Cooking Tips and Questions - Share your cooking tips




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Suzanne 3FC
05-26-2004, 10:38 AM
Spend less time in the kitchen! Make cooking fun! Impress your friends with your cooking skills :)

Do you have any shortcuts or tips to make cooking easier?


Suzanne 3FC
05-26-2004, 10:42 AM
Here's a tip I use often. Emeril suggested this one.

I use frozen spinach in a lot of recipes, and most require that you squeeze it dry before adding to the dish. Use a potato ricer! (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00004OCJQ/002-6029261-2012802?v=glance) Place a good portion of spinach in the ricer, squeeze it and watch the water get extracted within seconds without any effort, and mess-free.

Btw, the one on amazon that I linked costs 20 bucks. I bought mine at TJ Maxx for $3.50. Love a bargain :)

MojoJodie
05-26-2004, 11:18 AM
My most favorite and cherished kitchen tool is my meat thermometer. It cost next to nothing and it makes me a much better cook. No longer do I serve dry meat...or worse....chicken that is pink in the middle. I wish I had gotten a meat thermometer years ago.

Second tip, which I think is what separates good cooks from great cooks...don't be afraid to experiment with different flavors or techniques...variety is the spice of life and it keeps the family on thier toes!


SuchAPrettyFace
05-26-2004, 02:09 PM
I would be lost w/o my Tupperware Micro-Steamer. You can steam chicken breasts, shrimps, veggies, etc.

I never cook rice on the stove anymore, I nuke it.

Salt-free seasonings rock, as does Pace Thick & Chunky salsa.

Toryw
05-26-2004, 02:28 PM
My crockpot and my george forman grill are my most used kitchen utensild...along with my food processor although its a nightmare to clean...thank god for dishwashers!! :lol:

Ilene
05-26-2004, 02:32 PM
My favorite kitchen tool is my hand held Braun mixer... I whip up yummy shakes, sauces, creamy soups without cream with this machine... :love:

mauvaisroux
05-28-2004, 01:41 PM
I love my George Foreman Grill too! I use it a lot in the summer so I don't have to heat up the kitchen :) and having a mini chopper is really handy.

Best buy ever- a professional chef's knife set - one large knife, one bread knife and one paring knife with a sharpener included. These cut like a dream, wash well and are a joy to work with - well worth the money and I have had the same set for years :chef:

My best advice is to start with a clean kitchen, clean as you go and set up all the ingredients you need for your recipe before you start - just makes the whole process a little easier :D

JKJ618
05-31-2004, 06:54 PM
My favorite things:
- Kitchen-Aid mixer
- Cuisinart mini-processor (my DH picked this up on a whim & I love it. No more tears when chopping onions :cry: )
- George Foreman grill (it beats firing up the grill out back for just DH & me)
- meat thermometer (success no matter what)

Like Mauvaisroux, I like to start with a clean kitchen & have all my ingredients out & prepped.

sweetnsassyfied
06-01-2004, 02:19 AM
Quick easies ........ great thread! ~smiling brightly~ my problem comin up with any to share with you was that my quick easies turned into second nature and i had to really rack my brain. ~laughing~ will pay more attention while i cook ~winka winka~



when i use my hand mixer i always grab a paper plate as well. tip it over poke 2 holes in the center about an inch apart. pop the beater posts thru the holes then click them into the mixer. Viola i have a splatter guard lid. i have found that a cheapie, regular sized paper plate covers most any bowl.

another thing i found real handy is to keep a garbage receptical next to me on the counter while i am preparring dishes. like a cereal bowl, or egg carton anything i can toss my remenants into, i.e: egg shells, yolks, trimmed fat, veggie ends or peels, boullion wrappers, paper towel. then its just one trip to the garbage can and saves my sink and drain from a lot of gunk.

if you ever make one of those diet soda cakes or have a special low cal and you would like to try something different to dress it up, may i suggest one of those paper doillies. place that on top of your cake and dust with powdered sugar. they have some of the prettiest designs. depending on the cake and its flavour, take your veggie peeler and and shave a curly fruit rind for the center.

not sure if this is a time saver but with summer and out door cooking, picnics and so on its cute, fun, keeps the bugs out of condiments, and you can just toss them when its over. i take 3 peppers, red, green, and yellow. cut the tops off, making a zig tag design ( with the points my brain if failing ~laughing~) de-seed the centers. then in the red i will put Ketchup, the green, either diced onions or relish, and the yellow is filled with Mustard. just adorable on a table.

like my tag says............ its the lil things! again fabulous thread i look forward to reading more!!

sincerely,
sassy

mauvaisroux
06-02-2004, 04:31 PM
Great tips Sassy! Thanks for sharing - I love the idea of the condiment covers :D

StarPrincess
06-02-2004, 05:14 PM
Use dental floss to cut dough. Just wrap the floss around your dough and cross the ends, then pull them in opposite directions. The dough cuts cleanly and doesn't mash.

The Deej
06-29-2004, 07:44 PM
For any sauteeing you do replace oil with low sodium chicken or vegetable stock if you don't do meat. Adds flavour.

sweetnsassyfied
07-09-2004, 06:41 AM
Try freezing boneless skinless chicken breasts in a bag with your favorite marinade -- when it defrosts it will be marinated and you can slap it on the grill or broil it in no time

derrydaughter
07-09-2004, 09:26 AM
Sassy!
So nice to know you are still "out there". Have missed you on the other thread you were posting to regularly.
Great idea, I'll try it!
Linda

a broad abroad
07-09-2004, 02:13 PM
After the professional knife set, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets is a mandoline, with attachments. I love to make a veggie platter now, and pre-prep all my salad ingredients ahead of time - all bite size and ready to go. Its especially great for carrots.

pocho032003
07-09-2004, 09:53 PM
hi
heres a good cooking tip when you are frying up a pork chop put water in the bottom in you pan place a pork chop (frozen or not) in the water add a little salt and pepper and onions if you want and what ever else you want. Turn it up on high and cover it. Let it cook and when you think it is done cut it open to make sure it is. (Its faster and a little better for you because of the water not only boils the pork chop but its better than oil or butter.
Theresa

SuchAPrettyFace
07-10-2004, 09:49 PM
I poach eggs in my microwave. Poke the yolks first.

If you're going to grill fish on your Foreman grill, wash it IMMEDIATELY afterwards.

majestical
09-21-2004, 10:15 AM
Hi, all I have to admit i hate to cook so we only eat, sandwiches,pizza,hotdot, fast food,order out, i want this time to work i haven't been here since 2002,and have gained alot. the problem is if i don't cook early before 12 (i stay home) i won't cook, i'll just sit on my lazy *** all day, and sleep,(having a hard time sleeping at night so i sleep in the daytime)


ok enough:

I need help with very fast healthy meals, 3-4 ingredents. I have three at home 16 and 6,7,3

thanks you

majestical
09-21-2004, 10:17 AM
oh i have a slow cooker for four months still haven't took out. :>

Ilene
09-21-2004, 02:09 PM
majestical -- Welcome Back and stick around with us, I promise we can help....

I just found this on the Dr. Weil site about sleep:

Establish a consistent bedtime routine, and try to go to bed at the same time every night.
Get plenty of exercise during the day. The more energy you expend during the day, the sleepier you will feel at bedtime.
Reduce or eliminate your intake of caffeine, stimulants and alcohol. Even when consumed early in the day, these can affect sleep.
Avoid large meals late in the evening.
Learn and practice a relaxation technique regularly. Breathing exercises, meditation and yoga are good examples.
Don't obsess about not sleeping. Instead, remind yourself that while sleeplessness is troublesome, it isn't life-threatening.

Now for the cooking tips:

1. Start using your slow cooker for goodness sake it's a lifesaver... you can make soups, stews and so much more and freeze them in single serving containers... I use mine all the time...

2. If you have alot of energy in the morning before noon, make all your daily meals at that time and just nuke it at lunch and supper times...

HTH...

scrappinitblue
09-28-2004, 01:57 AM
I love to cook so finding healthy alternatives to help my weight loss journey has been alot of fun. First things first for me, after grocery shopping I wash all my produce and prep it out for consumption. I just bought a salad spinner and I love it for prepping veggies. It makes sure that all the excess water is off so that they don't spoil. I've spent some money and bought Tupperware Fridgesmart containers for my veggies. They are designed to keep food longer and boy do they ever!!!

I bought a nice fruit bowl and keep it well stocked with fruits ready to eat. Making it easier for me to grab fruit instead of something else.

I've completely stopped shopping the inner rows in the grocery store. I don't buy pre-made food anymore, I pre-make them myself. I save all my veggie ends in a bag in the freezer and whenever I cook a chicken I throw the broth, bones and my bag of veggies in a stock pot and let it simmer for a couple of hours. Then I strain it and pour it into muffin tins and freeze it. When it's frozen it goes into a huge freezer bag and I have portion controlled chicken broth (1/2 cups) to use in recipes. You could skip the chicken and use water and veggies to make vegetable broth or add fish to make fish broth. I find that chicken is the one I use the most. Then I know that there are No preservatives in it and no added sodium etc.
When I make pasta sauce I bake whole tomatoes in the oven till they are soft (cut a cross in the top) and then add them into my food processor and chop. Then I add them, one muffin sized broth, garlic, couple of dried chili pepper flakes, and assorted veggies to make a quick, healthy pasta sauce.

I could not live without my BBQ, Chef knives, good sautee pan, good stock pot, and bread maker. Love them all!

Hope this was helpful!

Wanda

chelle567
10-03-2004, 05:01 PM
I have one of those gas stoves/ovens, and i found a grill that sits like a pan on the stove. It is great. No matter the weather, or the amount of food i am cooking, it is easy and fast to use, and to clean. (is has a pot type for the bottom part, you put water here, and there is a large hole in the middle-not sure how that helps out!, the top half is the grill, which is like a pan, only it has holes all around. the water heats up and the steam heats up the pan and voila!) I only hope when i move that the pan can be used on the regular stoves!!!

I also use plastic bags almost all the time in the fridge or disposable tubberware. that way if food goes to long in the fridge i dont have to clean a nasty bowl-or waste my good bowls holding fridge food-and the plastic bags makes more room in the fridge-especially since i prepack all my meals for work.

JanetG
10-08-2004, 11:27 PM
Whenever I cook pasta or rice, I cook extra and freeze the leftovers in individual servings in ziploc bags. It freezes well and zaps up quick in the microwave.

katia
10-19-2004, 08:46 PM
A few things that have made healthy cooking easier and more interesting...

Growing my own fresh herbs
Keeping lemons and limes in the house at all times (a little juice or zest adds a lot of flavor)
Building a collection of different vinegars and oils - lots of flavor and healthy fat at my disposal
Buying good knives and keeping them sharp
Buying a zester (for the above mentioned fruits and for hard cheeses)
Separating portions of fresh meat into plastic bags and freezing them individually

markgm
11-21-2004, 10:01 PM
What changed how I cook is to look at recipies as guides. When cooking, I cut out all the oil.

I do the ziplock meats seperate thing, very handy.

When I cook, (it's just me) I make enough to last for a few days, but I serve it all into containers and portion it all out into equal sized before I take my first bite. When I am done eating, I know that the rest of what I made is already cool in the fridge and prevents me from taking seconds.

shyla2001
02-09-2005, 05:31 PM
When I make casseroles, I typically make 2 and freeze 1, for nights when I don't feel like cooking.

Also, I buy my meat at Sam's Club in bulk, but when I get home, I go ahead &:
1. boil the chicken and cut it up into bite size chunks for use in casseroles, soups, etc -- freeze in 1 lb packages (freezer bags)
2. separate the ground beef into 3 categories - 1) make into hamburger patties separated with wax paper, season and freeze, 2) brown the hamburger meat, and freeze in 1 lb packages for use in spaghetti, lasagna, tacos, hamburger helper, etc etc etc, 3) remainder I don't cook, but just put into 1 lb packages for things such as meatloafs.

By doing this, I can pull out meat for dinner and 1/2 the battle is already done!

mahtha
02-10-2005, 03:47 PM
Buy great spices and seasonings! I'm a big Penzey's fan - they have great blends and rubs so I can grill or bake chicken 3 nights a week and not feel like I'm eating the same thing over and over again.

I also try to "prepare" two meals at a time. Tonight we're having roast pork so I bought a big one. We'll eat about 1/3 for dinner and I'll throw the rest in the crock pot with a can of ginger ale and some onions and a little seasoning. When it's really tender I dump it, throw it back into the crock pot and shred it, then add a bottle of spicy BBQ sauce. VIOLA! Easy pulled pork that freezes really well in portion controlled freezer bags. (just be careful to use BBQ sause with low sugar content or it may burn)

BrOOklyN ChIcK
03-04-2005, 04:07 PM
Nathan's Grill and Griddle! The griddle part is cool cuz you can spray the no fat no cal Mazola Cooking Spray and it cooks great!

As mentioned above, Mazola is a lifesaver! Its so much better that using oil, margerine, or even butter in the pots for greasing. Same can go for greasing casseroles, its a great healthy alternative! :cb:

wantmybodyback
03-10-2005, 06:33 AM
this is agreat thread!!! ok low fat recipe tips from me

If you want a hearty low fat meal always use a tomato base ie: sautee onions and garlic in vege stock, add oregano, basil, salt pepper a little sugar, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste a little water all your fav eges and serve 1/2 cup of this on 1 cup pasta and sprinkle with a little parmesan delicious!!!

Replace butter with apple sauce in brownie and pudding recipes works well!!

use skim milk and stock in bechamel (white) sauce instead of butter and whole milk

mashed potatoes are nice with skim milk no butter and if you add some cooked pumpkin it's gorgeous (golden mash)

for creamy pasta sauces use light evaporated milk tastes creamy, but next to no fat and low cals

caitietee
03-24-2005, 05:00 PM
I usually take the honors of making my friends' birthday cakes, because I make them lower in fat, and no one knows. They even like them better. I have to say that my absolute favorite, AND easiest thing in the world to make is the Diet Coke Cake! All you need is a cake mix, a can of diet coke, and voila!!! Mix them together and you are ready to entertain.

Just make sure to keep checking on it, because I find the time that it bakes in is inconsistent. It comes out very spongey!

Chocolate mix + Diet Coke, Yellow Mix + Diet Sprite, but have fun! I have had Diet Coke in yellow mix and it is really, really good.

For frosting, blend a packet of fat free, sugar free pudding with fat free cool whip. TRY IT!!! :o)

Tealeaf
03-27-2005, 06:32 PM
My favorite "keep in the fridge ready and waiting" recipe. Most of the recipe is done in advance. I freeze half the bean mixture, keep the other half ready to go in the fridge. It's a huge time saver!

Shrimp Burritos

Make ahead Bean Mixture

2 onions, chopped
1 tsp Oil
Salt
1 can fat free refried beans
1 package Uncle Ben's Precooked Spanish Rice
1/3 Cup Salsa (I prefer a mild, chunky kind, use what you like)

Cook onions over low heat in a frying pan until caramelized. This will take a while. The will shrink down quite a bit. When done, they should be a light brown color. Add the other ingredients, and stir combine. Heat till hot, then remove from stove. At this point I divide the mixture, and one goes into the freezer.

For 1 Burrito:

A handful of Frozen, cooked, shelled shrimps

2-3 tablespoons salsa (I use Newmans's med Peach salsa here, I like a bit of sweetness. But any salsa would work fine)

1 Tortilla, about 8 inch's. I use Honey wheat tortillas here, but again, any kind would be fine.

About 3 tablespoons of the bean mixture

Put the shrimps and salsa in a small fry pan, heat on medium until shrimp is defrosted and some of the water cooks out of the salsa. Mixture should be fairly thick. While shrimps are heating up, nuke the bean mix for about a minute to heat. Nuke Tortilla for about 15-30 sec till hot.

Assembly: Put Shrimp in a line down middle of tortilla. Put Bean mix on top. Wrap up and enjoy! I eat this with home made carrot and jalapeno fridge pickles.

This is filling, and very yum!

janann
04-30-2005, 08:58 PM
Hi!

I use my Tupperware steamer to par-cook ground beef. I put in for 5-7 minutes and start testing it around 5 minutes. You should see how much grease comes out. :chef:

willowgirl
04-30-2005, 09:17 PM
Wow, what a great thread! I have for sure learned some good tips here! Thanks!

hoofbeats
05-01-2005, 05:22 AM
When i went to ireland i picked this trick up from my dad: Lay out a sheet of aluminium foil on your working area. This way, when you're finished you barely have to clean up, you just wrap up all the mess into the foil and chuck it away... If you live on your own you can use aluminium foil for plates aswell. or even paper plates. It's great for people who like cooking but hate cleaning.

Islander
05-12-2005, 02:23 AM
I have a rotisseries and love cooking chicken and pork loin in it. The grills are nice to have for chicken, burgers etc. I have steamer for boiling eggs, steaming veggies, cooking rice in and corn in the cob for my family.

Allie Abbott
05-26-2005, 05:16 PM
My most important cooking utensil: High-quality knives!

Chicken tip :chicken:
When preparing the dieter's staple of low-fat chicken breasts, it is much easier to cut them for a saute or fajitas if they are PARTIALLY frozen.

Many dishes taste great if you veer from the recipe and use lots more veggies than the recipe calls for. This gives you more "fullness" for less calories. (i.e. I make cabbage rolls with 1/2 the meat called for, and use peppers, celery, and onion to replace it)

Experiment with recipes. Can you make that recipe that calls for eggs with just the whites and leave the yolks out? Does the recipe still work with 1 tbsp of oil instead of 2?

You won't have to sacrifice flavor in most cheesy recipes if you reduce the cheese amounts by 1/3 and use low-fat cheese instead of regular. :cheese:

SPICES, SPICES, SPICES. Try thyme on corn, cinnamon on carrots, anything to make a healthy dish that has started to bore you more interesting. Buy some spice mixtures. I never use regular black pepper anymore, because there are so many wild and fabulous peppers available, black pepper has become boring to me.

Use extra lean ground turkey instead of ground beef.

Replace white rice with brown rice. I haven't had any recipes that were not better when I did this, IMHO.

When making a tossed salad, make enough for a few days, but don't mix the ingredients except for what you actually use that day. Especially keep tomatos separate. This way, if one ingredient goes bad, you don't have to throw the whole salad out. The ingredients will all keep longer if not mixed with tomatos.

Sea
07-07-2005, 07:51 PM
I love pancakes and was missing them. I found that I can make up buckwheat pancakes that are a flavorful joy by substituting cinnamon applesauce for the oil and just skipping the egg. These don't need syrup.

cadwell125
07-26-2005, 06:35 AM
i would be lost without vietnamese chili garlic sauce to add spice to my meats, stir-frys... everything! no calories, and it packs so much flavor. spicy, flavorful food keeps me fuller longer and does away with the need to add oil or extra meat to my meals.

ladynredd
08-21-2005, 06:30 PM
Sue, when you do the thing with the pork roast and putting part of it in the crockpot, is the part that goes in the crock pot already cooked? Or do you divide that roast and bake part one night and slow-cook the rest?

Sounds delish!

Donna D., Columbus, Ohio

Marchie2003
09-07-2005, 03:14 PM
An inside grill pan. I got mine at Target...i think mine is Calphalon, but you can find something cheaper. If you have this and non-fat cooking spray with No-salt seasoning, you can make anything! Chicken, eggplant, zuchinni, salmon, asparagus.

It's just the the Foreman, but a lot easier to clean and can be stored with you pots and pans.

Snow White
09-13-2005, 07:24 AM
1) Fish sauce or soy is really good to give food more flavor and don't add many calories either.

2) Use a non-stick pan to cook salmon and other fatty fish. You don't need to add any oil, lots will come out of it when it's cooking and make sure that it doesn't stick. That way no extra fat is added and you even get rid of some during the cooking process.

Betani
09-13-2005, 09:43 AM
Last night I sprayed a pan with Pam, cut up some overgrown zucchini and sauteed it with some fish oil. It was an awsome snack!

Bobbolink
09-13-2005, 09:03 PM
I have an abundance of fresh tomatoes every year. A really simple way of preserving tomatoes is washing them, take off the stem and throw them whole into a freezer zip lock bag. When you need some for soup (or whatever) you just take out what you need and pop them frozen in the soup. The skin floats to the top or you can zap them first in the microwave for 30 seconds and the skin just fall off. I also put individual servings of soup in containers and put the calorie count on the top, then pop them into the freezer.
Bobbi

hefty1
11-21-2005, 10:33 AM
this probably been said already. buy a bunch of meat and veggies and cook them. then freeze in portion sizes so you don't think how much to eat. :) glen

ellenuw
01-29-2006, 09:32 AM
A little "duh" moment yesterday - wanted to use shallots in a recipe but didn't have the patience to dice - cut in small pieces and push through a garlic press. Like I said, "duh", especially as most of my recipes call for garlic when they call for shallots, and I got it out anyway.

Also, try using frozen chopped onions in place of chopping your own - if they are going to be cooked anyway, why not?

Vietnamese Chili-garlic sauce is great. Mix with equal part dijon mustard and spoon over firm fish fillets (tilapia, cod, snapper) or chicken breast before baking. Fast and tasty.

Serve above with simple steamed green veggie and FROZEN brown rice - 3 min in the microwave - fabulous find. I can get it at both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Regular grocery stores will have it soon, I bet.

*edit* for more ideas:

2C steel cut oats + 8 cups water+ bunch of cinnamon in slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours - enough oatmeal ready to go for 10 days or so in the fridge. Just spoon into a mug with another spoonful of frozen blueberries and a couple drops of water or milk and nuke for 2 min in the rushed mornings. Add a few hardboiled egg yolks or other protein for a complete breakfast licktey split. If you want to do a quick egg white omelet in the morning by the egg whites in the carton - fabulous and not expensive.

I buy a big bag of lemons at Costco and juice them all at once and keep the juice in a psorts bottle in my frige - great for adding that quick flavor effortlessly.

lil_mommi77
02-25-2006, 04:06 PM
Any one use SPLENDA? If you do you might want to type: "the truth about splenda" into your search engine. I found some very interesting/disturbing information. Just a little FYI. Tell me what you think...

hefty1
03-13-2006, 12:33 PM
freeze meat with saucein the bag to make it easer to cook later. glen

Ilene
03-13-2006, 08:30 PM
freeze meat with saucein the bag to make it easer to cook later. glenAnother tip about freezing chicken or meat is to freeze it with the marinade already in it, so that while it's thawing it's marinading...

WaterRat
03-13-2006, 09:15 PM
Lay out a sheet of aluminium foil on your working area. This way, when you're finished you barely have to clean up, you just wrap up all the mess into the foil and chuck it away... If you live on your own you can use aluminium foil for plates aswell. or even paper plates. It's great for people who like cooking but hate cleaning.

I put a paper towel down whenever I'm peeling potatoes, carrots, etc. Then I just pick the whole mess up and throw it away. If it's summer, I empty the peelings into a compost bucket and thow the paper away. Aluminum foil seems like overkill! :)

Lots of great hints here!

Ilene
03-13-2006, 09:29 PM
Trying to save money here, cause I'm cheap :lol:, I use a plate and throw the heap of peels in the garbage...

hefty1
03-15-2006, 01:34 PM
if you use paper towel it's easier clean the counter after and you don't need to clean the plate. glen

Jayde
03-21-2006, 05:26 PM
Glen and Ilene.. I have a plastic rectangular dish tub that I keep under the sink. When peeling vegetables, I place it in my sink sometimes with a plastic bag liner.. sometimes without, and just peel the vegetables right in the tub. It is quite comfortable as I am able to keep my hands at the same height as my counter and let the peels fall in. If I need to use both parts of my sink for a moment before I am finished cooking, the tub comes out easily and I set it on the counter. When I am finished peeling and cutting, I dump everything in the trash or toss it on the compost heap. Just rinse and place the tub back under the sink.

Lucky13
03-21-2006, 06:18 PM
Cut cakes with dental floss

Keep a water jug in the fridge so you grab that instead of soda

Costco sells chicken breasts pre-packaged 2-per bag - easy for freezing

Costco/Sam's sell fresh salmon fillets - cut into individual portions and place in freezer bags

BridgetJFan
03-21-2006, 08:08 PM
Hello All!

My most used cooking utensil is my grill skillet (has raised ridges but otherwise is like normal skillet). Fat drains off, it’s easy to put in the dishwasher. This is great for giving the “grilled” effect any time of year. One favorite recipe is to spray it with no stick spray and grill apple slices. My family loves them!

Another useful item is my electric rapid boil hot water kettle. One push of the button and water is brought to boiling very quickly with minimal time and energy expended. It’s really handier than the microwave in my opinion. The whole family can help themselves to making hot tea, cocoa, broth, instant oatmeal, etc. I don’t know how we got along before we had it. Makes healthy food fast.

Love my Blender Bottles from HSN for making protein shakes. They have little wisp balls inside to help mix things up!

We love McCormick No salt steak seasoning and McCormick No Salt chicken seasoning. Gives a gourmet flair to simple meats.

Beware: Many of the new combination stewed tomatoes in the can have sugar or corn syrup added. Read the ingredients on the BACK of the can carefully! Del Monte in particular.

Majestical—Break out that slow cooker. There are a lot of good healthy recipes here on this site. Fix your food in the am while you are energetic and then forget it until supper. Also, that rapid boil kettle would be a good item for you. You can succeed. I’m not crazy about cooking either but I want to set an example for my children so this old dog is trying to learn some new tricks. The wonderful gals here will cheer you on.

Mahtha—I can’t wait to try your pulled pork recipe. Do you think diet ginger ale would work?

Thanks so much for the great tips, everybody.
BJF

telemetrynurse
05-24-2006, 06:06 PM
I got this tip recently and it really makes peeling boiled eggs incredibly easy!

Add 1-2 tbsp of vinegar to the water you boil the eggs in.

Lilian
06-14-2006, 02:37 AM
My favourite tool ever is my egg cooker. You can make eggs really fast and add up any ingredient you want -spinach, cheese, etc - using little or no fat at all.

cantforgetthis
06-28-2006, 06:28 PM
I LOVE my Food Saver! :carrot: I can cut and seal the bags to any size I need. They also go from freezer to micro just by cutting a small slit in them. I can reuse the bags by washing and resealing. Food stays so much better in the freezer. :D

losinflab
08-21-2006, 02:49 PM
I cook 5pds of gr beef....drain & divide.....then freeze. Do same with meatballs.When cooking chicken,cook a lot...pick meat off bone & freeze....use the strained broth as base for noodle soup.
I keep a plastic grocery sack on the counter for all disposables....peelings,etc.I also fill the sink with hot soapy water& wash pans as I go.
My slo cooker will cook a roast to perfection overnight.The pork roast is then shredded & used in pulled pork swiches....with added barbecue sauce.....so easy! Use a can of NF refried beans to thicken chili
I keep a container of shredded carrot,cabbage ,onion & green pepper in the fridge...all made in my mini food processor..& also used to make bread crumbs.

BlueToBlue
08-21-2006, 10:29 PM
Leftovers are my best friend! :carrot: Everything (and I mean everything!) I make for dinner has to feed us for a least two nights. This way, I only cook every other night at the most. Some of the meals I make feed us for three nights and I have one casserole that will last for four nights. If we get tired of something after the second night, I freeze the remaining portions.

This is a huge time saver not only in terms of cooking, but also planning and shopping (I only have to plan and shop for three meals per week instead of seven). It doesn't take much extra time to double a recipe and it is such a relief knowing I have a meal ready to go on that second night.

- Barbara

VelVeeta
08-27-2006, 06:52 PM
My tip is use sunflower oil when cooking. Its actually heart healthy, it has mono and polyunsaturated fat. Just thought i would share :)

hefty1
01-21-2007, 06:31 PM
i hope everyone is using the tips.
glen

hefty1
03-06-2007, 05:24 AM
who wants to tell us the top ten replies
glen

Leenie
03-16-2007, 10:46 PM
Interesting....

Ingredient Substitution List

• 1 teaspoon baking powder = ¼ teaspoon baking soda plus ½ cup buttermilk or ¼ teaspoon baking soda plus 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

• 1 cup sifted cake flour = 7/8 cup sifted all-purpose flour or 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 1-2 tablespoons

• 1 cup self-rising flour = 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour plus 1½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt

• 1 cup all-purpose flour = 1 cup whole wheat flour

• 1 cup honey = 1 to 1¼ cups sugar plus ¼ cup liquid

• 2 large eggs = 3 small eggs

• 1 medium egg = 2 egg yolks plus 1 tablespoon water (for baking)

• 1 medium egg = 2 egg yolks (in custards or cream fillings)

• 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate = 1 square or 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon butter or margarine

• 6 squares or 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted = 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

• 1 tablespoon cornstarch (as thickening) = 2 tablespoons flour or 2 teaspoons quick tapioca or 2 egg yolks

• 1 teaspoon lemon juice = ½ teaspoon vinegar

• 1 tablespoon fresh herbs = ½ to 1 teaspoon dried herbs

• 1 small garlic clove = 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 pound fresh mushrooms = 3 ounces dried or 6 ounces canned

• 1 cup whipping cream, whipped = 2 cups thawed whipped topping

• 1 cup whipping cream as liquid = 1/3 cup melted butter plus ¾ cup milk

• 1 cup light cream = 3 tablespoons melted butter plus ¾ cup milk

• 1 cup ricotta cheese = 1 cup cottage cheese, liquid drained -2-

• 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup plain yogurt, stirred, or 1 tablespoon lemon juice stirred into milk to make 1 cup; let stand 5 minutes to make soured milk for baking only (never use sour milk that's been in the fridge too long; it's actually spoiled)

• 1 cup whole milk = 2 teaspoons melted butter plus 1 cup fat-free milk (or water) or equal parts evaporated milk and water or 1 cup nonfat dry milk plus 2 teaspoons melted butter

• 1 cup sour cream = 3 tablespoons melted butter stirred into 7/8 cup buttermilk, soured milk or plain yogurt

• 1 cup sour cream = 1 cup plain yogurt (but it will taste less rich from the missing fat)

• Pecans = walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts

• Chunky peanut butter = creamy peanut butter (or grind roasted peanuts in a blender with a little peanut oil)

• 1 cup bread crumbs = ¾ cup cracker crumbs

• 1 cup butter = 1 cup margarine or 7/8 cup vegetable oil or 7/8 cup butter-flavored shortening

• 1 pound lard = 2 cups shortening

• 1 cup sugar (in baking bread) = 1 cup honey plus a pinch of baking soda

• 1 cup sugar (in baking) = 7/8 cup honey plus a pinch of baking soda

• 1 cup sugar (in main dishes) = ¾ cup honey

• 1 cup brown sugar = 1 cup white sugar plus 2 tablespoons molasses

• 1 cup molasses (in baking) = 1 cup sugar (omit baking soda; use baking powder)

• ½ cup dry red wine or white wine = 2 tablespoons sherry or port

• ¾ cup maple syrup = ¾ cup maple-flavored syrup, corn syrup or 1 cup sugar and increase liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons

• 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice = ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon cinnamon

• 1 pound tomatoes = 3 medium or ¾ cup sauce (6 ounces) or ¼ cup paste (2 ounces)

• 8 ounces tomato sauce = 2/3 cup water plus 1/3 cup tomato paste -3-

• 3 cups tomato juice = 2½ cups water plus 6 ounces tomato paste plus ¾ teaspoon salt, dash of sugar

• 1 large marshmallow = 10 mini (dust off cornstarch from their surfaces or it might overload a recipe)

• 1 cup granulated sugar = 1¾ cups powdered sugar for uses other than baking

• ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger = 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 2 teaspoon minced crystallized

• 1 head fresh dill = 2 teaspoons dill seed

• 1 tablespoon grated fresh horseradish = 2 tablespoons bottled

• 1 teaspoon lemon juice = ½ teaspoon vinegar

• 1 teaspoon dry mustard = 1 tablespoon prepared mustard or ½ teaspoon mustard seeds

• 1 /4 cup rum = 1 teaspoon rum extract plus liquid to make ¼ cup

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract = 1 inch vanilla bean, split and simmered in liquid of recipe

• 1 cup wine = 13 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon sugar or a little less than 1 cup apple juice plus lemon juice

• 1 cup dry bread crumbs = 3 to 4 slices bread, torn and blenderized

• 1 cup sweetened condensed milk = 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry milk powder plus ½ cup warm water plus ¾ cup sugar and dissolve

• ½ teaspoon cream of tartar = 1½ teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar

• 1 tablespoon maple sugar = 1 tablespoon granulated sugar plus a dash of maple extract

Bobbolink
02-12-2008, 11:50 AM
Fresh spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, but don't let it linger in the fridge.

The best way to use your leafy greens is during the first 4 days after purchase. After that, the antioxidant and folate levels of spinach plummet, turning it into a wimpier green.

Spinach on Ice
Even at the coldest refrigerator temperatures, researchers found that after 4 days, folate (http://www.realage.com/ct/tips/2652) levels in a bag of fresh spinach dropped big time, and the loss escalated with each passing day. Colder temps were better for holding onto carotenoids (http://www.realage.com/ct/tips/2927). (Besides folate, learn what else is packed into those dark-green leaves (http://www.realage.com/NutritionCenter/foodevaluator.aspx%20/%20end).)

The Power of Fresh
Buying local spinach (at a farmers market or co-op store) may deliver the most nutrients to your table. Grocery-store fresh is a good second choice. Can't plan ahead? Then grab some frozen spinach. Spinach that's frozen and packaged soon after harvesting retains much of its nutritional value.

gastronome
02-12-2008, 02:31 PM
I use ginger and garlic a lot. So I prepare A LOT of them in advance and chop them in a food processor. Then I freeze them. I smush the bag every hour or so until it is all frozen but in little bitty pieces still. So when I need them to cook, I just have to take it out of the freezer and measure it into the pan. Saves soooo much work on a daily basis.

Ilene
02-12-2008, 07:21 PM
I had been wasting so many bags of spinach because it really does not last long in the refrigerator... Now when I buy some I buy 2 bags, when I get home I clean it, spin it dry and chop it all fine in my food processor, I then freeze it in a Ziplock bag, makes a very large bag... It stays super fresh and crumbly... I add 1/4c to 1/2c. to my omellettes, I add it to soups, salads, casseroles, meatloaves, anything I want to add some green colour to... I love it and don't waste any at all....

Jules88
12-20-2008, 04:39 PM
I love this breakfast:
almond butter on apple
Super delicious

PhotoChick
12-20-2008, 10:44 PM
I use ginger and garlic a lot. So I prepare A LOT of them in advance and chop them in a food processor. Then I freeze them. I smush the bag every hour or so until it is all frozen but in little bitty pieces still.

Now when I buy some I buy 2 bags, when I get home I clean it, spin it dry and chop it all fine in my food processor, I then freeze it in a Ziplock bag, makes a very large bag... It stays super fresh and crumbly... I add 1/4c to 1/2c. to my omellettes, I add it to soups, salads, casseroles, meatloaves, anything I want to add some green colour to... I love it and don't waste any at all....

Oh my GOSH. These are both GREAT ideas. I hate using garlic from a jar - it just doesn't taste the same. And I have the same problem with baby spinach, esp. since sometimes it goes on sale 2 bags for $5 and then I wind up having it go bad.

I don't know why I didn't think about either of these things earlier.

.

rockinrobin
12-21-2008, 12:00 AM
I use ginger and garlic a lot. So I prepare A LOT of them in advance and chop them in a food processor. Then I freeze them. I smush the bag every hour or so until it is all frozen but in little bitty pieces still. So when I need them to cook, I just have to take it out of the freezer and measure it into the pan. Saves soooo much work on a daily basis.

This IS a fantastic idea. I don't use the jarred garlic. It is no where near as strong and flavorful IMO. I'm always peeling and then crushing. To do it a lot AHEAD of time and then freeze it is BRILLIANT.

I think I will put the crushed garlic in ice cube trays. Maybe fill them up half way and freeze it like that.

:carrot:Oh how I'm loving this idea. :carrot:

dominodreams
01-15-2009, 04:54 PM
I think I will put the crushed garlic in ice cube trays. Maybe fill them up half way and freeze it like that.


My mom does/did that with her fresh made pesto. Olive oil, garlic, salt, pine nuts and fresh (homegrown) basil. Obviously you can go for a lighter alternative to olive oil, or add less of it (not sure the proportions, but you can google it or you can experiment yourself). The pine nuts are expensive and optional, but they add a delicious and distinct flavor.

What my mom did, which was crazy messy, was get a bunch of those ice pouches. It's like a plastic sleeve with a bunch of pockets connected (think bubble wrap with giant bubbles). She'd pour the pesto into the pockets (like I said, messy) and squish it down to fill the whole thing, then tie it off and freeze it! They made perfect portions for tossing into a bowl of hot pasta or rice (the warmth melts it pretty well), and it is great just by itself (no cream sauce or anything)! Plus it's super fast!

whispers
06-22-2009, 11:36 AM
DH cooks once a week on the grill. He will grill a dozen hamburger patties, slice a pork loin into boneless pork chops and grill, grill chicken and bratwurst. We then freeze everything except what we have for dinner that night. The rest of the week we pull out what we want for dinner and micro. Saves a lot of time during the weekas protein is ready to go.

Terre
02-26-2010, 04:55 PM
Tip: brown your ground beef, or ground turkey, put in strainer then rinse. I lowered my hubbys cholesterol by 60 points in 6 months just doing that. You would be suprised how much will rinse off even after drained. Make sure you cook first. My granny did it raw and said it didnt help...it just went down the drain..LOL

Tip: put a walmart bag on the counter peels and trash while cooking. Then tie and toss in the trash, quick clean up but also helps the smell if there was onion :)

Terre
02-26-2010, 05:01 PM
I also freeze leftovers. I have a bowel I keep in the freezer for veggies for soups. 1 spoon of corn here, a spoon of peas there over a month adds up and you will soon have a bowl full and not out any extra money for a package of mixed veggies.

Also Make your lunches and freeze. save the smart ones or healthy choice freezer containers, fix your own and freeze.

we by bottle water but we have started rinsing and reusing. Dr oz said just rinsing in hot water is fine. Then we add crystal light packets. I also take the packets with me out to eat. Water is free and then you add the paket and its alot cheaper than a pop.

Terre
02-26-2010, 05:05 PM
Also pour your FF chicken or veggie stoke in ice trays and freeze. After they are frozen pop them into a ziplock baggie and they r ready anytime you need em.

Do the same with pesto, Tomato sauce, pizza sauce, its up to you

katy trail
10-27-2010, 11:05 PM
peel the onion and cut into chunks. rinse in running cool water. viola! no tears when i'm chopping.

Bobbolink
10-28-2010, 10:22 AM
I have a 64 page book on vinegar that I'll share here now and then, that is if I remember. Maybe I'll not delete the email notice so I won't forget.
Fruits and Vegetables
When cooking fruit on the stovetop, add a spoonful of vinegar to improve flavor.
When making mashed potatoes, add 1 tablespoon vinegar once you've used enough milk. This will help keep potatoes white. Whip them to desired consistency.
In a tomato sauce or a tomato-base soup, add 1 or 2 tablespoons vinegar just before completing the cooking process. Flavors will be enhanced.
Meat
Add zip to a pound of hamburger by adding garlic wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon mustard. Work these ingredients into meat before making into patties.
Improve the flavor of boiled ham by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar to cooking water.
The acid content and tangy flavor of vinegar makes it an excellent ingredient in a marinade for meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables. Vinegar can also tenderize tough cuts of meat.
More to come!

sak133
11-08-2010, 03:28 PM
always keep vegitables in newspaper wrap.they will stay fresh longer.:carrot:

jonah
08-17-2012, 01:45 AM
Anybody want to restart this? :D

When cooking rice,
Use a 1cup rice : 1/2 cup water ratio.

Add a bit of salt to the rice and cook the rice with a lid covering it.
As soon as the rice gets to a boil, simply turn the heat to off or very low on your stove top. after about 15 minutes, the rice should come out fluffy and just right.

(note: this for white rice, brown rice takes longer and may have a different water ratio)

Bobbolink
08-17-2012, 05:02 PM
wow, it's been a couple of years. I'd like to share more tips. I have since slipped into frugal mode and would like some frugal tips. One I use all the time is keeping the heavy plastic liners from cereal boxes until it's time to freeze garden produce. They are the perfect size, just squeeze the air out, roll up the top and staple it. Then in the freezer it goes.