Any advice you would give someone starting to cook and shop for food on their own?

So far I learn that healthy vegtables only last one week! And that I need to learn how to flavor chicken and fish? And It hard to figure out which is whole grain! Anyway what advice would you give me? #QueenAppleGrowingup hahah!


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Most Helpful Guy

  • There are ways to extend the life of fresh vegetables such as carrots, and onions, but leafy greens are normally much harder because their high water content turns them to mush when canned or frozen, and they wilt in just a few days otherwise. Nutritionally broccoli is about the same as most leafy greens, so a lot of people consider it a leafy green, and it can be frozen until you need it.

    Asparagus can be frozen or canned, and commonly won't have the salt canned food has added to it. Frozen will be a lot more close to fresh in terms of taste and texture than most canned foods. Although canned is often much easier to cook only needing to be reheated and having some stuff added for flavor such as butter and pepper or whatever you prefer on it.

    You could grow fresh herbs. They are cheap to buy living plants, and pretty hard to kill. You can even raise them indoors. Herbs flavor food and people forget, but they are vegetables. Dried herbs are also great, but they obviously don't grow back like a live plant does.

    Cabbage is suppose to last a while without needing to be frozen. Some sites claim it can last anywhere from four weeks, to two months. I have been thinking about trying some new cabbage recipes for that same reason. Beyond that I would say you would need to research how to store each type of vegetable you enjoy eating and go from there. Buy most leafy greens only when you are planning on using them soon.

    When it comes to seasoning, I would advice that you keep it simple and don't add a bunch of different spices. The more you add, the more you risk creating a food someone won't like. I would also advise grinding your own pepper. Apparently pepper loses most of its flavor within the first few hours of being ground, so pre-ground pepper just can't compete with freshly ground pepper.

    I don't cook a lot of fish. For roasted chicken I like to add salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. I also like to add a little white wine to the bottom of the pan. It is a really simple and easy way to cook chicken.

    You can also get pre mixed spices and use them for most of your cooking. Such as Italian seasoning, which is simply a blend of several different herbs taking the guess work out of cooking.

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    • I would not advise freezing any fresh vegetables. If you really need to freeze
      Them, blanch first then stop the cooking by submerging in ice water, then freeze quickly. But again, only if you really need to.

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    • @SarahsSummer Don't act like you haven't been rude for no reason. At first I just tried to point out that "I didn't mean to suggest getting fresh vegetables to freeze." You then acted like I was lying because you didn't like my choice of wording.

      You claim you weren't adding your comments to get into a diatribe, but your last comment clearly proves that is exactly what you are doing. I don''t know if you picked me randomly, or if I said something you didn't like on another question, but your intentions are clear.

      Your not liking my wording doesn't make me wrong. Even when I made it clear I didn't want to talk to you, instead got personal. Proving your real motive. I will say it again. Go Away.

    • @SarahsSummer oh snapped I froze my asparagus! ):

Most Helpful Girl

  • Well my advice to you is to go the frozen route if you don't want to have to keep buying a bunch of veggies every week. A big bag of frozen veggies goes a long way. I put them in stir frys, with rice, or as a side with a meal. Plus they last a long time!

    I buy the frozen, chopped spinach to put in home-made dips, soups and pasta. It's very inexpensive and all you have to do is microwave it to defrost it and then pat it down with a paper towel. It adds some veggies to your meal. You can also use it in smoothies.

    Frozen fruit is another great thing. I make a breakfast smoothie everyday to add extra fruit in my diet. I put in kefir milk, some orange juice, frozen fruit and chia seeds. But you can put veggies and fresh fruit in if you'd like. The combinations are endless, and I usually make 3 at a time so I don't have to do it everyday.

    For flavoring chicken, you can use marinades to get some flavour. It's really easy, just take a ziploc bag, put the chicken in it and add the marinade. There are plenty of recipes online for marinades, you can even just have it sit in chicken broth with some veggies overnight to soak in the flavour. I sometimes use a healthy salad dressing to marinade the chicken in too.

    Healthy spices also work as well. Even just sprinkling some on when you are cooking it.

    For fish, you can sprinkle seasoning on. I like to use the MRs. Dash spices as they have no salt. I also love to use lemon and ranch dressing on my fish. Mainly I do this with salmon. I take the salmon filet, coat it in lemon, then put the ranch dressing on it and wrap it in tin foil, I might add some spices on top. But usually I just wrap it up and cook it in the oven. Most fish you can do this with.

    Another tip is making extra to freeze for later. Freezer meals are a great way to eat healthy and save some money. If you make a stir fry, you can easily freeze leftovers to have later.

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    • oh wow ranch and lemon? I never heard of that!

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    • Asparagus is one of my favourites! But it can definitely taste bitter. I usually eat it either baked or boiled. But you can also make a cheese sauce or even just put cheese on it. When I bake it I use oil and add spices to make it taste better. I usually put some cherry tomatoes with it.

What Guys Said 23

  • Alright, start with the frozen vegetables. Most vegetables will lose their nutrients in about 2-3 days while frozen vegetables do not. They are also cheaper when you buy a big bag. Avoid the cheese or flavored vegetables, just stay with the good old broccoli or mixed greens.

    Next is frozen and cooked grilled chicken. You can whip them up for a nice addition to salad or pasta dish or just microwave them for a quick snack.

    Next is pasta and rice. Pasta is staple so you k ow what to do. Rice can be cooked using the microwave. Just 1cup of rice and fill the water until it submerges the rice by about 2cm.

    Next should be canned food and sauce. Fish, chicken and anything just pure meat is good. Avoid the beans and such. You will also want some pasta sauce since nobody has time to make them.

    Finally, ready made spice, soup mix and some sauce (like soy sauce) will be want you need to stock. Butter and some other stuff to make your meal more enjoyable. Don't try to make the spice on your own, just use the pre-made ones. Keep salt and pepper around though.

    My dinner would go something like this: pasta goes into the boiling water pot, no lid, 1 teaspoon of salt. 3-5 min later, preheat the cast iron pan and put in a nice slice of NY steak (seasoned) - cover if it's a thick steak. Take pasta pot off the heat and fire up another pan to saute the vegetables in butter. Drain the pasta and mix it with olive oil and dried parsley. The steak should be about done, take it off and put into the plate with pasta for it to rest. Season the vegetables and add a bit of pasta sauce into the steak pan to heat it. After 3-4 min, pour the sauce on top of the pasta and put the vegetables next to it.

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  • Chicken!

    Buy some sauces you like (BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, whatever). Rice is easy to figure out if you read the label.

    Also, buy some FROZEN vegetables like peas, green beans, broccoli, carrots, stuff you also like.

    Frozen veg will cook in less than 10 minutes if you throw it into a pot of boiling water.

    So chicken. Rub chicken breast with jerk seasoning. Put in oven for 30-40 minutes (cut it open to make sure it's not pink inside). Serve with some peas and rice mixed together. Bam! Easy.

    Buy some chicken thighs and new potatoes (the really tiny ones). Pan fry thighs until they are cooked through. Boil new potatoes until they are soft enough to easily get a fork into. Drizzle thighs with your sauce of choices, salt/season potatoes as you prefer (salt is a must, everything else is up to your taste). Serve with frozen veg you like.

    On to fish. Many smoked fish like salmon are already ready to eat. If not, they just need to be warmed in the oven. See above regarding the chicken thighs, you can substitute a fillet of smoked salmon for the chicken and have a different meal right there.

    Buy some frozen breaded fish filets. These take about as long to cook in the oven as McCain fries, so you can throw both on the same baking tray and put them in together. Turn fish and fries once, halfway through. Boil a pot of water to make frozen peas, which take about five minutes. Also easy.

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  • Learn how to cook rice and microwave/bake sweet potatoes and yams.

    Fresh green vegetables do spoil, however starchy foods like the aforementioned have a long shelf life and are very cheap.

    Canned beans and canned corn are also cheap options that are healthy and last a long time.

    As for flavoring, keep it simple. Use salt and pepper. If you really want big flavor without become a seasoned chef, pre made sauces, curries, and marinades are worth exploring.

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  • Get a copy of The Joy Of Cooking. It is a cookbook which teaches you basic facts about foods, how to shop for them and store them, as well as teaching you methods of cooking, together with great recipes.

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  • But "The Joy of Cooking". Some hate it, but get the 1997 edition. Also get the most recent edition.
    Get GOOD cookware such as Le Creuset. It's expensive, but worth it. I'd recommend a 6 Quart Dutch Oven minimum. Get a digital or paper subscription to Cooks Illustrated.

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    • Get a big Kitchen Aid mixer... 6 quart. Worth it. Get same color as your Le Creuset. Spend the money and get some good knives like J K Henckle or Wustoff.

  • Buy cook books and download recipes, start out simple and work your way to more complex recipes/meals. Plan out your recipes/meals for the week, than you can shop for food based on what your recipes/meals need/require, the more you cook and learn the less you will need to rely on recipes for everything. Best way to add flavor to chicken and fish is through marinating and spices, and not over cooking helps with flavor and texture. FYI if your gonna by fresh vegetables. I'm at the point to where I only ever use recipes for baking, which mostly requires exact measurements.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj1fhYZJjek

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  • Always have potatoes, onions, rice, pasta, vegetables and meat as well as sieved tomatos and basic spices in stock. They will last you a long time and won't go bad fast (except the fresh vegetables) and you need them very often. Also you can always make a simple meal from those things.

    I personally like to look up recipes on the internet and schedule them over the week. I buy all the Additional stuff I will need on one day of the week by just listing all the extra stuff from those recipes in addition to the things I always have stock up.

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    • Oh and the best trick I know for having a more viscous sauce or gravy is to put some milk and flour in a shaker and slowly add it to whatever you're cooking. This way you don't need artificial binder shit or cream which adds a ton of calories to your food.

  • feelin kinda lazy rn.

    @consultantisback

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  • -Salt and pepper will be your best friends.
    -Eggs are incredibly cheap.
    -Ground beef is the cheapest of the red meat you will find.
    -Dark green veggies are always a priority.
    -Depending on your diet having some frozen bananas in your fridge never hurts.
    Rice should be a staple as its another cheap thing to eat.
    Having trail mix laying around is always good

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  • Watch TV.
    lol No, seriously. There are two great channels for people loving and learning to cook. Cooking Channel and Food Network My mom loves them.
    There's a funny man with a show called Good Eats, as well as some other shows about cooking. His name is Alton Brown. On Good Eats, he's like the Bill Nye of cooking. lol

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  • chicken i usually marinade in Italian dressing. fish add a little lemon , garlic, salt and little butter then bake
    as for the steamed vegetables i usually season with a sprinkle of dry ranch seasoning mix.
    which takes me to cube the chicken then marinade cook chicken remove it from skillet. put vegetables in skillet then cook them till tender. mix chicken and vegetables serve over cooked rice. you can use the Italian dressing or ranch with a liitle olive oil as the marinade.

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  • When you're cooking for yourself you just need to buy frozen veggies, freeze your meat, and buy other non perishables... The biggest problem is cooking for one person... If you want rice, you can't really make one helping... So if you are having rice one night as a side, the next night you're making fried rice for dinner... Either that or you can make meals on weekends and freeze them to deal with portions so you don't waste a lot of food.

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  • Don't be afraid to experiment. Learn how to use different herbs and spices.

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  • What about keeping some money aside for maintainable and damage?
    What about keeping some extra things with side dish if it's small scale?
    And what about having someone to take care of the business in our absence and also can handle money while you work?

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  • That's great Apple!

    This one. VERY important.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5li87xkxYk

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    • Do not be scared. Relax and cook with attention. Things will work great.

  • Haha just buy anything that says microwave 8)
    Oh gosh here's a guy speaking, sorry Apple!

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  • You can chop up some vegetables and put them in a freezer to make them last longer.
    Sage goes good with chicken and fish - it gives it a nice smokey flavour.

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  • Start a little garden. It's fun and rewarding to eat your own food.

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  • Don't overdo or overthink it,

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  • Just don't ever microwave anything, ever

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  • If it exists, I imagine the "Cooking for Dummies" book would be helpful.

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  • Don't burn food , and gluten free is a waste of money, unless you're alergic to gluten

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  • What kind of shop are you opening? A grocery store? A restaurant?

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What Girls Said 14

  • I'm going in a different direction. Instead of trying to stock up all at once, buy what you need for the week. That is a sure way to make sure you eat what you have and it stays fresh. When you buy in bulk, you tend to forget about all of what you bought.

    Write out your menu for the week and purchase those items. I like to stick with fresh as much as I can, but I think freshly frozen is fine too.

    Oh, if you're a cheese fan, store it in different packages so you separate it and place the remaining ones in the freezer. Pull it out as you need it.

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    • Same lol! I am doing that as well because at the end of the week I get 20 dollars and I try to spend it on healthy food!

  • All you really need to season protein is salt and pepper, as you evolve in your skills, try different herbs to see what you like best. Only buy veggies in small quantities that you know you'll eat. To prolong life of leafy greens, I wash, thoroughly dry then put in a plastic bag with paper towel loosely wrapped around them. This will help absorb their exsess moisture and keep from rotting to soon. Never refrigerate fresh tomatoes (they lose flavor) i like to use a little stock (chicken or vegetable) when steaming broccoli or kale Or spinach to add flavor. Your basic kitchen essentials should be a frying/sauté pan, a large pot for boiling water/pasta. Olive oil, salt and pepper. some dry pasta or rice. It's also good to have a head of garlic on hand as well for flavor and vampires.

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  • Try buying this you can freeze. I know that fresh things are more delicious but if you have to buy a lot and only need one of whatever you bought it is always great to be able to freeze things. Also, make sure you always have salt and pepper, and a good sharp knife to cut ingredients with.

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  • Number 1 tip I can offer is writing a meal plan at the start of each week, and buy what you need for that. It takes the stress out of thinking about food everything day, and gives you a shopping list.
    When you shop for meat/deli foods, buy straight from the deli or butcher, not from the prepackaged section of the supermarket. It's cheaper and lasts longer.
    Pick some meals you like, and use them as a staple food. We have steak or chicken, with cous cous and zucchini or mashed sweet potato and brussel sprouts. We don't have to think about it anymore, saves so much time and energy, and it's healthy.
    Get an app like Yummly, and scroll through looking for recipes you like, for new ideas for your meal plan.

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    • Thanks a lot! I should plan what I make everyweek but I kinda stress out because I never cooked before and well I bought a lot of fish!

    • Fish is great, but can get pricey. There are so many ways of cooking it, though, which is awesome. One of my favourites is to season it with lemon and pepper, wrap it in foil and grill it.
      You can also dip it in egg and crumb it, then fry it in a pan.
      What kind of fish did you buy?

  • I will tell you a trick I learned.

    Buy organic milk. It lasts was longer than regular. Check the expiration dates and you'll see what i mean. Regular milk has one week, organic will last three weeks or more and still taste the same.

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    • But doesn't organic milk will doesn't it expire faster? I bought low fat milk and it go bad in 5 days!

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    • ok I will!

    • Also, buy frozen veggies. You can take what you need out of the bag and they won't go bad. Oh, and freeze half a loaf of bread. When you finish the first half, take the frozen out of the freezer. It will thaw in an hour, good as new.

  • Pasta and rice is your best friend on days you don't know what to cook. They also don't spoil easily if you haven't cooked them.

    Another tip is from fitnessblender
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ah45YAdOOk

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  • Pinterest food prep

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  • Spices are your friend when it comes to meat. I use a chicken spice on my chicken all the time or I use hot sauce if I want buffalo chicken. I don't eat fish but I know a lemon pepper spice is good on it apparently. Veggies you can fry, boil, bake, and add spices to it. I love chicken breast with asparagus and mushrooms together with a bit of soy sauce all over it. Very easy to make and filling !

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  • If you're not going to use your bananas before they get brown, you can cut them up and freeze them for smoothies!

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  • tip number 1: GET A MENTOR it is soo fun to teach people how to cook and i learned from my grandma at around 18, she was a blast and i learned much more than i could by reading recipes.

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  • Lentils are cheap, filling and nutritious. They're also dried so they last ages and make great veggie curries. I'm omnivorous but prefer them to meat dishes. Though they do go well with meat too

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  • Ok ur getting advice from a 14 year old haha.. Make sure to buy organic shit potatos tomatos u can eat the skin of the potatoe too :3 and yes organic food is expensive DOI but do u wanna live a healthy life style haha 🙃👌🏼

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  • I need to start adulting so I want to know this too! :)

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  • Do not go ovee your Budget

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