Bake Shepherd’s Pie Directly in Potato Skins

Only have to substitute tofu for the meat, or more vegetables to make it vegetarian friendly.

Store Leftover Frying Oil in the Freezer

Don’t think of your freezer as nothing more than cold storage space: You can use it as an essential kitchen tool.

Source: 6 surprising foods you should keep in the freezer

That’ll make your ice cream tasty…  Chocolate chip mint with a hint of onion rings and fish sticks.

Why Chicken Broth Packs a Bigger Flavor Punch than Beef Broth

Here’s my list of 22 common supermarket ingredients that you should never put in your shopping cart, along with suggestions on what to look for instead.

Source: 22 Supermarket Items You Should Leave on the Shelf (and What to Get Instead)

  • I don’t like beefsteak tomatoes, period.
  • Better Than Bouillon = better than bouillon, boxes, etc.

Give Your Grains a Creamy Flavor Boost by Cooking Them in Coconut Milk

From chewy farro to a simple pot of rice, barely a day goes by that we’re not cooking or consuming some kind of grain. Still, as with any staple, we can grow weary of the same old flavors day in and day out. Isn’t there an easy way to shake things up in the grain pot? Something that doesn’t involve more chopping or fancy ingredients? You bet there is!

Source: The Easiest Way to Boost the Flavor of Rice and Grains

Uplift your vegetables by smothering them in cheese!  Coconut milk is good and all, but yikes… calories.

Cooking porridge oats in apple juice is also fairly common. Other options for steel cut oats include:

  • Whey for sweet/ sour (depends on the whey)
  • Beef stock for savory
  • Dark beer for curiosity
  • Cocoa powder for fun

Bone Broth Won’t Boost Your Immunity (but It Still Makes Great Soup)

If you see someone walking down the street with a coffee cup in hand that smells more like a bowl of chicken noodle soup than a pumpkin spice latté, don’t be alarmed. It’s just part of the newest food craze: drinking bone broth.

Source: Why You Shouldn’t Believe Everything You’ve Heard About Bone Broth

The broth does contain a few important nutrients, but you can get them in far greater quantities from other types of food (like, for example, the meat you ate off the bones before you started boiling them). The claims that the broth is “nourishing” or that it contains any meaningful amount of collagen protein are pretty much dead in the water—and we’ve known that since 1934.

Couple of related reads:

Chicken Broth Comes Out Better on the Stovetop or Pressure Cooker, Not the Slow Cooker

…there are also times when I’m in a hurry and I want that great chicken stock NOW. Likewise, there are days when I need to step out for a while and I don’t want to leave an unattended pot simmering on the stovetop. This is when I think about pulling out the pressure cooker or the slow cooker. But how do the results compare?

Source: Ask the Food Lab: Can I Make Stock in a Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker?

Don’t forget that you can alter the body by adding gelatin.

  1. The author set his slow cooker on low. He should have made a fourth batch with it set on high.
  2. Different slow cookers reach different temperatures. Mine reaches a good simmer on low and a boil on high.
  3. He doesn’t say whether he started with cooked or raw chicken scraps. A couple of the best batches of stock I’ve ever made were from the carcass of my Thanksgiving turkey done in a slow cooker which I started right after the meal an let simmer all night. I wonder if using cooked bones makes a difference.

Easily Upgrade Leftovers With a Simple Pan Sauce Recipe

Your pan should already have a tablespoon or so of fat in it (leftover from browning your meat); if it doesn’t, supplement with olive oil. Now add an aromatic or two to the pan: A couple of smashed garlic cloves or a sliced shallot; a sturdy fresh herb, like thyme or rosemary. Give them a few minutes over gentle heat so they release their flavors.

Source: How to Make a Simple Pan Sauce

This is essentially making a gravy for your leftovers, which is a straightforward enough idea, but I like that this recipe is so simple and quick, and you can make it straight from the pan after reheating left over food.

Use Mushroom Stems for Broth Instead of Throwing Them Away

Foraging season is upon us, which means that our mycophagy (you’ll remember that’s the practice of consuming mushrooms) is in full swing—even if said foraging happens in the aisles of our local supermarket. But unless you’re dealing with mushroom varieties that are more stem than cap, like enoki or trumpet, there’s one part of mushrooms we’re not always consuming: the stems.

Source: Velvety Mushroom Soup: The Best Use for Mushroom Stems

The advice mostly applies to mushrooms with tough stems, like Shiitakes.

Thicken Soup with Blended White Beans for a Gluten-Free Alternative

While some broths are destined to remain thin and wispy, other soups taste best when served thick and creamy. But what do you do when it’s too late to add a slurry to a meaty soup? Or you’re gluten-free and must skip flour and bread? Or are vegan and don’t like the idea of butter in your soup?

The answer to all these culinary obstacles lies in white beans. Blended white beans.

Source: Here Is My Favourite Gluten-Free Way to Thicken Soup

Roasted carrots would help thicken too, while sweetening.

For a moment, I thought the recipe suggested navy beans – which contain a low dose of vitamin K (1 mcg of vitamin K per cup).  But cannellini beans have:

  • 1 tablespoon/12 grams of white beans contains 0.7 mcg of vitamin K – 1% Daily Value (DV)
  • 1 ounce/28 grams of white beans contains 1.6 mcg of vitamin K – 2% DV
  • 100 grams of white beans contains 5.6 mcg of vitamin K – 7% DV
  • 1 cup/202 grams of white beans contains 11.3 mcg of vitamin K – 14% DV

The example recipe calls for 0.25 cup, so roughly 50 grams.  That’s likely to be around 3 mcg of vitamin K, or 3% DV.  Be aware so you can be careful!

Ramen: Slurping is Mandatory

Why? Because slurping your noodles isn’t rude, it actually serves three purposes:

  1. It cools off your mouthful of noodles just enough to let you enjoy them while the rest of the bowl stays piping hot, and
  2. It aerates the noodles and the broth, allowing the flavors to mellow out and fully develop before you chew and swallow.
  3. If you eat your ramen daintily, the process can take a long time and the noodles will get all mushy.

Source: Slurping’s Mandatory: Why Getting Messy with Ramen Makes It Taste Better

Western etiquette says slurping is bad – and yes, as a result many of us find the sound irritating.  And it can be messy with spray…  But in some eastern cultures, eating very silently is rude.  Like how burping is a compliment to the chef?  Either way, ramen shops are often clear about the importance of slurping.