Monday, September 7, 2009

Save Time in the Kitchen

Making healthy, South Beach Diet-friendly meals doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. There are many ways you can save minutes in the kitchen and still eat nutritious, delicious food. It’s just a matter of having the recipes and ingredients on hand and learning a few shortcuts.

So, if you’re feeling time-pressed and daunted by the idea of preparing healthy meals, here are simple time-saving tricks to help you get started:

Always read through the recipes you plan to make to be sure you have all the ingredients prepped and assembled before you start cooking.

As soon as you get home from the grocery store, prep fruit and veggies and separate them into individual containers to use during the week. Always keep a bag of prewashed greens on hand to create a healthy salad in minutes.

Instead of mincing garlic each time you need it, throw whole cloves into the food processor. Refrigerate any leftovers in a plastic container and use within one week.

Cook once so you can eat twice (or more). On Sunday, for example, prepare enough food for two or three meals so you can freeze some in microwavable containers and enjoy the leftovers throughout the week (and take a night or two off from cooking). If you’re grilling, grill extra for lunch the next day.

Stock your kitchen with easy noncook foods to grab for snacks on-the-go, like canned or pouched tuna, plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt, or ready-made hummus.

Prepare veggie crudités once a week and keep them in the fridge to snack on or chop to add to soups, salads, and more.

Clean as you cook — rather than stacking the dishes in the sink to clean after dinner, wash pots, pans, bowls, and other kitchen utensils as you’re preparing the meal.

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