Whether you live in the barracks, a small apartment, or a house, having some basic cooking tools will help with easy meal preparations. A few appliance such as a rice cooker, crock-pot or a toaster oven may help with simple meals. If you live in the barracks, check with housing office for specific guidance for cooking devices (rice cookers, crock-pots, etc.).
Pots, pans, and other cooking tools may be available to borrow from Army Community Service (ACS). If you must purchase your own cooking tools and devices, research and shop for the best quality at an affordable price. The next few pages contain an illustrative guide to some of the helpful and common cooking devices and tools. You do not have to purchase every single device pictured on the next few pages! Pick only those devices and tools you think you will use the most often. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions when operating, cleaning, and storing your kitchen devices and tools.
(Note: Some appliances may not be allowed in the barracks.)
Slow-cookers can help you turn nearly any combination of ingredients into a delicious, comforting, and low-cost dish with plenty of leftovers.
The slightly tougher, and therefore, less expensive cuts forms of meat are perfect for the slow-cooker. The long hours and low temperature of the slow-cooker will soften even the toughest of meats.
Keep an eye out for ingredients that are on sale and double up on soup, stew, and casserole recipes. Put the extras in plastic/glass sealable containers or storage bags, and store them in the freezer or fridge. You’ll have heat-n-eat meals at your fingertips!
Vegetarian protein sources (like beans) tend to be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than meat or fish. You can use canned or dried beans. Dried beans tend to be less expensive than canned beans and are often lower in sodium. When using dried beans, soak them overnight in water and drain them in the morning before using.
low sodium canned vegetables is a great time saver for your slow cooked meal. Canned vegetables only need to be heated. Put your canned vegetables in during the final 45 minutes of your cooking time so they retain their shape and texture.
* Note: The above recommendation does not apply to canned beans like pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, etc. You can put these in at the start of the cooking time and their texture will not be diminished.
Follow these 7 tips to help your blender last longer and still produce a smooth and nutritious beverage!
*If the above steps are still too hard on your low wattage blender (300 watts), blend your liquid and fruit first (pulse the ingredients first, and then go from low to high speed). After your fruit is sufficiently blended, add your greens in small batches.