. Then add one tablespoon of:

  • Lime juice
  • Water
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Maple syrup 
  • Apple cider vinegar

Some garlic gloves and a teaspoon of minced, fresh ginger root will complete the dressing. You’ll be rewarded with a savory, tangy, sweet dressing that adds umami to any dish. 

6. Sandwiches

Our list isn’t complete without including sandwiches. However, you don’t have to do the normal nut butter, jam, and bananas combo. Consider adding peanut butter and strawberries to a piece of sourdough bread for a decadent dessert or simple lunch. 

Cashew butter and basil are also delicious and elevated pairings. On a toasted baguette, smear the nut butter on one side and add fresh basil leaves on the other. Add a drizzle of honey to the nut butter for some added sweetness. 

7. Dessert Hummus

Last but not least, you can create a delicious dessert hummus that resembles cookie dough with a combination of cashew butter and chickpeas. Process one can of chickpeas and half a cup of cashew butter in your food processor.

Add a third of a cup of sugar, a sprinkle of salt, and three tablespoons of plain plant-based milk to complete the mixture. You can also add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to add more depth to the flavor.

Remember to top it with some chocolate chips for a truly decadent dessert! 

Enjoy Cashew Butter Today

We hope these ideas have shown you that cashew butter is a versatile, delicious, and healthy addition to a number of meals, desserts, and snacks. One of the best reasons to use cashew butter is it’s easy. All you need to do is add a drizzle to any of your favorite recipes in order to enhance a meal and add a little protein. 

If you want to keep it as healthy as possible, remember to purchase cashew butter with no added salt or flavoring. You may also consider making your own if you have a food processor–just add cashew and a little bit of oil to process them down into a creamy base. 

Ready to learn more ways you can elevate your diet with healthy and delicious meals? Keep reading our blog! 

Continue Reading

Trending