Learn simple strategies for preparing healthy, home-cooked meals every night of the week
1. To save time during the week, get chopping over the weekend. Plan your menus for the week and chop all the veggies and meats you will need. Label and store all the ingredients in small containers, then place everything in a larger plastic bag, with the meal and prep date prominently noted. Cooking will be a breeze all week long!
2. Make a big batch of your signature spice blend to keep on hand so you don't have to measure the individual spices every time. Your personalized spice mix can also make a fun gift.
3. Why dirty a knife and a cutting board when you can snip green onions and herbs right onto a plate or bowl? Use your kitchen shears to chop a can of whole tomatoes without pouring them onto the cutting board--just slip the shears into the open can and cut away!
4. Use an egg slicer to slice mushrooms and strawberries in a flash.
5. Freeze 1/2 cup measures of ingredients such as onions and peppers to make quick soups and stir fries with less chopping.
6. Buy meats in bulk and freeze portions with marinade inside a plastic zip top bag. As it defrosts, the meat will become infused with the marinade and stay moist.
7. Ice cream scoops do double duty--use them to remove seeds from squash, scoop melon balls or make uniform sized drop cookies.
8. For fresh ginger flavor on hand anytime, peel a large hunk of ginger and immerse in a glass jar filled with vodka or sherry. When you need fresh ginger, just grate off what you need and pop the rest of the root back into the jar and seal.
9. Reduce cleanup time and be safe! When chopping meats, use a flexible cutting board mat placed over your wooden board. When you're done, the mat can go straight to the sink. Then your wooden board can be safely used for fruits and veggies.
10. Bagged cole slaw mix isn't just for slaw! Use the pre-shredded mix of cabbages and carrots in stir-fries, soups and other savory sides.
11. Don't throw out your leftover rice! Use it to make fried rice, rice cakes or quick rice pudding.
12. To get the maximum amount of juice out of lemons and limes, pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds. This will break down the fibers inside, allowing juice to flow.
13. Peeling potatoes is a hassle! Leave the skin on your potatoes for more fiber and nutrients and to save time.
14. For a quick fix dessert garnish, use your vegetable peeler to make chocolate curls.
15. Almost out of Dijon? Don't let those last tablespoons go to waste. Add vinaigrette ingredients straight to the mustard jar and shake for mess-free salad dressing.