1. Learn to quickly work with a knife. Use the right knives and learn how to quickly cut food – then the process of preparing food will not take much time and will seem very exciting to you. Make sure your knives are always sharp. The cutting board is also important – it doesn’t have to be small!
2. Learn a non-linear style of work. In cooking, there can be no clear sequence of actions! Taking into account the cooking time of various ingredients for a dish, several products should be cooked at the same time. For example, what’s the point of putting water on pasta if the pasta only takes 15 minutes to cook and you’re going to cook pasta with vegetables? Start with the one that takes the longest: sautéing the onions, frying the vegetables, and making the sauce. That is why it is very important to read the recipe carefully, see the whole process of cooking the dish and determine for yourself the sequence and parallelism of actions. 3. Learn to cook a few of your signature dishes. It is very difficult to master many new dishes at once, take your time, start with simple recipes, get your hands on it, and slowly move on to more complex dishes. Pick a category that’s new to you, like stew, pick a recipe you like best, and cook the same dish over and over until you feel like you’ve got a great result. Then start improvising. So you will understand the principle of cooking all vegetable stews, and you will no longer need recipes. Then start mastering another category of dishes. A friend of mine mastered cooking in this way: she cooked 3 dishes until her family members began to ask for something new. Also a method. 4. Simplify your menu. Don’t try to cook a 4-course lunch right away; for a hearty vegetarian meal, one or two main courses are enough. Better save your nerves, money and time on washing dishes. You can bake potatoes and serve them with a green salad, or boil soup and fry toast. If you eat eggs, prepare an omelette with vegetables and a fruit dessert. In winter, you can serve dried fruits with nuts as a dessert. 5. Come up with a main menu. Sometimes it can be very difficult to figure out what to cook, so I recommend that you make a list of different dishes for one meal and use this list. This way you save time and energy. And if we often order the same dishes in restaurants, why bother at home? 6. Make blanks. Of course, on weekdays after work, you don’t really want to spend the whole evening in the kitchen, but so that your evening meal does not turn out to be meager, you can make some preparations in advance. For example, washing a salad or steaming potatoes or beets is much easier to mix together than to cook everything from scratch. 7. Use leftover products. Some products may well be on your table again, but in a different dish. Leftover beans, lentils, and chickpeas can be used to make salads, soups, stews, and mashed potatoes; boiled whole grains can be frozen and then added to vegetable soup. Leftover rice, quinoa, and couscous can be made into crochettes or added to a salad. Soups just taste better the next day. 8. Use kitchen appliances. Kitchen appliances greatly facilitate the process of cooking. A pressure cooker is simply indispensable for the preparation of products that require long-term heat treatment. A slow cooker can cook your breakfast while you sleep. 9. Use several high-quality semi-finished products. Good frozen and canned organic products are simply indispensable in the kitchen. Research the supply of supermarkets and health food stores in your area and find the products that suit you. Some store-bought sauces can be “ennobled” by adding fennel seeds, rosemary, finely chopped mushrooms, and olives. You can buy canned chickpeas and black beans, frozen lima beans and frozen black-eyed peas. It’s also good to have capers, olives, Thai curry paste, and coconut milk on hand. Tofu is not only a wonderful product, but also an indispensable ingredient for many dishes. A spoonful of extra virgin olive oil turns boiled asparagus into a ready-to-eat meal. 10. Assistants. If you have children, ask them to help you in the kitchen. Small children can easily cope with simple tasks. With older children, you can plan the Sunday lunch menu together, choose products in the supermarket and cook. If you teach your children to cook at home, one day you will find that you have helpers in the kitchen! Source: deborahmadison.com Translation: Lakshmi