Our ancestors knew these recipes, so why don’t we? Here are six classic recipes everyone should know how to make (especially if you’re 20 and up!).
You’re hungry, standing in your kitchen, and longing for a wholesome, home-cooked meal. If you’re like the majority of millennials, you likely turn to delivery or a meal out in this situation. You’re part of a generation that eats out at bars and restaurants 30 percent more often than any other generation.
But if you want to save money and improve your health, you likely know that you need to cut down on your meals out. And if you’re concerned that your lack of cooking skills will leave you starving, you’re in the right place for help. We’ve got a list of six classic recipes that everyone in their 20’s should know, so read on and begin your culinary adventure.
1. The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
Life is short, so let’s start with dessert. You may not be ready to tackle a full meal from scratch, but it’s hard to resist the promise of warm, homemade cookies. There are countless recipes out there, and you may end up trying a few before you find your favorite.
Most classic recipes will call for the same basic ingredients. Make sure you have flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, butter, sugar, eggs, and your favorite chocolate chips on hand. After some practice, you can experiment with different variations, adding in things like nuts or white chocolate chips.
2. A Restaurant Quality Salad That Can Stand on Its Own
You have to balance out those cookies with a healthy, nutrient-rich salad every now and then. Plus, salads are a great place to start for new cooks because you can get away with not even turning on the stove or oven. The key to a good salad that won’t leave you hungry an hour later is to use a combination of different types of ingredients.
Build your perfect salad from the base up, and start with a power green like spinach, kale, romaine, arugula, or any mixture you like. Get crunch, color, and added nutrients with some more vegetables, choose a healthy, filling protein, and then add some fat with avocado or nuts. If you’re unsure about the right combinations, look online for seasonal versions that will help keep you healthy and satisfied all year long.
3. A Hearty Chili to Comfort Yourself or Warm a Crowd
When you’re new to cooking, creating several separate dishes for one whole meal can be intimidating. With chili, you can throw all your ingredients in one pot, let it cook for a while, and end up with a nourishing dish that can feed a group. Using a slow cooker makes this meal that much easier to whip up.
You can customize your chili to suit different dietary restrictions or to create a seasonal flavor. Load up on beans instead of meat for a vegetarian version, and throw in sweet potato or squash for the perfect Fall meal. Chili freezes well, too, so cook in bulk and save your usual food delivery money to use on your favorite fashion subscription box.
4. Classic Recipes for Mac and Cheese but With Grown-Up Twists
You may not have been expecting to see a childhood favorite on this list, but we’re not talking about the boxed stuff here. A homemade, classic mac and cheese dish can be comforting but also impressive. Most recipes will call for a pasta – shells, macaroni, penne, or whatever you prefer – cheese, milk, seasonings, and a breadcrumb topping.
You can take any basic mac and cheese recipe up a notch by adding some unexpected but complimentary ingredients. Think tomato and spinach with ricotta or butternut squash with nutmeg and Gruyere. Serve your grown-up mac and cheese with a side salad and we promise you won’t miss your powdered cheese and chicken nuggets.
5. A Roast Chicken to Star in Tonight’s Dinner and Tomorrow’s Lunch
Don’t let the thought of cooking a whole chicken intimidate you. The extra effort up-front is well worth it for an impressive, delicious meal. And like chili, you can even find a recipe that will allow you to set and forget this one in your slow cooker.
Using an organic, free-range chicken can make a huge difference in flavor, so seek that out if you can afford it and it’s available at your grocery store. Most recipes will also include complimentary vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, and onions, as well as herbs like rosemary or parsley. Throw leftovers on top of a bed of spinach or with rice and enjoy for lunch all week.
6. A Frittata That Will Inspire You to Skip Expensive Restaurant Brunches
There are far too many think pieces written about the millennial generation and their love affair with brunch. We don’t see anything wrong with relaxing and indulging over delicious food for a few hours on a weekend morning. But the spending and calories from restaurant food can really add up, so why not make your own dish to enjoy at home?
A frittata is like an omelet in a fancier outfit, with a fancier name. All you need are eggs, delicious add-ins, and a great skillet – invest in a cast iron one if you can. Most frittatas can bake in 15 minutes or under, which is less time than it would take your server to even take your order at a popular brunch spot.
Reap the Benefits of Cooking Your Own Meals
Learning to cook classic recipes at home can help you spend less money and have more control over what you eat. With more money in your pocket and the confidence that comes from eating healthier, you can focus on indulging elsewhere, like fashion. Check out some of our fashion-forward articles, like our tips on dressing for your body type and the top swimsuit trends of the year.