Avoid The Insta-Effect
There are a few things that can perpetuate the intimidation factor with cooking. One is the proliferation of perfect looking foods on blogs and social media. People think, “I could never do that!” It may sound counterintuitive, but having access to too many resources can leave you with information overload, which can feel overwhelming.
Build Your Perfect Pantry
I always have jarred beans, jarred tomatoes, garlic, onions, quinoa, whole-grain pasta, canned wild fish, oil, vinegar and capers in my cupboard. I also keep a few basics in my freezer for emergencies, such as individual pieces of wild fish and frozen vegetables. Building a meal with limited ingredients is liberating, provided you are using good-quality, seasonal ingredients.
Keep It Simple
Home cooking is not a competition, and not every meal has to be a 10 out of 10. Try to find satisfaction and pleasure in using high-quality foods, and learn to recognize the formulas in recipes so that you can swap spices, herbs or other supporting ingredients to make meals with a different flavor profile. Keeping ingredients on hand that are clean but can add flavor, like good spice blends, hot sauce, mustard, vinegar and citrus fruit, is also a good strategy.
Batch cooking and prepping ahead are efficient ways to ensure you cook at home more frequently since they require advance planning (the key to healthy cooking) and they allow you to get multiple tasks done at once. In the weekly dinner planners on my website (pamelasalzman.com), I always include a list of prep-ahead meals to give home cooks a jump start.
Find Cookbook Inspo
My new cookbook, Quicker Than Quick, is full of easy, accessible recipes. You know that whichever you turn to, it can be on the table fast, if you have some cooking experience. Each recipe has been taught and perfected in a few dozen classes, so they are clear and easy to follow – and they work!
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