What Is Cooking?
Cooking is the workmanship, innovation of planning, and nourishment for utilization. Cooking strategies and fixings change generally over the world, from flame broiling food over an open fire to utilizing electric ovens.
Cooking At HomeWe all love convenience food, but one of the simplest ways to improve your health is by preparing more home-cooked meals.
As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues, dine-in restaurants in your area may be closed or have limited seating, or you may not yet feel comfortable about eating out. This can be an ideal opportunity to try cooking meals at home. Even if you’re not able to share home-cooked food with friends and family at this time, you can still experience the many health benefits—and save some money on your weekly food bills.
The Benefits Of Cooking At Home
Whether you live on your own or are a busy parent, finding the time and energy to prepare home-cooked meals can seem like a daunting task. At the end of a hectic day, eating out or ordering in might feel like the quickest, easiest option. But convenience and processed food can take a significant toll on your mood and health.
Here are some benefits of cooking at home:
Convenience food is typically high in chemical additives, hormones, sugar, salt, unhealthy fat, and calories, all of which can adversely affect your brain and outlook.
When you prepare your meals, you have more control over the ingredients. By cooking for yourself, you can ensure that you and your family eat fresh, wholesome meals. This can help you to look and feel healthier, boost your energy, stabilize your weight and mood, and improve your sleep and resilience to stress.
Cooking at home doesn’t have to be complicated. The cornerstone of a healthy diet is to eat food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it. That means replacing processed food with real food whenever possible and eating plenty of vegetables and healthy sources of protein. It doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen combining hundreds of different ingredients or slavishly following elaborate recipes. Simple meals are often the tastiest.
Cooking at home can even take less time than eating out. There are plenty of quick, simple, and wholesome meals you can cook at home in less time than it takes to travel to a restaurant or wait for a delivery.
Cooking at home is also a great way to spend time with others —and you don’t have to be an accomplished chef. Whatever your abilities or experience as a cook, you can learn to prepare quick and healthy meals that can have real benefits for your mental and physical health.
Kitchen Skills to Hone Right Now
With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, many of us have found ourselves with more idle time than we’re used to. Sure, all 50 states are opening up in some form or fashion, but lots of folks will continue working from home for the foreseeable future. And spending more time at home inevitably means being in the kitchen more and cooking more and more, preparing new dishes for the family and enjoying.
So with all that extra time spent getting cozy with your kitchen appliances and reorganizing your spice cabinet for the umpteenth time, why not set aside several minutes each week devoted to improving and honing some of your kitchen skill sets that are lacking?
Do you find that even when following the instructions on a boxed cake mix that the finished product is less cake and more pudding? Well, now’s the time to focus on honing your baking skills, friend!
Know what’s a good focus area in the kitchen when certain ingredients are hard to find? Using up every bit of the items you do have. Spend a little more time planning so that you can squeeze every last bit of utility out of what you have on hand.
Getting more creative in the kitchen doesn’t have to mean figuring out how to make ice cream in an air fryer. But it should mean expanding your wheelhouse and trying new things. Get creative! Hearken back to your childhood when, if you were like me, an Easy-Bake Oven was an outlet to a whole new world of discovery. Try out recipes you never would’ve considered in the past. Experiment and share the results with friends and family.
Endurance is a strange skill to associate with your kitchen, but hear us out. In “normal times,” hardly anyone cooks every single night of the week. Long days at work combined with hangry kids at home? Just order a pizza, or better yet, take the family out to eat so that someone else can handle the cooking and dishes. But now, most folks have been doing all the cooking (and all the dishes) at home. So, logically, now’s the time to get into a rhythm and accumulate cooking endurance that will benefit you far past the time when we can sit down for a restaurant meal again. And more time spent in the kitchen means sharper skills, whether that be baking, not wasting ingredients, getting creative—you name it.
Cooking Through ItThere are no upsides to a global pandemic, but there are side effects. Right now, our hands are cleaner than ever. We’re getting lots ( *lots* ) of quality time with our partners, roommates, and kids. And we’re cooking more.
As somebody who believes that cooking is triply-beneficial—good for the body, mind, and wallet—I think all of this cooking is a good thing. But even I’ve found myself staring into my refrigerator, void of inspiration and unexcited about another bowl of beans. And I know I’m not the only one. Now more than ever, I know that when I’m in the kitchen, entire cities—entire countries —are also in the kitchen. We’re isolated, but we’re all cooking, and experiencing all the things that come with it.
It’s a meal plan, but different. We know that a plan that calls for a strict and specific grocery list doesn’t make sense for right now, when we’re all trying to grocery shop as infrequently as possible (and don’t know what we’ll find when we get to the store).
Cooking Through It is less of a plan and more of a framework for what and how to cook.
So Cooking Through It is less of a plan and more of a framework for what and how to cook. It’s a guide to cooking with what you have, and inspiration for people who don’t know what to cook next. And it’s a community to cook with. We call it Cooking Through It because that’s what all of us are doing. It’s all we can do.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How long to cook a turkey?The general rule for cooking a turkey is 20 minutes per pound, but that can vary depending on whether or not your turkey recipe calls for a stuffed or unstuffed bird. Of course, the best way to know if your turkey is cooked to a safe temperature is to use a meat thermometer. Insert it properly and check it often.
The times on this chart are based on placing the whole turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and into a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven. Your recipe may call for different temperatures and overall time, and your oven may run hotter or cooler. (That’s why you NEED an oven thermometer for the best, most reliable results.) So how long to cook a 20 lb turkey? A 25 lb turkey, 10 lb, a 29 lb turkey, and all turkeys in between? Let’s take a look:
|Weight of Bird||Roasting Time (Unstuffed)||Roasting Time (Stuffed)|
|10 to 18 pounds||3 to 3-1/2 hours||3-3/4 to 4-1/2 hours|
|18 to 22 pounds||4 to 4-1/2 hours||5 to 5-1/2 hours|
|22 to 24 pounds||4 to 4-1/2 hours||5 to 5-1/2 hours|
|24 to 29 pounds||4-1/2 to 5 hours||5-1/2 to 6-1/4 hours|
2. How to cook spaghetti squash?
This is the go-to method for creating perfect al dente spaghetti squash strands to use in vegetable sides and main dishes. The exact timing will vary depending on the heat of your oven and the size of your squash.
Serves: 2 to 4
Ingredients For Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash
- extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions For Spaghetti Squash
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and ribbing. Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet and use a fork to poke holes. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside, fork-tender, but still a little bit firm. The time will vary depending on the size of your squash. I also find that the timing can vary from squash to squash.
- Remove from the oven and flip the squash so that it’s cut side up. When cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape and fluff the strands from the sides of the squash.
3. How to cook salmon?![image|386x500](upload://mKJ5yKp8NqaKqiAc0hlKt9t2NeA.jpeg)
Ingredients For Salmon
- 1 to 3 pounds
skin-on salmon fillets (8 ounces per person)
Lemon wedges, to serve
Equipment For Salmon
- Roasting pan or baking sheet
Instructions For Salmon
Preheat the oven to 425°F: Heat the oven to 425°F with a rack placed in the middle. Line a roasting pan or baking sheet with foil.
Pat the salmon dry: Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel.
Rub the salmon with oil, salt, and pepper: Drizzle some oil over the top of each salmon — just enough to coat the salmon — and rub it over the salmon with your fingers or a pastry brush. Sprinkle the salmon generously with salt and pepper.
Place the salmon in the roasting pan: Place the salmon in the roasting pan, skin-side down. Transfer to the oven.
Roast for 4 to 6 minutes per half-inch thickness of your salmon: Roasting time depends on the thickness of your salmon, as determined by the thickest part of the salmon fillet. For every half-inch of salmon, roast 4 to 6 minutes — 4 minutes will give you salmon that is still a touch rare, 6 minutes will thoroughly cook it.
Salmon is done when easily flaked: You can also check the doneness of your salmon with a fork. When the salmon flakes easily with a fork, it’s ready. If you like, you can use an instant-read thermometer to check the fish for doneness. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F, which should be measured at the thickest part of the fillet.
Serve immediately: Enjoy your salmon immediately. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for about 5 days and can be gently reheated in the microwave or used cold.
4. How to cook sweet potatoes?
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Course: Side Dish
Making a Baked Sweet Potato in the oven is so easy and comes out perfectly sweet and fluffy on the inside with this foolproof recipe.
Ingredients For Sweet Potatoes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, 5.5 ounces each, scrubbed clean
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- optional toppings: butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, salsa, yogurt.
Instructions For Sweet Potatoes
Preheat oven to 425F. On a baking sheet, (lined with foil for easy clean-up if you wish) prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork.
Bake until tender, or until a fork inserted in the thickest part has no resistance, 45 to 50 minutes.
Let cool, then split the tops open with a knife. Season with salt and pepper and add your favorite toppings.
5. How to cook broccoli?
Ingredients For Broccoli
- 1 or more heads
Equipment For Brocolli
Equipment for cooking
Instructions For Brocolli
1. Trim off the florets: Slice straight through the broccoli stem as close to the crown as you can get. The crown should break into several large florets. Cut through the “trunk” of each floret to make bite-sized pieces. Place these in a small bowl and run them under water to wash away any grit.
2. Trim and slice the stem: The main stem of the broccoli is entirely edible. Trim off any leaves or blemishes. You can remove the tougher top layer of skin with a peeler if you would like, but it’s not necessary. Slice off the bottom inch of the stem and discard (it’s usually too dry to be very tasty). Slice the remaining stem into disks. Stems take longer than florets to cook, so place all these slices in a separate bowl from the florets. Rinse under water to wash away any grit.
Cooking Method #1: Blanching
- Prepare a bowl of ice water and have it next to the stove. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add a heaping tablespoon of salt. Add the broccoli florets and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge immediately in the ice water. Let the water come back to a boil, then cook the stems until they are also crisp-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. If you would like softer vegetables, cook for an additional 30 seconds.
→ Uses for blanched broccoli: Vegetable platters, cold salads, frittatas, and other casseroles.
Cooking Method #2: Steaming in the Microwave
- Place the broccoli florets and stems in a microwave-safe dish and pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of water over top. Cover with a dinner plate and microwave on HIGH for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the lid carefully and check if the broccoli is tender. Microwave in additional 1-minute bursts if necessary.
→ Uses for steamed broccoli: Side dish with olive oil and seasonings, warm salads, frittatas and casseroles, soups.
Cooking Method #3: Steaming on the Stovetop
- Fill a pot with a few inches of water and insert a steamer basket over top. Be sure the water does not touch the bottom of the steamer basket. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli florets and stems and cover. Steam for 4 to 5 minutes, until tender.
→ Uses for broccoli on the Stovetop: Side dish with olive oil and seasonings, warm salads, frittatas and casseroles, soups.
Cooking Method #4: Sautéing
- Make sure the broccoli is as dry as possible (you can skip rinsing underwater if your broccoli seems clean). Film a skillet with oil and set over high to medium-high heat. Add the florets and a big pinch of salt. Toss to coat with oil. Add the stems 1 minute later. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is bright green and tender.
→ Uses for sautéed broccoli: Vegetable sautés, side dish with seasonings
Cooking Method #5: Roasting
- Heat the oven to 425°F. Make sure the broccoli is as dry as possible (you can skip rinsing underwater if your broccoli seems clean). Toss the broccoli florets and stems with a few teaspoons of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread the broccoli on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the broccoli is crunchy and you can see deep caramelized brown spots. Serve immediately.
→ Uses for roasted broccoli: Side dish, cold or warm salads, pizza topping (under-roast slightly so the broccoli doesn’t burn on the pizza)