35 of the Greatest Cooking Hacks

Foodies Galore presents the top 35 cooking hacks for 2016. Through trial and error and reading HUGE amounts of literature on nutrition the following wisdom has been gained.

Share these tips and tricks with your friends to make cooking creative, simple and healthy.

  1. Placing a wooden spoon over a pot while boiling pasta or potatoes prevents starchy water from boiling over.
  2. For tastier stir fry veggies, use a cast iron skillet and coconut oil.
  3. To clean a burnt pot or pan, boil water in it on the stove for several minutes. Scrape gently with a wooden spoon. If debris still remains in the pot after washing it, wipe it with olive oil and a paper towel than put it back in the cupboard as is – this is called seasoning your pan.
  4. You’re more at risk of getting cut with a dull knife. Always use a sharp knife.
  5. To juice a lemon or lime — cut the fruit in half, poke a fork into the inside centre of each half and use the fork as your handle. With the other hand, squeeze and turn the fruit around the fork.
  6. While cooking pasta, stir it continually. This prevents sticking and allows the pasta to cook faster.
  7. When cooking pasta, NEVER rinse after straining the water. The starch left on the pasta is the flavour.
  8. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on pasta as soon as it’s strained and back in the pot or a bowl. Then mix in your sauce. The flavour is outstanding!
  9. Always wash cans and tins before opening. Rodent droppings are not uncommon on grocery store shelves.
  10. Only wash / rinse the fruits and veggies you are using for your meal. Refrigerated produce that’s been pre-washed doesn’t keep as long.
  11. Never make stove-top fudge on a rainy day.
  12. Microwave fudge ALWAYS works!
  13. For soups and stews, always cut celery and carrots in triangular diagonals — cut a 1″ thickness on a diagonal then turn the carrot around and cut on a diagonal in the opposite direction to form a triangle. The shape fits better on your spoon with other items.
  14. When cooking meat in a crockpot, use foil to cover the top then place the lid over the foil. This keeps the moisture in the pot better and the meat will not dry up.
  15. To caramelize and sear your beef, always start with a well-heated pan, oil to coat the bottom and a full teaspoon of sugar in the oil. Your beef will be much tastier.
  16. To ripen avocados faster, place them in a bowl of apples.
  17. To soften brown sugar, place a slice of apple in the bag.
  18. You can eat oatmeal WITHOUT sugar — just add dried fruit.
  19. Coffee or tea is just fine without sugar — just add cream.
  20. Eating frequent small meals increases your metabolism and helps with weight control.
  21. Rice combined with beans makes a whole and perfect protein.
  22. Recent research shows we can eat eggs everyday without negatively affecting our cholesterol.
  23. Fresh fruit is best digested when eaten on it’s own as a snack.
  24. Eating a handful of almonds as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack gives you a boost of energy and keeps your waist trim.
  25. Cutting a bell pepper in rounds from the bottom up to the stem (laying the pepper on it’s side) creates pretty flower-shaped rings.
  26. When using a crockpot, a little seasoning goes a long way (a lot more so than cooking stove top).
  27. 1 bowl of kale salad gives you 200% vitamin C of your daily value intake.
  28. Never over-cook seafood or fish. Foodies Galore rule on fish fillets is 7 minutes or less per serving (cooked covered). 4 minutes or less for seafood.
  29. An excellent finishing touch to curry, and to give a super amount of zing and flavour, is to dissolve a spoonful of butter or coconut oil and squeeze a whole lime or 2 into the sauce.
  30. Use tomato paste to thicken soups, stews or curry! You won’t need cornstarch or flour.
  31. Always try to marinate meat a day ahead.
  32. When marinating meat or tofu, balance the flavours. Eg. use something salty, something sweet, something spicy or acidic and something savoury or pungent. Foodies Galore favourite marinade is a combination of Soy Sauce, Garlic and Ginger, an herb such as Thyme or Rosemary, Brown Sugar and Lemon or Lime (Balsamic vinegar and Mustard work great too) .
  33. Peanut butter and pickles on toast is actually a thing!
  34. A cheater Hollandaise sauce is warmed mayonnaise with grated cheddar mixed in.
  35. It’s perfectly okay to ask a restaurant chef how they made the delicious meal you just ordered. Most are happy to share their recipes 🙂

Happy cooking!