Are you using these Paleo hacks? These simple tips and tricks will save you time and hassle – and make your time in the kitchen far more productive – and your Paleo recipes better!
Please share your favourite Paleo cooking secrets in the comments below, or if you have a better method than my suggestions, please share!
1. Before cooking asparagus, coat the stalks in salt and leave to cure for 20 minutes. Rinse off the salt and prepare as normal, you’ll find they taste far better.
2. When you grind meat for homemade burgers or sausages, try adding in some bacon for great flavour. You can also grind in some offal and no one will ever know.
3. When making a salad, always keep the dressing separate. That way it can be added just before serving to make sure your salad is crisp instead of soggy.
4. To reduce tears and keep it together, don’t cut into the root of an onion when dicing.
5. When you buy fresh basil, make it last longer by keeping it at room temperature and with the stems in water.
6. To stop your chopping board (and everything you chop after) smelling of garlic, smash garlic cloves in a sealed plastic bag using the back of a knife.
7. If you’re not going to finish your lettuce in one go, prevent it from turning brown by wrapping in a paper towel in the fridge and storing in a plastic bag.
8. Clean cast iron cookware by scrubbing with salt; never use detergent!
9. Lay a chicken on onion halves and chunks of leek, instead of using a roasting rack. The onion will make a great gravy after absorbing the chicken juices.
10. Use a very fine grater or microplane to add vegetables to salads and dressings. Try adding microplaned orange and fennel to a vinaigrette dressing.
11. Make sure you keep your kitchen knives sharp, not only is it fast and easier – it’s actually a lot safer too….
12. ….and on the subject of knives, keep the tip in an old wine cork when storing in the kitchen drawer.
13. Add salt early on in your cooking – and make sure you keep tasting your dish as you cook it, and adjust your additions accordingly.
14. When frying salmon, fry with the skin side down. When it has cooked to the stage where over half has gone from pink to white, turn the heat off and flip the salmon over. The remaining heat will cook it to perfection.
15. To make sure onions store for longer, keep them in a glass jar, with the root left as is.
16. Always make stock in the biggest batches you have room for. Freeze any excess stock in small portions, ready to use as the base of a dish whenever you need them.
17. Salt your chopping board before chopping up herbs; this will keep them on the chopping board!
18. Freeze stock, left over wine and any left over sauces in ice cube trays as a great way to make a quick sauce – or add depth to an existing sauce without having to wait hours for it to defrost.
19. Use a skewer of cake tester to check how well done your fish, meat – and even vegetables are.
20. Before pan frying, always make sure your pan is super hot!
21. Add a pinch of salt to the water before boiling eggs. This will help to prevent the shells from cracking.
22. After boiling vegetables, use the remaining water for stock, or freeze to crush later and use in a smoothie. If those options don’t appeal, use the nutrient loaded water to feed your veggie patch or house plants.
23. When making hamburger patties, push a hole in the centre. This will make sure they cook faster and more evenly.
24. Give the contents of your pan room to breath – never overcrowd, or you’ll be steaming your food rather than sautéing it!
25. Before carving and serving meat, always give it a few minutes to rest
26. To prevent a roast chicken having an overcooked breast and tender legs, break up the legs and the breast. This means you can remove the breast sooner, ensuring the whole bird is moist.
27. Before frying fish or meat, make sure it is as dry as possible, by laying it on paper towels for a few minutes before cooking. This will help to make the skins nice and crispy by making sure you’re frying rather than steaming.
28. To make sure your garlic is sweet, rather than bitter, make sure you buy it as fresh as possible – and if it has green shoots – don’t use it.
29. Store empty containers and jars with a pinch of salt, to absorb any odours and keep them smelling fresh.
30. Check your eggs are fresh by placing them in a bowl full of water. If the rise to the top, they aren’t as fresh as they should be! You want an egg that sits at the bottom, or near to it.
31. After blanching vegetables, plunge them in a bowl of iced water. This stops the cooking process and will result in bright veggies.
32. Instead of rigidly sticking to a shopping list, try being flexible without it. Go to the shop or farmers market and base your meals around what ever is fresh, seasonal and local.
33. Try cooking your steak by firstly cooking the fatty edge, holding it in place with tongs. This will release fat into the pan, making sure when you cook each side it is as juicy and full of flavour as possible.
34. The secret to great roasted vegetables is heat! Preheat the oven and empty roasting tin, before adding the veggies, oil and sea salt.
35. If you’re cooking with steak, eggs or butter, bring them out of the fridge and keep them at room temperature for an hour or so before cooking for a far better flavour.
36. Roll citrus fruit in your hands before juicing it to increase the amount of juice you can extract. Also, never store citrus fruit in the fridge as it significantly reduces the flavour.
37. Prepare first. Do all of your slicing and dicing before starting to make your dish.
38. Never try a new recipe or ingredient for the first time before an important dinner! Practice, practice, and do as much of the prep as you can the night before.
39. Make sure you store spices in a cool dark place, not next to the oven. To get the maximum flavour from spices, try toasting or sautéing them before adding them to your recipe.
40. Before working with chilli, rub coconut oil into your hands to propel the spiciness. IF you want to reduce their heat, remove the seeds before cooking with them.
41. To prevent garlic from burning, try slicing it finely rather than mincing it.
42. To make sure your meatloaf, meatball or burger mix is just right, make a tiny patty out of it, enabling you to fry it and give it a try. This way you still have time to adjust your mix, before committing to it.
43. When you need to add in more oil to a pan, add it at the edge of the pan, rather than in the middle. This gives the oil time to heat up before it reaches the centre of the pan – and your food.