Saving Time in the Kitchen

photo by Char Nolan
Hearty Soup Makes the Day!

I am still amazed when people come up to me and say, “How and where do you find the time to be plant-strong when everything takes such a long time to prepare?”  I shrug my shoulders and think, “what could be easier (or more time effective) than stripping a head of kale, chopping it, then sautéing it in some broth?  Takes about five minutes, really.  Time is never an element when you approach life with joy, and that is exactly how I approach my plant-strong life.

Something that has really helped is the aid of a few favorite kitchen-aids.  You’ve heard me mention them before, but a little review and update is always fun.  How do I make it work?

Quick-Five Tips for Saving Time in the Kitchen

-Shop with a list. Don’t leave home without a list.  Stay on the outside aisles, stay near produce, bulk, etc.

-As soon as you get home, remove the veggies from bags, and wash them, and prep them for the “ready.”  You can store your prepped veggies in containers, sort of like having a mini-salad bar in the fridge.

-Get a rice cooker.  Make a HUGE batch of rice, then pack it in portions for your freezer so that you always have rice that is ready for you to use.  If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can microwave it, or do it the old-fashioned way…still prep servings to freeze and you will never have to wait for rice.  You can also cook grains, quinoa, etc.  Whatever you like.  But making it ahead of time is a huge time saver.

-Let the Crockpot® be your new BFF.  I can’t tell you how much joy I feel when I come home to the aroma of braised kale and vegetables.  With a pot of braised vegetables, and salad bar in the fridge, some grains, you have a perfect dinner.

-If you are a batch cooker, get good storage containers for them.  Make sure they are BPA-free.  For taking items “to-go,” I recently came upon products by Thinksport.  I carry food in their attractive containers and the nice thing is that my food stays at temperature, be it hot or chilled.  Hey, they are BPA-free, too!  Oh, and their water bottles don’t sweat, which I also love.

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Saving time in the kitchen requires some organization, but once it becomes a best practice, it is like riding a bike–it becomes second nature.

My friend, Karel T., calls this #PSOTR, it stands for “plant-strong on the road.”  But, before I do that, I organize my shopping list and kitchen, create fun, plant-strong meals, then, I am ready to hit the road, #PSOTR style.

I also like to batch a five-pound bag of potatoes each week.  They can easily become the focal point of any meal, and in a matter of minutes.

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