When I see a recipe for something that requires fancy tools and 100 complicated steps, I will most likely step away. I like to keep things simple, easy and practical. If I can’t do it in the half hour between my yoga class and Jeopardy, it’s probably not happening. The same goes for the groceries I bring home. If I know that it will go bad in a day or two- odds are it won’t get finished before it gets tossed.
What keeps me encouraged to keep eating and cooking good, healthy food are a few tricks that I have picked up along the way. They are simple things that make cooking easier and tastier.
- When you open a bag or box of baby spinach or spring mix place 2 clean dry paper towels in the container with the greens. This helps dry out moisture, and keeps your veggies from getting soggy so quickly.
- Store celery in water. My college roommates taught me this trick and I have never looked back. When you bring home a head of celery, cut and wash it then immediately store in a tupperware container filled with cold water. This keeps the celery so crunchy!
- When making something in the slow cooker, prep it the night before. Chop up veggies, add seasonings and other dry ingredients and refrigerate. Add sauces, canned beans and tomatoes just before turning on in the morning.
- Buy frozen fruit and veggies. Frozen fruit makes the BEST smoothies and blender sorbet. Frozen peas, corn and green beans are always a great way to eat a quick veggie when there is “nothing to eat”.
- Use your blender or food processor to finely chop garlic and onion to go in soups, chilis and sauces. Let’s get real chopping fresh garlic is a pain and no one wants to bite into a big chunk of onion.
- When in doubt, season with some good olive oil and fresh ground sea salt and pepper. There are few things that don’t taste amazing dressed this way.
- Make your own breadcrumbs to go on top of casseroles. I am not one for creamy heavy casseroles, but if you are making a dish that calls for something crunchy on top, quickly whip up some homemade. Crumble slices of bread in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon or so of butter and some dried herbs and microwave until butter is melted. Mix it all together and you have the best topping.
- Save glass pasta, pickle and jam jars for leftovers. Toss them in the dishwasher and use to store homemade salsa, sauces, and homemade dressings. They seal tighter than most tupperware or pyrex containers and fit perfectly on the door of the fridge.
- Pizza is best reheated in the oven. The crust gets re-crispy and the cheese gets melty.
- Make a batch of cookies and drop half the dough on 2 separate cookie sheets. Bake one sheet and enjoy, freeze the other sheet of cookie dough balls and keep for a rainy day when you just want something sweet. Just make sure to bake the frozen dough at a much cooler temp.
What are your kitchen tricks?
*featured photo from kaboompics.com because my kitchen is not that pretty 🙂