10 Tips for Fast Cooking
Quick, easy, and healthy meals that help keep you out of the kitchen.
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
When you think about cutting down the time you spend in the kitchen, you might think that means buying more takeout and processed foods (with plenty of calories, fat, and sodium). But it doesn't have to be that way. You can prepare meals in your kitchen with an eye toward health while still keeping the time spent in a hot kitchen to a minimum. Here are a few fast-cooking tips and tricks to help you save on prep time while making healthy meals for yourself and your family.
Fast-Cooking Tip No. 1: Use Pre-cooked Meats
Fast-Cooking Tip No. 2: Have a Main Dish Salad
Main dish salads are the perfect summer supper -- cool, light, and quick to fix. Salad greens are the base ingredient and that's easy: just open a bag of salad greens or spinach leaves and pour into a bowl. Then throw in the rest of the ingredients and toss. Convenient add-ins include reduced-fat cheese or crumbled blue cheese, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, dried cranberries, walnuts, etc.
Fast-Cooking Tip No 3. Make It Vegetarian
One way to save time cooking the meat portion of your meal is to skip the meat. Some easy vegetarian entrees include bean and cheese burritos, vegetarian burgers (they take about four minutes to brown in a nonstick frying pan), egg-based entrees like omelets, and vegetarian sandwiches featuring cheese and/or roasted vegetables.
Fast-Cooking Tip No 4: Heat up an Upscale Frozen Entree
You can find flavorful frozen entrees in many supermarkets. There are even great-tasting and lower-fat choices for people looking for vegetarian, fish, ethnic cuisine, or lean meat options. You'll find a plethora of vegetarian and ethnic cuisine selections in places like Trader Joes and Whole Foods Markets.
Fast-Cooking Tip No. 5: Add Some Store-Prepared Gourmet Items
Fast-Cooking Tip No. 6: Whip Up a Stove-Top Meal
Fast-Cooking Tip No. 7: Make a Microwave Meals in Minutes
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