Saving Time with Char
Several months ago, I had received a card, and it was addressed to “The Queen of Shortcuts.” I laughed to myself, but the card’s writer said to me, “You always have a shortcut, not everyone else does.” I’d never thought about it, but I think I do have a shortcut for most things, because something is always going to lurk around the corner. And, I always like to be at the ready.
I’ll be frank, in the beginning of my plant-strong life , I was overwhelmed about having “everything fit” and work itself into my life. I had always been a very successful dieter, but of the short lived variety with a two week shelf life, in most cases. I wanted this “Engine 2 Thing” to really carve itself into my life, and I didn’t want any wrenches thrown into my path. I kept thinking to myself, “How can I make this work?”
With time, practice, and being practical, I realized that my “need for speed” could be woven into my plant strong life, and that this preparedness would be the perfect scaffolding needed to be plant-strong. I’ve put together five easy kitchen tips to help make your adventure less stressful.
- Breakfast Ready in the Morning- If you do not live near a store that sells “Rip’s Big Bowl,” you know the drill for the cereal (shredded wheat, oatmeal, Uncle Sam Cereal, Ezekiel Cereal). But, as soon as I bring RBB ingredients home from the store, I take a HUGE container and pre-make a bulk installment of the RBB. Saves time in the morning. Personally, I think I have to get my hands on a box of Rip’s Big Bowl, just to have him “join me” for breakfast in the morning.
- Using Broth- Once I’ve opened a quart of broth, I then transfer any leftovers to an ice cube tray, and store the tray in the freezer. This way, if I need to sauté, or add flavor, all I need to do is pop out a few ice cubes of broth, and I am golden. It also saves a lot of money, because nothing ever goes to waste.
- I Love Rice – While there are many versions of frozen brown rice available, I like to keep it simple and make a double batch of my own. Once cooled, I pack freezer bags filled with a cup of rice in each. You have the perfect amount of rice to add to a soup, casserole, salad, etc. Having measured portions of brown rice saves lots of time (and money). I have a rice cooker, which I love.
- Frozen Fruit – This is your new BFF. You can use it in a dessert, salad, entrée. Endless possibilities. You can either make your own, or buy the ready made stuff. When bags are almost empty, I create a “frozen fruit mélange” by saving the ends of each bag. Next thing you know, there is a nice variety to choose from for any dessert.
- Left Overs – I am not a huge fan of “leftovers without purpose,” but, after dinner at night, I pack my lunch for the following day using that evening’s dinner. I am at the ready, and lunch for the next day is never an issue. I have nothing to think about in the morning.
Clock is ticking. And, my plant-strong scaffolding is in place, because I am Ms. Shortcut. If you can implement your own scaffolding, it will give you great confidence on this journey. Try one of these tips, or better yet, tell us what you do to save time in the kitchen. Power to the plants.