The kitchen, for many, can be a sanctuary, a place of creativity and joy. Yet, for others, it can be a source of stress and dread. Whether you’ve been cooking for years or you’re new to the kitchen, everyone can benefit from simplifying their cooking routine.
With that in mind, here are several strategies to streamline your kitchen endeavors, making cooking more accessible, enjoyable, and less time-consuming.
- Become a meal planner
Meal planning is the first step towards a simplified cooking experience. Dedicate some time each week to decide what you’ll be eating for the next few days. Make a grocery list based on your plan for the week, and stick to it. That way, you will avoid the last-minute stress of figuring out what to cook and the frustration of missing ingredients.
- Keep a well-organize pantry
A well-stocked and organized pantry can be a game-changer. Keep staples like pasta, rice, canned beans, spices, and cooking oils on hand, so you can always whip up delicious meals like pea and parmesan risotto or this chicken tortellini soup recipe without needing to shop. You should also organize your pantry in a way that allows you to easily see what you have. This makes meal planning and preparation easier and helps avoid wastage.
- Master the basics
A solid understanding of a few basic cooking techniques can simplify your time in the kitchen significantly. Learn how to sauté, roast, grill, and steam. Once you’ve mastered these, you can easily make a variety of dishes with different ingredients.
- Make use of multipurpose cooking equipment
The right tools can make your cooking process much simpler. Invest in quality knives, a durable cutting board, and reliable pots and pans. Opt for multipurpose tools where possible, like a Dutch oven that can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven, or a food processor that can chop, slice, and grate.
- Opt for one-pot and sheet pan recipes
One-pot and sheet pan meals can be a busy person’s best friend. These dishes require minimal effort, utensils, and clean-up while delivering maximum flavor. Soups, stews, stir-fries, and a variety of baked dishes can all be made using a single pot or pan.
- Use a slow or pressure cooker
Slow cookers and pressure cookers are amazing gadgets that really help to boil the cooking process down to its simplest form. They allow you to “set it and forget it”, freeing you up to do other things while your meal cooks. Plus, they are excellent for batch cooking and can often accommodate one-pot meals which means you can really get organized with your cooking if you own one.
- Learn how to use herbs and spices
Herbs and spices can turn a bland meal into a delicious one without any additional cooking techniques or ingredients. Learn the basics of seasoning, and experiment with different flavor profiles to add variety and interest to your meals.
As you can see, simplifying your cooking is not only possible, it’s easy!