Having both a job and a family means that figuring out how to fix a healthy family dinner in a timely fashion takes both commitment and skill. Often times, people are tempted to cheat with prepared portions pulled from the freezer section just to keep from having to spend an extra 15 minutes in the kitchen cooking.
For those who want to have a healthy meal without having to slave over the stove, finding the quick way to work with food is a must. They know that nothing can replace using fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs when cooking, but the prep time often scares them away. With the time-saving tips below, you can have the healthy, tasty food you want without spending hours working in the kitchen to get it.
1. How to peel a bulb of garlic in under 20 seconds
According to Chef John, you can peel a head of garlic in 20 seconds. You need two metals bowls, and if they are the same size, your job will be easier. Simply break apart a head of garlic into the individual cloves and throw all the cloves into the bowl at once. Place the top bowl over the bottom one and shake for 20 seconds. If any cloves still have paper on them, it will easily rub off, but almost all of them are peeled. One of the comments to his YouTube video says that the same thing can be done by placing the cloves in a Mason jar instead of bowls.
2. How to quickly dice an onion
The KithenNut demonstrates how to quickly and perfectly dice an onion. Leaving the "hairy" end of the onion intact, cut off the opposite end and place the onion flat on the cutting board. Cut the onion in half and peel off the outside paper and the oldest layer of flesh. Make sure to leave the "hair" on the onion. Make small slices with the natural grain of the onion from the "hair" to the tip being careful not to pierce the part with the "hair." Once you are done slicing with the grain, cut across the existing slices to get your perfect dices of onion.
3. How to easily peel and cut butternut squash
Ali on Gimme Some Oven gives step-by-step instructions on how to quickly peel and cut butternut. You'll need a cutting board, a metal spoon, a vegetable peeler and a sharp chopping knife. Start by cutting one-half inch (3 cm) off of each end of the squash, then peel off the skin using the peeler. Lay the squash on its side and cut it in half. Stand the squash on its bottom and cut it in half from top to bottom, then scoop out the seeds. Place the quarters flat side down and dice.
4. How to quickly peel fresh ginger
To quickly peel fresh ginger, Amy from Sunset recommends scraping the surface of the ginger with a spoon. The spoon removes the outside without taking off too much of the pulp of the spice.
5. How to easily open a jar
This Week for Dinner gives the secret to easily opening jars without having to ask someone else to do it. Simply take a bottle opener and gently lift an edge until it pops. This unseals the jar so that it will easily twist open, and the lid will also screw back on. Martha Stewart recommends using two rubber bands, one around the lid and one around the body of the jar. The bands become "grips" so your hands don't slip.
6. How to slice a lot of cherry tomatoes or grapes
In order to quickly slice a number of cherry tomatoes or grapes at once, The Yummy Life says to get two matching lids that are completely flat and have an edge on them. Place the tomatoes or grapes inside an upward facing lid and place the second lid on top, facing down. Gently press on the top lid to hold it in place. Take a serrated knife and slice between the lids to quickly cut through all the tomatoes or grapes at once.
Sean Symons takes a tomato and quickly dices it. He cuts off the top and then slices it in one-quarter-inch slices that stop just short of the bottom. He then makes one-quarter-inch slices in the opposite direction across the existing slices. Once finished, he places the tomato on its side and cuts through the slices, making perfect little pieces. The bottom that is still intact is then quickly sliced and diced.
8. How to peel a mango (or kiwi) in under 10 second
To quickly peel a mango, Alton Brown of Life Hacker takes one-half of a mango and places the outside skin against the outside edge of a glass. He then uses the glass to scoop out the inside of the mango in one smooth motion.
9. How to chop herbs
Faith Durand from Tips From the Kitchen quickly chops fresh herbs by placing the herbs into a glass and cutting them up with kitchen shears.
10. How to chop salad in the bowl
For those who want salad without the work of chopping, Serious Eats offers up the suggestion of chopping it in the bowl. Simply place your uncut ingredients into your salad bowl. Take a pizza cutter and roll it back and forth over the ingredients until you get your desired size.
Having a great, home cooked meal doesn't have to mean hours of prep-time in the kitchen. With these amazing, time-saving ideas, you can have a healthy meal without being a slave to the kitchen. You can have your pie and eat it too.