Quick Food Prep (part 1)

by Adrienne Matt on January 11, 2011

in Tips & Tricks

Cooking healthy doesn’t need to be time-consuming and intimidating. With some new appliances and food prep short cuts, you can have fresh food on your plate in under 30 minutes.

Chop away
When you get home from the grocery store, put some items away but keep out the produce. Clear off counter space, get out your cutting board and knives and have Tupperware handy. Glass containers like Pyrex are best but plasticware will do.

Even if you have not planned a menu, chop vegetables in advance for easy use. Mini choppers or mini food processors are an easy way to cut up veggies and fresh herbs. They range in price from $25 to $50. Put the chopped vegetables into containers and store them in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

Another useful tool is a mandoline, a slicing tool with an adjustable blade. You can cut carrots or squash at an angle (a style called julienne) or slice onions and potatoes easily with a mandoline. These range in price from $30 for plastic to $150 for steel. They often come with 1-4 blades, offering you different styles of cutting.

Be sure to sharpen your knives professionally at least twice a year. Ask your local kitchenware store or hardware store for recommendations on knife sharpeners. These pros can also sharpen the blades in your food processor and blender.

Keep experimenting. Not all of these suggestions will work for you but some will. Try a different tactic each week. In the process, you’ll find some ways to shave off food prep time so you can get down to the real objective — eating.

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