Food is a necessity of life. However, some people prepare dishes that can be unintentionally unappetizing. Some prepare too mch more than their family and guests could eat. As a result, you have mountains of leftover food and dissatisfied individuals.
In this post, we will discover how you can make simple, everyday dishes more pleasing to the eyes and tastebuds.
Whether you’re a chef, homemaker, or even a student trying to get by, homecooked meals allow you to put nutritious food on the table without breaking the bank. Of course, there are meal kit delivery services and restaurants with healthy choices. But this doesn’t replace the value of a homecooked meal that’s suited to your taste and nutritional needs.
Nevertheless, a common problem that most cooks face is the quality of these self-prepared meals. When life gets in the way, many people admittedly turn everyday meals into a scavenger-hunt-type concoction of whatever is available in the fridge.
And what is the result?
Piles of leftover food and unhappy people leaving the table.
Don’t let this scenario turn into the norm! Thankfully, there are some ways to reverse this situation and make everyday dishes turn into 5-star creations using practical strategies. Let’s discover some of them.
How to Make Leftover Food More Appetizing
No, you don’t have to go all out and use all the Chinaware kept in your cupboard. However, placing your simple dishes in simple yet attractive containers can definitely make a difference.
Do you ever notice the psychology in eating ‘fancy’ in a restaurant with glassware? Imagine how you would feel if the same dishes were presented to you on a paper plate, with food bits and pieces scattered and scrambled everywhere? Not too appealing, right?
The same principle applies to your everyday meals. You can place them in semi-fancy casserole containers, a colorful-looking plate, or clear glassware. By simply upgrading the dishware presentation, you’re already miles ahead in making your food more appealing for the diners.
Spice Cabinet Upgrade
There’s a difference between someone who turns cook-crazy and someone whose a little curiosity pays off. In fact, there is no harm in being a little experimental in the kitchen. It’s where brilliant ideas are made. Thanks to the many curious and adventurous cooks, we now have an endless array of best-known recipes.
One way to experiment without going overboard (and wasting precious time) is through the use of spices. Spices are a great way to add depth and flavor to your everyday dishes, especially if you’re the salt and pepper kind of person.
The question is, how do you know if the spice you picked is an excellent match for your dish? Here are some tips:
- Start with spice blends: Spice blends are pre-made combinations that you can use for specific dishes. For example, there’s a cajun spice blend, Italian seasoning, dry rub, and many others you can try to create the perfect dish. Read through the ingredients and get a feel of what types of spice blend works with your recipe.
- Meat and vegetable spice guide: You can also get information on the right kind of spice to use for your meat and vegetables in the condiment labels. Some of these products have suggestions on what type of food you can use it on, such as beef, soup, fish, or stews.
- Research and taste test: If all else fails, there’s the trusty internet, and your instincts to back you up! You can search for information online such as flavor pairing guides or try them on your own. Get a small portion of your almost-finished dish and add a little bit of your desired spice, and see if it complements well.
Do your everyday dishes come with fresh fruit or vegetables? Do you also notice why your diners avoid them like the plague? A probable solution to that is to work on slicing techniques.
Although it isn’t necessary to pare attractive designs in your fruits and vegetable, it certainly helps to cut them to consistent slice sizes. Additionally, you could arrange them properly in a dish. A design that you can go for is arranging fruits and vegetables by color or type.
For example, if you’re using a round dish, you can make a quarter with julienne-cut carrots, another quarter with celery, a section for snap peas, and cheese. Make it even more attractive by placing a small, matching dipping bowl dish in the middle. This will surely catch your diners’ attention and will make them want to get more.
Leftover Food Magic
Another great skill in the kitchen, they say, is the ability to turn leftover food into upcycled masterpieces. Some may argue that not everybody has that talent for it or leftovers are meant for the trash. However, there are simple ways to make these old dishes taste like new again.
Here are some strategies:
- Leftover dry meat: Do you have leftover food from last night’s barbecue? Perhaps that store-bought fried chicken is turning stale in the fridge? A great way to reuse these dry types of meat is to turn them into delicious soups or stews. For example, fried chicken meat can be used for a chicken and dumplings soup, and barbecue beef can be placed in the crockpot for some sweet-style tomato beef stew.
- Leftover breakfast staples: Scrambled eggs, corned beef, and luncheon meat left unwanted in the fridge? You can quickly turn them into delicious snacks such as breakfast burrito, musubi, or even egg rolls with unique fillings.
- Leftover vegetables: Most of the time, people tend to throw out leftover salads when they turn stale. You can still create a delicious vegetable broth using peelings and remaining salad mixes for your soups.
Perhaps you’re a beginner in the kitchen who’s just trying to make more exciting recipes with simple skills. A smart way to please your diners is to use to power of pre-made sauces and dips.
For example, you can use a pre-made teriyaki sauce for stir-fried chicken. There’s also a brown gravy sauce available for ham, roast beef, or any breaded meat in general. Vegetables go well with a Greek yogurt pre-made dip or a ranch dressing.
If you’re unsure about a recipe, or just want to give your guests more flavor options, buying pre-made sauces are the way to go. Some staple sauces to have are soy sauce, tartar sauce, barbecue, mustard, ketchup, hoisin, and Worcestershire sauce.
Tasty Doesn’t Have to be Complicated
These everyday dish hacks are as simple as they can get. You don’t have to spend so much time, money, and effort making your dishes more appealing. Sometimes, it’s a matter of “how” things should be done, rather than exhausting your precious resources. Hopefully, these tips will inspire you to be creative and resourceful in the kitchen.