The Daily Beet

12 Dec Saving Time with Char: Chop-Chop Edition!

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Do you have any guilty pleasures?  If you want to know  the truth, mine, is watching infomercials. I am drawn to them like moths to a light. And, I really love the ones that promote anything you can use in the kitchen. I have a shelf in mine that is dedicated to  infomercial purchases. The joy of the infomercial  is that they are generally on morning, noon and night.  You are never at a loss for this form of “home shopping.”

I am so amused with the “As Seen on TV” craze, that I will scout out that section in my favorite specialty stores.  This way, you can see items up close and personal.  And, I must tell you the truth, there are two that I love and can’t live without.  Yea, I have nice chopping boards and ergonomic knives for left-handed people, but my “Vidalia Onion Wizard” along my  “Salad Chef” are my two best friends in the kitchen.  So much chopping, so many salads, it takes a lot of energy in the kitchen to be plant-strong.  But, with these two kitchen helpers, I am never at a loss for time and quickness.  And the best part is that I am always at the ready for a snack, last minute dinner, whatever.  This keeps your plant-strong path free of debris, if you get my drift.

What Lever Choppers Can Do:

-Provide you with different sized grates for dicing.  From small to large, you can dice, chop or cube.  You can make match-sticks, fries, and the like.  My jicama sticks are perfect for dipping and salads.

-You can measure how much veggies you are chopping, as there is a “measuring cup” on the “Vidalia Onion Wizard.”

-They are easy to clean and take up very little space in your kitchen.  I live in an 80 year old house with a small kitchen, so for me, every inch of space counts.

-The “Salad Chef” has a bowl, so if you are prepping a salad, you are done and done.

How You Can Save Time:

Even if you do not have mechanical choppers,  here’s what you can do to save time in the kitchen  when you use veggies and fruit.

  • Shopping Day is Chopping Day.
  • Chop/slice/dice, and then place cut produce in storage bags or containers.  Label and date (I have had some crazy experiments in my crisper).
  • If you have mushrooms, never store them in plastic bags, because they need room to breathe.  Mushrooms should not be washed, either, just use a mushroom brush  to remove any darkhouse debris. Store mushrooms in a brown paper bag or a muslin sack.
  • I often parboil those vegetables that I will later use in soups, casseroles, etc. especially the aromatic vegetables, like carrots, celery, onion, leek.  I then flash freeze them, and store them to be freezer safe.
  • Avoid buying bagged salads.  You can buy several heads of lettuce, prep them, store them, and you are good to go,

In case you are wondering what these items look like…here’s a view!

The Onion Wizard


Salad Chef

I find that having an “assembly” line of food prep ends up saving loads of time in the kitchen.  And, if time is money, you will save both with chopping, dicing, cubing, mincing and storing.  These TV items have saved me loads of time,  but even if you don’t have one, food prep in advance is the key.

My road on this plant-strong journey is made easy by these simple and easy time saving tips.  Having healthy foods at the ready is a key in staying on path.

Gotta go, there’s another infomercial that I cannot miss (just kidding).

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Char Nolan for Engine 2
Char Nolan

Char Nolan is a blog contributor and Engine 2 Extra Coach. She's been plant-strong for almost five years. From Philadelphia, she works in the plant-based whole foods arena, and is also the "vegan features writer," for the "Town Dish." She's lost a great deal of weight from being plant-strong, practices yoga, and is always dabbling in her kitchen to create new, plant-strong recipes. Armed with a degree in public health, Char also holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from e-Cornell.

  • MM
    Posted at 14:23h, 12 December

    I have Vidalia Chop Wizard and I have been using it for the last 5 years (not the same one, they tend to wear out) and I can’t imagine my life without it. I eat a huge salad every day and this little chopper saves me lots of time. Not to mention soup making – much faster!

  • LP
    Posted at 14:46h, 12 December

    I was lucky enough to see a LivingSocial deal for the Salad Chef a few weeks ago and just received it! Oh my, where has this been all my life?!? I laughed like a giddy schoolgirl when it took me 30 seconds to dice 6 onions. WORTH EVERY PENNY

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