Ever have a blank mind when it comes to what to cook – especially when you are in a hurry to get meals done? Fret not. It’s more common than you think and happens frequently to busy people who are constantly multi-tasking to get more done at the same time. Use the Cookidoo® mobile app for easy meal planning and versatile shopping for the required ingredients while you’re on the go. Planning makes little goes a long way and is one of the best way to help us stick to our food budget. A few key strategies (for example, planning meals based on the ingredients we already have in our kitchen, buying produce in season, and making freezer-friendly meals in bulk) can reduce our weekly spend, as well as limit food waste.
Tip 1 : Search for recipes that your family likes in Cookidoo®
If you are clueless about what meals to plan for, start by searching for those you know for sure your family will like. Add the recipes into “My Week”. You can also search for recipes or those you have created in your Created Recipes based on ingredients you already have in your pantry too.
Tip 2 : Add recipes into My Week
Populate My Week with recipes you intend to cook for your family. You can add as many recipes as you wish to cook into your Cookidoo® calendar. Click My Week in Cookidoo® and get a holistic view of all your planned dishes for the week/weeks ahead.
Tip 3 : Add recipes into Shopping List for more efficient shopping
Shopping List in Cookidoo® lets you combine ingredients together so nothing is wasted and shopping for ingredients is easier. When your mobile Cookidoo® App is updated to the latest version 5.6.1, Shopping List feature in the app may even be used when you are offline – a useful enhancement since many grocery stores are often located in building basements with poorer network coverage. Shop smarter with Cookidoo’s Shopping List.
Tip 4 : Waste not
For rarely used ingredient(s) that may not be used up in one recipe or an expensive ingredient that is hard to find and wasteful not to finish, search with the filter on in Cookidoo® for more recipes that use the ingredient(s) to ensure we use up the ingredient(s) with no wastage. Portion freezing is another option to prevent wastage as the lifespan of ingredients can be stretched with freezing and when you freeze in portions, you will only use up required portions since for food safety, we should not be de-thawing and thawing food again. Do not discard vegetable roots or meat bones, these parts are still reusable to flavour other dishes.
Tip 5 : Scale your daily portions
Use the Scale feature in Cookidoo® to upscale or downscale the required portions of each recipe. Batch cooking in advance means you can freeze the cooked meals and quickly thaw for busy meal days.
Tip 6 : Make Mother Sauces (pastes)
Mother sauce is a basic sauce that serves as a base sauce to make new sauces that transform into another dish. In every culture, there is almost one all-in-one sauce that can be the base for many recipes. For Asians, basic rempah is the mother sauce – usually consisting of chilli, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste, lemongrass and ginger. Using mother sauce as a base on to build other seasoning mixes and/or dishes. It’s a clever short cut to cook dishes faster as you can easily save at last an hour in food preparation and cooking time. Freeze mother sauces/pastes into recipe portions and use as and when needed for short cut dishes.
Tip 7 : Pack meals in weighted portions
When we cook our own food, we know exactly the ingredients that go into the cooking – so, it’s easier to eat better and stay within any dietary plan. Pack pre-cooked meals into weighted portions to avoid over eating. Adopting a diet rich in whole foods that we cook from scratch will help to limit processed food and is a good starting point to keeping our weight in check.
Tip 8 : Homemade the staples
Making our own pantry and fridge staples can save quite a bit of money both in the short and long-term. It’s easy to create so many basics in the Thermomix® – flours, baking powder, icing sugar, spice blends, stock powder, nut milks and butter, condiments – to stretch our budget! Once the basics are sorted, move on to making other staples like bread, granola, yoghurt and more. Devoted bakers can save an incredible amount of time from investing in a Thermomix® as it can do the heavy lifting for you, tackling mundane tasks while we focus on other parts of the cooking.
Check out these smart Thermomix® recipe ideas for the busy home cooks :
1. Staples such as pizza dough, flat bread and bread rolls
Basic pizza dough, cauliflower rice, portioned and frozen for quick meals during busy week days.
2. Time-saving one pot rice or noodle dishes. These convenient all-in-one dishes combine many ingredients into tasty dishes. Try the popular Yam Rice or the fail-proof Braised Yee Mian Noodles.
3. Make mother sauces such as sambal chilli, tikka paste, Nyonya spice paste, basil pesto, for convenient transformation to many dishes.
4. Instead of taking hours to slowly flavour stews, soups and hotpot soup base, cheat by adding some ready-homemade chicken stock powder, mushroom stock, vegetable stock pastes and liquid beef stock.
5. Always have desserts ready by freezing some cut fruits like bananas and mangoes and store them in bags for quick 30-second sorbets!
6. Check out these money saving recipes you can make your own at home : gut friendly homemade yogurt, healthy nut and seeds butter, versatile soup; cheese cakes; and more.