How do you keep fresh herbs alive?! One way, possibly the best way, is to wrap herbs in a damp paper towel and place in a zip lock bag. Make sure it’s a damp paper towel, not wet so no mold grows. This will absorb moisture from the herbs, preventing them from wilting too quickly. You are also able to store fresh leafy greens this way, wrapped in paper towels!
Another way is to store herbs in a mason jar, placed like flowers. Fill the jar with water and keep it in the fridge uncovered. The only downside is that the jar can take up room in the fridge.
If you’re in a pinch, like I usually am, simply keep the herbs in the produce bag from the grocery store.
Why would you freeze meat? This is a trick to make it easier to cut and slice. Especially helping to cut meats into thin slices, strips, cubed, etc. Place the meat in the freezer for 15-20 minutes which gives it enough time to firm up. Otherwise if you don’t, the meat can be hard to cut through and slippery, making it difficult to work with. If the meat is pre-opened, place it into a plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap before putting it in the freezer (just as if you would cover the meat in the refrigerator). Overall, this will save you time in the kitchen, particularly when prepping dinner in a hurry. Plus, when slicing the meat first the cook time is reduced.
One of my favorite ways to cook meat when I’m in a hurry is to slice fairly thin, then cook it in a sauté pan. I typically add Asian flavors and vegetables to create a stir fry. The meat takes no time at all to cook (without over cooking) and gets dinner on the table fast!
With there being so many ingredients out there, I love these 5 especially. Keep a variety of each one on hand to create magical meals! There is such fun in utilizing ingredients in many different ways and cooking methods. I’ve excluded the simple pantry staples such as spices, flour, sugar, oils – the ones you normally think of.
A very healthy snack and so many applications
Use as a crunchy topping, contrast of textures, add protein to a dish
Make a sauce with soaked nuts, perfect to make vegan sauces and cheeses (flavor with your favorite spices)
Fresh herbs – my favorites are rosemary, thyme, sage
Herbs can brighten up any dish and take it to the next level; use in food or drinks to create unique combinations; simply having the smell in the kitchen or refrigerator is like a breath of fresh air
Low sodium broth
This ingredient is so versatile because I can make a quick sauce, soup, to thin a dish out, add flavors; I especially like using this instead of water for grains and rice
Other ideas- use to reheat dishes and add moisture (instead of water), deglaze hot pans to keep things from sticking, when making white sauces or cream sauces use some broth to cut back on fat
A great source of protein and great vegetarian/vegan meal option; so many to choose from with all different applications
Besides making great mexican food, other options are hummus, sandwich spread or dip, pot pies, in cold salads
They are so creamy and can easily be whipped into a recipe
Snack attack, melty gooiness, sharp, ages, creamy, moldy – so many to choose from, there’s an abundance of different cheeses
Very unique flavors, shapes, colors from regions all over the world
The quickest and most efficient way to shred chicken is in a stand mixer, such as a Kitchen Aid. First, bake chicken or poach/simmer in a pot for about 20-25 minutes, then while hot, add to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn on and let the machine do the work for you! (Cook chicken until internal temperature 165 F.) You will have beautiful shredded chicken you can use for many meals – like in my post Batch Cook Proteins For More Meals
There are so many different types of flour, all with specific names. What is the difference? The most common type is all purpose flour (unbleached and bleached) you can use universally. Great for baking, thickening sauces or soups, breakfast foods, making pastas and homemade bread, etc. I set out to find out all the differences on flour – specifically wheat flour – no gluten free and nut flours (I’ll save that for a different post)!
Many different types of proteins can be substituted whether it be for health, flavor, or availability. Trying new proteins, especially lean proteins can decrease your intake of fats and salt while still achieving great flavors. Explore new options and recipes; I know I’m always researching how I can change a recipe or create a new one with ingredients I have! Many recipes you can easily change the main protein while still using the same seasonings and marinades. Also, changing the form of cooking such as using the grill, smoker, oven, stovetop, or braising pot can alter the flavors and textures.
One of my favorite uses for chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) is to make hummus and add flavorings, specifically roasted beets. You could also add avocado or use a different type of bean. Then dip in healthy crunchy snacks like vegetable sticks or crackers.
This falls into the category of make-ahead meals, which has many options! Prep and marinate fresh meats like chicken or beef, then place into ziploc sandwich bags, gallon bags, or storage containers.
For example, I like to add my marinade to chicken, place into sandwich bags, let marinate all day or overnight in the refrigerator, then if I’m not going to use it all, I’ll place the extra bags in the freezer. Flatten the meat and stack them (as much as possible) so you can utilize the best freezer space.