19 Top Food Tips and Tricks You Need To Know

1.  NEVER throw out those last drips of jelly or jam in the jar! Instead, just shake up a fruity vinaigretteby adding equal parts oil and vinegar to the jar, shake well, and season with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste. Mmmm !!!
2.  Not really that crazy about veggie burgers, still like meat but want to eat healthy?  Try my BURGER with veggies instead! Mince a cup of red & green peppers, half a cup of minced onion and smash a couple of garlic cloves. Add these vegetables to a any pound of lean meat (I use turkey burger) and your favorite spices, including Worcestershire sauce, and mix well. When you’re browning the meat, blot the surface dry with a paper towel so the meat doesn’t release moisture when it hits the hot oil. Too much moisture makes the meat steam instead of sear, and you will lose that rich brown crust. Top it off with your favorite mayonnaise (I adore Hellmann’s and Best Foods! ), Wasabi sauce, and a splash of lemon or lime! Soak bitter greens, such as arugula or kale, in a bowl of ice water in the fridge for around an hour to cut off their bitterness. Then, run the leaves through your salad spinner several times with a paper towel to get them dry and crisp.
4.  When you are not sure what to do with an exotic vegetable, then just roast it! Everything from sunchokes and red cabbage to heirloom potatoes and rutabaga tastes delicious tossed with a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooked in the oven at 450 degrees F or until just tender.
5.  Acidity, vinegar’s, salt and horseradish bring out full flavors in foods. When a savory dish needs a little “oomph” then use a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of flavored vinegar instead of salt. A hit of citrus can make the whole recipe come to life and works wonders! Keep flavored vinegars near the stove so you won’t always reach for the salt. Acid always enhances flavors, and is healthier than sodium.
6.  Always cook pasta one minute less than the package instructions and cook it the rest of the way in the pan with the pasta sauce. Do not use oil in the water when boiling pasta: It will keep the sauce from sticking to the cooked pasta. After you drain pasta, while it is still hot, grate some fresh Parmesan cheese on top before tossing it with your sauce. This way, the sauce has something to stick to (I learned this from my Italian Great-Grandma).
7.  Another wonderful pasta tip from Grandmother was to always remove some of the pasta-cooking water (about 1/3 a cup) just before draining it. Then add the sauce of your choice to the pasta while adding a little of the cooking liquid. The starch in the water adds body and a kind of creaminess, so YUMMY and an Italian tradition SECRET revealed just for YOU!veggie_burgers_veggieburger_vegetables_burger
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8.  Most definitely keep a bottle of high-quality olive oil in your kitchen at all times. Just a small drizzle can really bring out the flavor of meats, cheeses, pastas, and vegetables!
9.  A perfect soup and/or stew is made a day in advance. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, then warm it up the next day and all of the flavors will compliment each marvelously.
10.  Saute vegetables in broth instead of butter or oil. It’s much healthier, and you will have crispy, seasoned veggies without using heated, oxidized oil than causes free-radical damage in the body (cancers). Pour in just enough broth to cover the bottom of the pan, and cook, with the lid on, until just tender.
11.  Take the time to actually read recipes through before you begin. ALWAYS feel free to replace ingredients with similar ingredients that you like. If you like oregano but not basil, use oregano! Recipes are guidelines, but they are NOT carved in stone or the Bible. If it’s not a main ingredient, you can usually skip it and the food dish will still turn out fine, if not better. — Taste foods as you go! HOWEVER, always measure what you’re baking. There are no shortcuts in baked goods like breads and pastries…have to be precise for them!
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12.  When you deep frying, hold each piece of food with long tongs as you add it to the oil. Hold it just below the oil’s surface for 5 seconds before releasing it. This will seal the exterior and stop it from sticking to the pan or to other food.
13.  For an easy weeknight meal, save and freeze leftover sauces from previous meals in ice cube trays. The cubes can easily be reheated in a pan when you need a quick sauce!
14.  An easy Way On How To Remove Seeds From A Pomegranate: Fill a bowl with cold water. Cut your pomegranate fruit into quarters. Place a slice of pomegranate into the water, with the seeds face down. Gently push down on the skin side to turn the slice inside out towards the bottom of the bowl. The seeds will begin falling out in the water, then easily flick out the remaining seeds. Once you are done, the white fruity flesh will float, while the seeds sink. Just cut the fruit off and drain well!
15.  Wash your hands with warm water and soap (preferably antibacterial) for at least 20 seconds before & after handling food and after using the bathroom, touching animals, or changing diapers, because bad bacterias can easily be spread throughout the kitchen and get onto hands, cutting boards, utensils, counter tops, and foods Ewwwww!
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  Always thaw frozen food in the fridge and never defrost food at room temperature, to avoid food poisoning.
17.  I’m an avid list maker! Whether it’s my grocery list, my list of areas in my house to organize, my to-do lists…just face it, I LOVE lists! However, sometimes it’s okay to not write grocery store list that are “to the point” when you might find specials on sale or a surprise out-of-season food 20. Use your old and/or unused CD spindles as bagel totes instead of getting rid of them!
bagel_totesthat would be perfect for a meal to try new! Taste buds sometimes revolt, and you need to try new meals…FUN!
18.  It takes trial and error to find the right herbs and spices & flavor combinations that work for you without reverting to pouring on unhealthy sauces and such. Be PATIENT & Don’t give up!
19.  Do not be fooled by health food misconceptions! Common food myths are that a healthy diet means eating “low-fat” and “fat-free” food products, multi-grain crackers are better than crackers made from white flour, or that high-fructose corn syrup is much worse than sugar…all of these are WRONG & just untrue!
OK…here is an extra handy tip to grow on that I find awesome!