As I mentioned in last week's post, I'm obsessed with improv cooking. It's the best way to get dinner on the table in no time at all without the tedious planning involved in following recipes.
The first and most important rule of improv cooking is to learn how to stock your pantry with reusable ingredients. It's just like creating a wardrobe. You need lots of neutral items that pair well with one another and then you can add in a few pops of color to add interest. The more neutrals you have on hand the easier it will be to throw together a variety of different dishes on the spot.
Here are four quick tips to get you started:
- When buying fresh vegetables choose ones that can be used in all kinds of cuisines and can be eaten both raw and cooked. Carrots, celery, spinach, scallions, cauliflower, and broccoli are all good examples.
- Stock your pantry with whole grains and legumes that last a long time and can be used in a number of different ways. A few of my favorites include: quinoa, brown rice, and lentils.
- Stock up on a few high-quality protein sources that last a long time and can be used in a variety of cuisines. For example, eggs, Parmesan cheese, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Keep a few sauces, dips, and oils on hand so you can spice up an otherwise boring dish. Salsa, soy sauce, hummus, olive oil, and vinegars (like balsamic, apple cider, and red wine vinegar) are all good examples.
For more tips like this and to learn how to combine these basic ingredients and more, join me for my one-hour Improv Cooking online course. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Cheers to you,
P.S. For all my improv cooks out there, share some of your tips in the comments below!