As a young adult, it can be intimidating to navigate the kitchen and start cooking for yourself. But with a little bit of knowledge and practice, anyone can learn to cook delicious meals at home. Here's a simple guide to help you get started on your culinary journey!
“I never learnt how to cook in my childhood, and now it’s probably too late”, “It’s too much of an effort to buy groceries and then learn the recipe that I’ll most likely screw it up anyway” - these are some thoughts that may occur as you are about to order in for the fifth time this week, or when you’re on your way to the nearest neighborhood drive by restaurant. We completely understand though. Your apprehensions are valid. Eating is a necessity, but cooking on the other hand is no simple task. It takes time and dedication to build up essential skills around the kitchen.
It also does not help that the internet is overpopulated with recipe guides, meal-prep tips and “even you can do this…” type of cooking tutorials. It’s fair to say that many of these resources can be helpful. However, as a novice, the endless sea of information may alienate you and counterproductively, make you feel even more defeated. By the time you open your 20th “20 Super Easy Recipes to Make When You Are Learning How to Cook”, you’d have lost all interest. So you proceed to close all the tabs, and order in yet again (and so the cycle continues..)
Everyone should have a basic amount of cooking know-how - from meal prepping to cooking basic recipes. It’s an essential survival skill, after all. As a young adult, it can be intimidating to navigate the kitchen and start cooking for yourself. But with a little bit of knowledge and practice, anyone can learn to cook delicious meals at home. Here's a guide to help you get started on your culinary journey (and we promise, we’ll keep it super simple and easy for you to process!):
Don't try to tackle a complicated recipe right off the bat. Choose simple dishes that have fewer ingredients and fewer steps. As you get more comfortable in the kitchen, you can try more advanced recipes. Some easy meals to start with include pasta with sauce, easy stir-fry dishes, sandwiches and scrambled eggs. And most importantly, learn to cook dishes that YOU enjoy eating. You will be motivated to get it right, and it’s a better approach to learning how to cook than picking up a foreign recipe that an internet listicle says you should be making.
You don't need a lot of fancy equipment to start cooking, but having a few key tools will make your life a lot easier. A good chef's knife, a cutting board, and a set of pots and pans are all you really need to get started. You may also want to invest in some measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, and a wooden spoon. Without the relevant tools at your disposal, you may falter at every second step when following any recipe video tutorial.
Knowing how to chop an onion, mince garlic, or cook a pot of rice can go a long way in your culinary endeavors. These basic techniques will allow you to tackle a wide range of recipes. YouTube can be a great resource for learning cooking techniques, as you can watch step-by-step video tutorials. Learning the sort of cooking that helps you put food on the table under 30 mins on a weeknight is what you want to slowly get adept at.
Want to learn some super simple stir-fry recipes that can be made in under 30 minutes? Read our blog post - Effortless Stir Fry Recipes
Before you start cooking, take some time to plan out your meals for the week. This will help you make sure you have all the ingredients you need and can help you save money by avoiding unnecessary trips to the store. It can also help you avoid the temptation to order takeout when you don't have a plan for dinner.
Done with grocery shopping? Next up is meal-prep. Get started with The Ultimate Meal Prep Guide for Beginners.
Cooking is all about trial and error. It's okay if your first attempt at a recipe doesn't turn out perfectly. Just keep practicing and you'll get better with time. Do not fear deviating from the recipe you’re following to make it your own. Many young folks do not trust their cooking instincts but tell you what, improvisation is the path to becoming a seasoned cook. On the other hand, if you're not sure how to fix a mistake you've made, don't be afraid to ask for help or do some research online. Once you start experimenting with a variety of sauces and ingredients, you shall also instinctively learn a lot about your own taste preferences.
Cooking is a creative outlet, so don't be afraid to try out different flavors and ingredients. Yes, start with simple recipes but once you have mastered them, having the same food on rotation can get boring real quick. So, look for recipes from different cuisines and see what you like best. You may discover that you have a knack for Thai food or Mexican cuisine. The more you enjoy the process of cooking, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Watch the video of Italian Mushroom Risotto, made by Nymble! ⬇️
As a young adult, you may not always have someone to cook for. It's important to learn how to cook for yourself so you can still eat healthy, tasty meals even when you're cooking for one. Look for recipes that can be easily scaled down or that can be easily repurposed for leftovers.
Read our blog post - Salvage Your Leftovers with these Quick Fix Recipes
It's important to follow proper food safety guidelines to avoid getting sick from foodborne illness. This includes washing your hands before handling food, keeping raw meats separate from other foods, cooking food at an appropriate temperature to kill harmful bacteria, refrigerating perishable food within 1-2 hours, and thoroughly cleaning ingredients, fruits and veggies before cooking, to avoid contamination.
As you make cooking a daily activity in your life, you’ll realize that now you have gathered reasonable solutions for all the apprehensions that you had before you set on this journey. The more recipes or cooking techniques you grasp, the more inventive and confident you become. And as the saying goes - “food is best when shared”, do not shy away from inviting your friends and family to show off your cooking skills, or invite people to cook-alongs! For hosting your next dinner gathering, get some ideas from our blog post - The Ultimate Guide For Hosting A Dinner Party.
With a little bit of practice and patience, anyone can learn to cook delicious meals at home. So don't be afraid to get in the kitchen and give it a try!
Having talked about all of this, we still won’t deny the fact that getting good at cooking really does take time. Even more so if you have never learnt how to cook in childhood, if you have an extremely tight work schedule on weekdays and no energy to cook on weekends or maybe your cooking skills are just…limited, with a lot to catch up on.
What you need but never thought you could actually have, is your own private robot chef (sounds surreal, we know, but in reality - it’s as practical as it gets). Nymble is a fully automated cooking robot that does all the hard work for you. Keeping all your daily cooking hassles in mind, this robot was made to take care of your daily meals, while also giving you, as a user, complete authority over the food you wish to have. You can choose from 500+ recipes, and filter them by the diet or cuisine of your preference. From keto to vegan, and Korean to Venezuelan - it can cook it all. What’s more? Many recipes are curated by celebrated MasterChefs themselves (so you can be sure that the food is going to be utterly delicious..).
Click on the link to learn how to cook MasterChef US Winner, Dorian Hunter’s Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta at home!
And as for usability, you can exercise a lot of control - schedule meals ahead of time, track recipe progress from your phone, unlock nutritional info for every recipe you cook, customize taste and spice levels, give feedback to your private chef so that the next serving is improved as per your indicators, and this is only scratching the surface. Learn everything you must know about Nymble, right - here.