Are you new to cooking? Have you just moved out of home, heading off to uni and not all that keen about living on mi goreng for the next three years? Well I’ve got you covered with my six favourite cooking techniques. If you use these methods all the time, why not try some new ingredients to cook with. If it’s your first time in the kitchen, start off with one technique and perfect it. You’ll be so proud of yourself once you cook that perfectly poached egg!
Cooking with fresh and healthy wholefoods is simple and practicing healthy cooking techniques in the kitchen is one of the easiest ways to make these habits and health goals stick.
Did you know the benefits of cooking at home include:
- enjoying higher quality meals
- enjoying healthier meals
- it’s much cheaper to do that you think
- It’s a great for the mind (baking brownies is my form of meditation)
Cooking can be just as nourishing for your mind as it is for your body. So, whether you’re a kitchen novice or seasoned pro, it never hurts to update your cooking skills.
Today I’m sharing my favourite cooking methods with you. Not only will these techniques save you time but, they’ll also help you get the most out of your ingredients.
By adopting these techniques you’ll become a master in the kitchen in no time!
I love to stir-fry! I use this method of cooking more than twice a week. It’s quick and one of the best dry heat cooking techniques. It cooks your food up fast, locking in nutrients. It’s amazing way to clean out your fridge at the end of the week and make use of all those vegetables that are on their last legs. If you struggle to eat a lot of veg in your meals, stir-fries are the perfect way to bulk up you plate. They allow you to add different colours, tastes and textures to your plate.
To stir-fry, add around a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to a pan and heat. Add your spices, vegetables and proteins (adding any leafy type vegetables last) and sear the food on each side, stirring every 45-60 seconds. Season to taste and add any sauces you like. Then cook until all ingredients are tender. You can serve your stir-fry with your favourite rice, quinoa, noodles or on its own.
Poaching is such a versatile cooking method. You can poach just about anything including eggs, fruit, chicken and fish. Poached eggs are my favourite, there’s nothing like dripping egg yolk over smashed avo on sourdough.
Poaching is known as a moist-heat cooking method and involves immersing foods in water at a low temperature.
The key to a perfectly poached egg, is to fill a saucepan with 2/3 water and a teaspoon of white vinegar. Bring the water to boil and then take it down to a simmer. Crack an egg into a ramekin and carefully drop it into the water. Cook the egg for 3-4 minutes, depending on yolk preference, the remove it with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain. Serve on your favour toast, in a soup or even on top of a nourish bowl.
If you’ve ever had a meal at my place, you know that one I use a whole lot of veg when I cook and two, I like a bit of crunch to them. Especially when it comes to some of my favourite vegetables like green beans and snow peas. Blanching is really basic cooking method that’s easy to learn and will take your veggies to the next level. They are crisp and crunchy yet stay tender and retain their colour and nutrients all at the same time.
To use this technique, fill a saucepan with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring water to the boil and then add your vegetables. Simmer for approximately 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and then plunge the veggies into an ice bath or run them under cold water. This stops the cooking process and helps retain the bright colour of your produce.
Steaming is a really great option for cooking your food because you don’t need to use any oils in the process. Studies have shown that vegetables that have been steamed hold onto more of their nutrients, than with any other cooking method.
To steam your veggies, all you need to do is place water in a pot and bring it to the boil. Then, place a steam basket over the pot with your vegetables in it and cover with the lid. It should take anywhere between 5-20 minutes to cook through, depending on your vegetables. The veggies will be ready when they are tender.
Grilling is my number one cooking technique in the Summer. I love using our BBQ on those warm balmy nights. However, you don’t need to wait until next Summer to pull grill your favourite meats and produce. You can purchase grill pans, which will grill your ingredients over the stove top. One of my favourite things about grilling is the slightly smoky flavour that it gives to stone fruits and vegetables. Not to mention those beautiful grill lines that I love to see on my homemade pitas.
With winter just around the corner, roast meats and veg are my go-to. It’s a dry method of cooking which will enhance the flavour of your ingredients. Think about beautiful fluffy crunchy potatoes, or the burnt caramelised corners of roasted pumpkin which brings out its sweetness.
Every week I make a roast veggie mix which I use to add to salads, wraps or to snack on during the day. My veggie melody consists of sweet potato, pumpkin and chickpeas and it’s so easy to make. All you need to do is line a pan with baking paper. Then, in a mixing bowl, add your favourite veggies, some extra virgin olive oil and your favourite spice combination, mine always includes cinnamon. Stir until well combined and then spread the mixture on to the pan. Pop it into the oven at 175°C, and cooking for about 40-45 minutes, or until slightly golden with crispy edges.
These are just a few basic cooking techniques that you can use every day in your kitchen. If you’re new to cooking get a hold of my FREE Seasonal Produce Guide.
What’s your favourite method to cook with? I’d love to know what you’re whipping up in your kitchen this week.