Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Energy-efficient cooking

I wrote a while ago about our Braun food processor, and dad mentioned how it helped him and mum economise when they were students by making mince out of cheap cuts of meat. That got me thinking about the ways Ed and I economised when we were students. A big part of it was being energy efficient whilst cooking, so I made a list of things we did:
  • Put lids on pans. Food cooks quicker and often you can turn the ring down
  • Use the smallest ring possible, and turn the heat as low as possible. Gas flickering up around the sides of your pan is wasteful (and liable to set your handles on fire)
  • Put steamers on top of pans so your veggies and rice are all cooking on just one ring
  • Turn off the heat under the pan a few minutes before end of cooking time. For example we learned how to cook rice using 2/3 of the electricity by boiling it (in twice its own volume of water) with a lid on for 10 minutes, then turning off the ring and just leave it sitting for a further 10 minutes. It cooks perfectly
  • You can also often turn the oven off before the end of the cooking time and leave the door closed. This can be disastrous with sponge cakes or souffles, though, which may collapse
  • Mum bought us a pressure cooker, which meant we could cook dried beans (a staple for us then and now) in a fraction of the time
  • One student flat we rented had a split oven. We found we hardly ever needed to use the larger oven, most things could be done in the small oven, saving energy. When we replaced our own cooker recently I made sure to get one with a split oven
  • We also tried to cook more than one thing in the oven, for example whilst our roast stuffed butternut squash was cooking for dinner, a pie or sponge pudding was also baking for dessert
  • Microwave ovens use less energy than conventional cooking but the end result isn't always exactly the same. We learned a few tricks such as pre-cooking things in the microwave then finishing them off in the oven. Baked potatoes for example are just as delicious if you microwave them until they are 3/4 done, then stick them in a maximum heat oven for the last 15-20 minutes to crisp up the skin
  • One-pot meals obviously save energy. We liked casseroles with beans and vegetables and dumplings, and we also ate a lot of pasta dishes cooked this way
  • I've read that slow cookers are very efficient, but they seem more suited to meat-based meals than the vegetarian food our family usually eats, so I don't have one
I still do some of those things, but now we're not so hard-up I have got out of the habit of doing them all the time. I'll try to use our steamer and pressure cookers more often, and also make sure the oven is full whenever possible.

13 comments:

Steph in Roker said...

Hiya, another idea is to batch cook stuff. We make our own meatballs & special tomato gloop, which we cook in quantitly then freeze to re-heatanother day. Buying ingredients in bulk can save money and it's cheaper to bake 45 meatballs in the oven at once then re-heat, for example, than to bake 3 separate lots.
The other thing we'd do is bake meatloaf and eat it hot with veg, spuds & gravy, then we'd eat it cold the next day in a sandwich, or cold with salad and pickles.
I love flylady's 'rubber chicken' idea too.

Hedgewizard said...

All good common sense stuff Mel, but still useful to read over in case you've missed a trick. The rice thing frankly hadn't occurred to me - I'll give that a try next time I cook some.

Can't agree with the slow cooker thing though - it does our "Voodoo roots" dish perfectly! (Carrots, parsnips, swede, dried "black magic" runner beans, pearl barley, thyme, bay leaves, stout)

Wait... rubber chicken? (Searches)

Wulf said...

I concur with the Hedge... slow cookers work great with or without the addition of meat for an recipe that requires a long slow simmer.

Lesley said...

I certainly still do all of that, Mel. I steam veges over boiling spuds and the resulting liquid in the bottom pan becomes the basis of tomorrow's soup with the addition of unserved or extra veg, and / or meat or chicken, (and various herbs from the garden) and either wizzed with a hand blender or left chunky.
The soup then simmers in the slow cooker whilst we go off to do our voluntary work each morning
We are such fans of slow cookers that we actually own two! They are SO economical and I've now managed to convert my daughter in law to using one as well.

Melanie Rimmer said...

I think I'll have to get one, then. I could do curry or chilli in it, or casserole with dumplings. I've just found loads of vegetable suet lurking in the back of a cupboard so I think I need to make some dumplings to use it all up.

kethry said...

rubber chicken = roast chicken one day. something with the left over bits the next day. e.g. curry. making a stock and then a soup the third day. rubber as in.. making it stretch. :)

I've cooked rubber mince before now, that is, making a small amount of mince stretch, not a comment on the quality of my cooking! I've learned that boiling up 4oz of green lentils for 10 minutes, draining then chucking in the pan right after the mince has been browned bulks any meat right out by double (sometimes more) and is better for you. I also add lots and lots of vegetables, then make different things. for example, last sunday i made a batch of mince this way with a small bag of mince, maybe a handful of mince in size. Some of it went to make a cottage pie like dish (a variant on it with sauerkraut and smoked sausage that i learned from my OH's mother who is dutch), some of it went to make a beef curry. In this way i made that handful of mince feed us for 3 nights.

regarding the microwave, there are some foods that can be done in the microwave completely. i have a recipe for microwave sponge - 2oz butter, 2 oz sugar, creamed, add a beaten egg, milk, flavouring and 4 oz flour (bit at a time in the victoria sponge method), put into a pudding basin with the lid on top and nuked for around 4 minutes. just enough time for me to make custard. I can vary this with different flavourings - a lemon one with lemon essence in the sponge and lemon curd at the bottom a la syrup sponge, jam sponge, syrup sponge, spotted harry (what OH calls spotted dick) - if i do this i add mixed spice and use dark brown sugar as it gives oodles more flavour, as well as the sultanas. this way i can make a pud in as little as 15 minutes, and for pennies less than those boil-in-the-tin ones, or even store made readymeal ones. probably taste better too.

keth
xx

Anonymous said...

The best investment for great food & energy efficiency I have found is the Thermomix, made by Vorwerk. It seems like a pricey outlay at first but it will pay itself in a year with all the money you save at the supermarket. I grind my own wholewheat & make bread in it, as well as risottos, poasta, mince meat, make desserts, make fresh sorbet & ice-cream,juice, almond meal, rice milk, butter, peanut butter, make vegetable stock, steam your dinner, the list does go on...there are few things you can't make with it and it takes considerably less time, less packging of food....Another beautiful benefit I have found from having the Thermomix is that I have complete control over what I allow my family to eat, no additives, no nasty hidden chemicals & carcinogens which are allowed to go undetected by the current Australian labelling. It is the best move you could make for your family's health & for the health of the planet.
By the way I can make my own bread from whole wheat and no I am not a great cook....in fact I still don't even know how to boil an egg, but the food I can make in it you would think I was a supurb cook. I reccomend everyone to at least attend a demo & see what I am talking about.

Every home should deifinately have one...not just ones with kids.

From a very satisfied & happy Thermomix owner

Andy Guo said...

At first I was marveled to see such a blog.Your blog is sparkling. It has a great appeal. How are U able to cope such a lot.

Meet me at
http://gwb-chinese.blogspot.com/
Waiting with curiosity. To know your innovation.

learn chinese said...

Thank you very much for sharing.
Through your blog, a lot of people including me of course have a chance to read and learn from.
I have read some of your post and I really enjoyed reading it.
And if you want to learn chinese,please visit at
http://www.chinesepal.cn
or
http://www.chinesepal.cn/first/learn-chinese/index.htm
Thanks again and looking forward for more of your posting soon!

liwo said...

成人電影,情色,本土自拍, 美女交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, A片, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, UT聊天室, 尋夢園聊天室, 男同志聊天室, UT男同志聊天室, 聊天室尋夢園, 080聊天室, 080苗栗人聊天室, 6K聊天室, 女同志聊天室, 小高聊天室, 情色論壇, 色情網站, 成人網站, 成人論壇, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, 成人聊天室, 成人小說, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色聊天室, 寄情築園小遊戲, AV女優,成人電影,情色,本土自拍, A片下載, 日本A片, 麗的色遊戲, 色色網, ,嘟嘟情人色網, 色情網站, 成人網站, 正妹牆, 正妹百人斬, aio,伊莉, 伊莉討論區, 成人遊戲, 成人影城,
ut聊天室, 免費A片, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友, 本土自拍, 免費A片下載, 性愛,
成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, aV, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片,成人電影,情色,本土自拍,

uhfdf said...

情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, ut聊天室, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網, 影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友,

免費A片, 本土自拍, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊,

fgeegf said...

aaaa片, 免費聊天, 咆哮小老鼠影片分享區, 金瓶梅影片, av女優王國, 78論壇, 女同聊天室, 熟女貼圖, 1069壞朋友論壇gay, 淫蕩少女總部, 日本情色派, 平水相逢, 黑澀會美眉無名, 網路小說免費看, 999東洋成人, 免費視訊聊天, 情色電影分享區, 9k躺伯虎聊天室, 傑克論壇, 日本女星杉本彩寫真, 自拍電影免費下載, a片論壇, 情色短片試看, 素人自拍寫真,

做愛的漫畫圖片, 情色電影分享區, 做愛ㄉ影片, 丁字褲美女寫真, 色美眉, 自拍俱樂部首頁, 日本偷自拍圖片, 色情做愛影片, 情色貼圖區, 八國聯軍情色網, 免費線上a片, 淫蕩女孩自拍, 美國a片, 都都成人站, 色情自拍, 本土自拍照片, 熊貓貼圖區, 色情影片, 5278影片網, 脫星寫真圖片, 粉喵聊天室, 金瓶梅18, sex888影片分享區, 1007視訊, 雙贏論壇, 爆爆爽a片免費看, 天堂私服論壇, 情色電影下載, 成人短片, 麗的線上情色小遊戲, 情色動畫免費下載, 日本女優, 小說論壇, 777成人區, showlive影音聊天網, 聊天室尋夢園, 義大利女星寫真集, 韓國a片, 熟女人妻援交, 0204成人, 性感內衣模特兒, 影片, 情色卡通, 85cc免費影城85cc, 本土自拍照片, 成人漫畫區, 18禁, 情人節阿性,

免費成人影音, 彩虹自拍, 小魔女貼影片, 自拍裸體寫真, 禿頭俱樂部, 環球av影音城, 學生色情聊天室, 視訊美女, 辣妹情色圖, 性感卡通美女圖片, 影音, 情色照片 做愛, hilive tv , 忘年之交聊天室, 制服美女, 性感辣妹, ut 女同聊天室, 淫蕩自拍, 處女貼圖貼片區, 聊天ukiss tw, 亞亞成人館, 777成人, 秋瓷炫裸體寫真, 淫蕩天使貼圖, 十八禁成人影音, 禁地論壇, 洪爺淫蕩自拍, 秘書自拍圖片,

Anonymous said...

免費a片 a片 免費av 色情影片 情色 情色網 色情網站 色情 成人網成人圖片成人影片 18成人 av av女優avav女優情慾 走光 做愛 sex H漫 情色 情趣用品 情色 a片 a片 成人網站 成人影片 情趣用品 情趣用品アダルトアダルト アダルトサイト アダルトサイト 情趣用品
補正下着

Share it