Now that the Circuit Breaker period has transitioned into Phase 1, some of us may have returned back to work physically. And unfortunately, we might find ourselves compromising the way we eat as well as the way we cook whenever we’re in a rush – and that’s not what we want to do.
You want to be able to use your kitchen to the fullest while ensuring that you also have time to spend with your loved ones. So, here are some tips and tricks to hack your way through the kitchen!
1. Embrace canned food
We’ve progressed so much as a society, that we can find many types of food vacuum-packed in a can: tuna, mushroom soup, rendang chicken, luncheon meat, fruits, baked beans, corn, mushrooms – and the list goes on. In fact, we’ve merely scratched the surface!
However, there are so many ways to elevate the use of canned food when cooking! Take baked beans for an example. Most people would add it on their plate for a classic English breakfast. But, you can drain the sauce to use the beans and make a hearty plate of falafel and top it off with the drained sauce after!
2. Stock up on condiments
Cooking fast does not equate to lack of flavour! The word “condiments” might have brought the standard ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise in your mind. You’re not wrong, but there’s so much more to it! To ease the process of cooking in the kitchen, have these items ready on hand:
- Garlic powder: Derived from dehydrated garlic, great substitute to dicing fresh garlic.
- Tomato puree: It has a thicker and richer flavour than tomato sauce.
- Sambal: A type of chilli sauce that instantly adds a hint of spice to your dish.
- Soy Sauce: A staple in many Asian cuisines.
- Oyster sauce: Its thick, syrupy texture clings well to food and enhances the overall flavour.
3. Make food in the oven
Many of us find ourselves staying away from cooking food using the oven because it takes a lot of time. Take chicken, for an example, which requires at least 30 minutes to cook a chicken in 180 degrees.
Let’s put a spin on that perspective. Instead of thinking that oven-baking is time-consuming, think about what you can do within that 30 minutes. You can have some alone time, or you can catch up with your kids after work! Once the oven is ready, you’ll be greeted by a tray of mouth-watering food, waiting to be indulged in. Don’t let any leftovers go to waste! Pack them in take out lunch boxes to consume the next day.
4. The freezer is your friend
Sometimes, it’s good to double the batch when cooking something to keep the extras in the freezer. Just like that, your future meals are covered!
From pasta sauce to pancake batter, the choice is yours. Pack leftovers in plastic containers with lids and make sure to label it with the name of the food item and the date. If your freezer is running out of space, use zip lock bags instead! Keep them flat upon storage, and once it’s frozen, you can squeeze them in anywhere in the freezer.
Eat good food while spending quality time with yourself and your family. Life’s too short to feel guilty about taking short-cuts, especially if it helps speed up your cooking process!