The best tip to stay on the healthy eating path is being prepared. One thing that gets people off track is when you're starving and don't have anything healthy on hand so you just grab the first thing you see, which probably isn't the healthiest – like a bag of chips. It's happened to me before… and more than once. Here are four ways that save time in the kitchen and will keep you prepared. With a new baby on the way, plus still working my other jobs in television, I'm all about saving as much time as I can in the kitchen and staying prepared.
1. Make Chopping Easier with Food Processor
A few people have seen me do this and say, “what a good idea”. They had never thought to chop food in the food processor. I do this a lot even with my greens for a salad because I love a finely chopped salad. It's so much faster than taking a knife and chopping it all up. All you have to do is pulse it until you get the texture you would like. Don't run it on high speed and walk away. Then you'll end up with a watery salad texture. It's also a great way to chop veggies like carrots and onions. I also use this for my Brussels Sprout Salad and Protein Slaw. It makes these recipes so much easier.
2. Washing the Blender
One of the my least favorite parts about cooking and baking is washing dishes. I'm lucky that my husband usually takes this task off my hands. I find cleaning the blender to be one of the most tedious tasks until I started to clean it this way. After making a smoothie or salad dressing I rinse the blender clean. I then add some soap and fill the water about 1/3 of the way up, put the lid back on and run it again. I let it run and get all soapy for a minute or two. Then, all it needs is a quick rub down with a sponge, rinse and you're done. Such a time saver!
3. Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies
Yes, fresh is best, but frozen is second best. When we don't have a lot of time to cook dinner I can always whip up something fast with frozen veggies. Throw them in a skillet and add either pasta sauce, pesto or another sauce of your choice. I will usually add in some tofu or beans as well, and you'll have a fully nutritious dinner in under 30 minutes! I like to use frozen fruits for smoothies.
4. Meal Prepping
Meal prepping is one of the biggest time saving techniques you can do for the busy week ahead, but you do have to find some time on a weekend to prepare. I try to set aside one to two hours each weekend for this and it really pays off. I love eating salads for lunch so I chop all my veggies and make a big batch of salad dressings. Hummus is something else I make a lot to snack on during the week. For dinners it's easy to freeze things like soups and chili.
I hope these time saving kitchen tips will help you eat healthier and smarter without wasting a bunch of time. Remember, when you take time to invest in your food, you're investing in your health. Do you have any favorite time saving kitchen techniques? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.