Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Shortcuts in the Kitchen

When life gets busy (as it usually is), who wants to spend all day in the kitchen?  To help make things a little easier,  we asked the LDW ladies about their favorite shortcuts in the kitchen: 

Prep Early, Be a Kitchen Ninja Later

  • “In most quick meals the protein prep is the longest part. You can pre-cook dried beans, ground beef or turkey, shredded beef or pork, and cubed or shredded chicken, then once cooled, portion into quart bags and freeze the cooked proteins. (I do 2 cups of anything--that's the portion size I find most useful.) Do beans however you prefer, stove top or slow cooker; brown ground meat or cubed chicken on the stove top, and use a slow cooker for shredded beef, pork, or chicken.
  • “During the day (I'm a SAHM) I do bits of all the prep work for dinner for the family so that when it's time to throw it together, only takes me about 30 minutes.
  • “Microwave potatoes before baking them.  Just a few minutes of zapping can cut down the oven time significantly!
  • “I cook a bigger batch of rice and keep it in the fridge (for short term) and the freezer for longer term- then just reheat it when we are having something with rice.

Shortcuts in the Kitchen
  • “Use scissors (clean ones) to chop cilantro, parsley, green onions, etc. instead of a knife.
  • “My favorite tip is for prepping apples for my kids to snack on. I cut the apple in half, then use a melon baller to scoop out the core, then cut each half into quarters, and poof! So much easier and faster than cutting the core out of each section individually.”
  • “After opening coconut milk, tomato paste, etc if you don't use the whole can, pop them into ice cube containers and freeze then transfer to a ziplock. You can just pop one out instead of wasting a whole can every time.
  • “I keep jarred Tikka Masala and Dopiaza sauce on hand. Especially handy if I can use leftover chicken, but I usually just put chicken in the oven and let it cook while the rice cooks in my rice cooker. I can be doing other things while the rice is cooking and the chicken is baking. Cut the chicken into pieces and toss with sauce. Serve over rice (we do veggies too). Even my kiddo likes the Tikka Masala.
  • “I save my plastic grocery bags and use them as 'garbage bowl' as Rachel Ray would say, but it saves multiple trips around the corner to my trash can. When I’m done cooking, tie it closed and into the trash it goes.

Quick Recipes
  • “One quick dessert tip I got from Sandra Lee (I just love SemiHomemade!) is to purchase a pre-made angel food cake, pour a can of fruit pie filling in the center, and frost it with Cool Whip. It's super easy and goes over well. Light for summer time, too.




Kelly Jo said...

Thanks for these tips! Always good to know!