How to cook amazing food without a recipe is a question I used to ask myself all the time. I was nervous to try new recipes, because I was afraid I’d mess them up somehow and waste my ingredients (and money). But then I realized that you don’t need a recipe to make delicious food—just some basic cooking knowledge and confidence in the kitchen! Here are some tips on how to prepare delicious food without recipes.
Choose your ingredients
A great cooking technique can be ruined by sub-par ingredients. Ingredients matter, so buy as many organic, high-quality foods as you can afford. Remember: You are what you eat! Organic, local produce and grass-fed meats will give your meals added nutritional value and are better for you—and better for our planet—overall. When it comes to protein sources like chicken or beef, look for free-range or grass-fed options whenever possible; such meat tends to be healthier for both animals and humans alike. Take some time to browse in your supermarket’s fresh produce section—it’s full of gorgeous items that don’t require recipes!
Do some prep work
What’s worse than trying to throw together a meal on short notice? Trying to make something from scratch when you’ve forgotten most of what you learned in culinary school. It’s all about preparation, people. Not only will it save you time and money, but it’ll also help create some structure for your life—or at least your meals. There are hundreds of ways to prep that allow you to put aside time once or twice each week (or more) for cooking and leave yourself with more flexibility during your busy days. Here are our top tips: Meal Prep 101: How To Eat Healthy On A Budget–Without Cooking Every Night For The Rest Of Your Life
Set the stage
Your kitchen should be as organized as possible for successful cooking. It’s also best to have all of your ingredients prepped before you start cooking. Cooking is a creative art and it’s crucial that you don’t feel rushed or stressed during meal preparation; if you do, your creativity will be stifled and you’ll feel less like cooking. Take some time before starting to prepare by setting everything up so that you are ready to go when inspiration strikes. Cookware should be unpacked, pots and pans should be out, and ingredients should be prepped—you want everything within arm’s reach when it comes time to prepare dinner.
There’s nothing like learning how to make tasty meals yourself. For example, tonight’s dinner might be tacos with homemade tortillas and salsa, while tomorrow night could be chicken stir-fry with steamed vegetables (or takeout). It doesn’t have to cost you more time or money; in fact, cooking can save you both. The next time you go out for dinner, bring home half of your meal and eat it for lunch or dinner tomorrow. Better yet, ask if they have any leftovers so you don’t have to order an entree—it probably tastes just as good at lunch as it did last night! If you don’t want to cook, there are plenty of places that will deliver right to your door. You could also learn how to use a slow cooker so that you always have something ready when you get home from work. Whatever method works best for you is what should be used! Just remember: Cooking is one of life’s great pleasures, and knowing how to do it well will add years onto your life (literally!)
Add flavour in stages
If you want to amp up flavour, don’t dump in any old spices. Instead, add them in stages so your food still has balance and isn’t over-seasoned. For example, when cooking your favourite chicken breast on an open flame, start by flavouring it with salt and pepper; once it starts to brown and caramelize, add some lemon juice or garlic. The same goes for finishing off sauces—don’t be afraid of some acid! Add cream or butter slowly for balanced flavour that won’t overpower everything else on your plate.
Give yourself time to experiment
Cooking with fresh ingredients is an essential part of eating healthy, but it can take some time to get used to. It’s also easy for new cooks (and even long-time ones) to get in a rut. To keep things interesting, experiment with different flavors and spices by switching up your weekly menu or trying something different at restaurants. If you’re not sure where to start, ask friends and family for recipes that they love—you might just discover your next favorite dish!
Eat well every day
Before you turn on your stove, fridge or microwave, decide how you will eat today. When you start with an understanding of what you’re going to eat, it becomes much easier (and faster) to put together a nutritious meal. It also eliminates any guesswork when deciding what’s for dinner and which recipes might work well for breakfast. This means staying in control of your eating—not letting it control you!