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Favorite food shortcuts

2

Re: Favorite food shortcuts

  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    Senecaf said:
    I need to adopt some of these time saving skills. Our life is so crazy and FI insists on eating everything whole and fresh so we end up stressing over dinner nightly. I agree with him abput the whole foods, but I need to be better at prepping in advance. Sometimes I default to convinence foods (frozen lasagna) and let him fend for himself. Marinating meat before freezing?? Genius!
    One thing that's been a lifesaver for me with vegetables is flavored olive oils. We have garlic, lemon, basil and rosemary infused olive oils right now, and it's so easy to drizzle a little on fresh veggies and either roast in the oven (in the winter) or put in a foil packet on the grill (anytime it's above 40 degrees). Keeps them from being the same ol' boring thing. If you want to look super fancy, add a squeeze of lemon juice and some fresh grated parmesan. Which, of course, means you need to register for this bad boy. :)
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  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    @aspoonfulofsugar @lolo883 I have a mandolin like that. I was trying to do a zuchini which wouldn't fit into the holder (since I was trying to go the long way and the holder is round for like a potato) so I just held it in my hand instead. Totally sliced a chunk out of my finger. Didn't need medical attention but it was wrapped up for a few days. My genius solution- now I do it with my hand still but wearing an oven mit!

                                                                     

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  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    @lolo883 Maybe you need one of those chain-mail gloves the guys at Chipotle use to chop up the veggies.  It looks pretty badass.

    I have a mandolin too and I love it.  Fi loves using it, it's a fun toy for him.  But we always use the holder.

    We have one of those spinny cheese grater things, but it's a really cheap version I got for like $5 at HomeGoods, and it's not really strong enough to get the job done.  It feels flimsy.  I may need to register for a nicer one. :)
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  • lovemyrunnerlovemyrunner Nebraska member
    Ninth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I'm all about the crockpot.  My fave recipe is for salsa chicken, 1 pkg frozen chicken breasts, 1 can corn, 1 can black beans, 1 12 oz jar salsa.  Throw it all in the crockpot for 7-8 hours on low (3-4 on high).  When the chicken is tender, shred with a fork and serve.  I use it as taco filling.  Easy and healthy!

    @wandajune6: this information about Target's quinoa is life changing!  Thanks for the heads up!

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    southernbelle0915miaawallace
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    @lolo883 Maybe you need one of those chain-mail gloves the guys at Chipotle use to chop up the veggies.  It looks pretty badass.

    I have a mandolin too and I love it.  Fi loves using it, it's a fun toy for him.  But we always use the holder.

    We have one of those spinny cheese grater things, but it's a really cheap version I got for like $5 at HomeGoods, and it's not really strong enough to get the job done.  It feels flimsy.  I may need to register for a nicer one. :)
    I have one of those gloves and can't use it to save my life! It feels bulky and makes it hard to grip things.


  • Senecaf said:

    I need to adopt some of these time saving skills. Our life is so crazy and FI insists on eating everything whole and fresh so we end up stressing over dinner nightly. I agree with him abput the whole foods, but I need to be better at prepping in advance. Sometimes I default to convinence foods (frozen lasagna) and let him fend for himself. Marinating meat before freezing?? Genius!

    One thing that's been a lifesaver for me with vegetables is flavored olive oils. We have garlic, lemon, basil and rosemary infused olive oils right now, and it's so easy to drizzle a little on fresh veggies and either roast in the oven (in the winter) or put in a foil packet on the grill (anytime it's above 40 degrees). Keeps them from being the same ol' boring thing. If you want to look super fancy, add a squeeze of lemon juice and some fresh grated parmesan. Which, of course, means you need to register for this bad boy. :)
    image


    I do need one of those!
  • sarawifenowsarawifenow Denver, baby! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I don't really use many pre-made things, but I will pre-make my own. About once a month, I will make a massive amount of spaghetti sauce (FI is obsessed with my spaghetti) and then freeze it in portioned bags. I just have to thaw it a cook noodles...done. I will also do this with stew and chili in the winter time. That one day of non-stop cooking makes for many nights of quick dinners.
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  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    I don't really use many pre-made things, but I will pre-make my own. About once a month, I will make a massive amount of spaghetti sauce (FI is obsessed with my spaghetti) and then freeze it in portioned bags. I just have to thaw it a cook noodles...done. I will also do this with stew and chili in the winter time. That one day of non-stop cooking makes for many nights of quick dinners.
    I do this with sauce, too.  Both tomato sauce and pesto sauce.  I freeze the pesto in ice cube trays so you can take little portions at a time.
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    sarawifenow
  • sarawifenowsarawifenow Denver, baby! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I don't really use many pre-made things, but I will pre-make my own. About once a month, I will make a massive amount of spaghetti sauce (FI is obsessed with my spaghetti) and then freeze it in portioned bags. I just have to thaw it a cook noodles...done. I will also do this with stew and chili in the winter time. That one day of non-stop cooking makes for many nights of quick dinners.
    I do this with sauce, too.  Both tomato sauce and pesto sauce. I freeze the pesto in ice cube trays so you can take little portions at a time.
     
    Dammit stuck in the box....
     
    My grandmother got me hooked on doing this, too! I will also use an ice cube tray to freeze chicken/beef/veggie stock so I can add it to stir fries and the like when they are getting too dry.
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  • I will use the rice cooker for rice, quinoa, or any dried beans.

    Anniversary

  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    I don't really use many pre-made things, but I will pre-make my own. About once a month, I will make a massive amount of spaghetti sauce (FI is obsessed with my spaghetti) and then freeze it in portioned bags. I just have to thaw it a cook noodles...done. I will also do this with stew and chili in the winter time. That one day of non-stop cooking makes for many nights of quick dinners.
    I do this with soups! I started a "Soup Swap" with some friends - like a cookie exchange, but with soup. We do it a few times per fall/winter. Everyone brings at least 12 cups of their favorite homemade soup (2 cups to taste + 5 servings/2 cups each). It's enough to taste a little bit of each, along with my homemade focaccia plus wine and cheese, and take home your 5 favorites. Whoever is hosting that time provides 16-oz freezer/microwave/dishwasher-safe containers and freezer labels that we buy on Amazon. If there's any extra of any kind, we keep choosing more til it's all gone. I love making soup but get sick of all the same kind, so this works out great to have a freezer full of variety!

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    sarawifenowlovemyrunner
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If you're worried about cutting your hands when chopping vegetables or using a mandolin, take a cue from my hero Alton Brown and get yourself a kevlar glove like this:

    image

    They can be found on Amazon for around $10 (CLICKY).
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • -No-boil lasagna noodles - these babies make me WANT to make lasagna! 
    -Chopped nuts. F chopping my own - ANGTFT
    -pre-cut/-chopped fruit and veggies. I try not to because they astronomically more expensive than doing it myself, but such a time saver.

    *********************************************************************************

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  • While the gloves seem like a must, I think I'm still more afraid of cutting something off of my body.

    My favorite food shortcut is to use my KitchenAid for shredding chicken: bake it in the oven and throw it in the mixer bowl still hot.  Voila, you have shredded chicken in a minute!
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  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ok, you guys with the onion choppers, have you never heard of frozen chopped onions before? Because they will seriously change your life.
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    Ok, you guys with the onion choppers, have you never heard of frozen chopped onions before? Because they will seriously change your life.
    !!!!!!!!!

    Nope, never heard of them.  I have frozen garlic and basil cubes though from TJ's, and I love those.
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  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ok, you guys with the onion choppers, have you never heard of frozen chopped onions before? Because they will seriously change your life.
    !!!!!!!!!

    Nope, never heard of them.  I have frozen garlic and basil cubes though from TJ's, and I love those.

    Get thee to the frozen food aisle, my child. Don't have TJ's here so I don't know if they have them. But, pre chopped, no tears or burning eyes, No wondering if you have one that isn't rotten, just open the bag and dump out what you need. It's a revelation.
    JCbride2015
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I HATE frozen onions. They are so mushy when you cook them, and I don't like mushy onions. I liek my vegetables to have a little bit of bite to them.
    ~*~*~*~*~

    southernbelle0915arrippa
  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    I HATE frozen onions. They are so mushy when you cook them, and I don't like mushy onions. I liek my vegetables to have a little bit of bite to them.
    Ha, I HATE when onions crunch! SOMETIMES I'll use frozen onions in things like chili, and then cook the bajeesus out of them, but I do insist on fresh chopped onions if I'm making a roux for soup. The extra water in frozen onions fucks up the butter.

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  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I HATE frozen onions. They are so mushy when you cook them, and I don't like mushy onions. I liek my vegetables to have a little bit of bite to them.
    Ha, I HATE when onions crunch! SOMETIMES I'll use frozen onions in things like chili, and then cook the bajeesus out of them, but I do insist on fresh chopped onions if I'm making a roux for soup. The extra water in frozen onions fucks up the butter.
    The wateriness is what I hate most about a lot of frozen vegetables. You can't get crispy stir-fry vegetables when you start out with watery mush!
    ~*~*~*~*~

    southernbelle0915
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    I HATE frozen onions. They are so mushy when you cook them, and I don't like mushy onions. I liek my vegetables to have a little bit of bite to them.
    Ha, I HATE when onions crunch! SOMETIMES I'll use frozen onions in things like chili, and then cook the bajeesus out of them, but I do insist on fresh chopped onions if I'm making a roux for soup. The extra water in frozen onions fucks up the butter.
    The wateriness is what I hate most about a lot of frozen vegetables. You can't get crispy stir-fry vegetables when you start out with watery mush!
    I have a love/hate relationship with frozen veggies.  Broccoli usually comes out pretty well.  I like frozen peas to throw into pasta or soups.  Anything softer, like asparagus or green beans, gets too mushy.
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  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I HATE frozen onions. They are so mushy when you cook them, and I don't like mushy onions. I liek my vegetables to have a little bit of bite to them.
    Ha, I HATE when onions crunch! SOMETIMES I'll use frozen onions in things like chili, and then cook the bajeesus out of them, but I do insist on fresh chopped onions if I'm making a roux for soup. The extra water in frozen onions fucks up the butter.
    The wateriness is what I hate most about a lot of frozen vegetables. You can't get crispy stir-fry vegetables when you start out with watery mush!
    I have a love/hate relationship with frozen veggies.  Broccoli usually comes out pretty well.  I like frozen peas to throw into pasta or soups.  Anything softer, like asparagus or green beans, gets too mushy.
    Truth. If I'm not going to get fresh asparagus or green beans, I go for the canned before I'd ever touch frozen. And frozen bell peppers are just awful.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    I HATE frozen onions. They are so mushy when you cook them, and I don't like mushy onions. I liek my vegetables to have a little bit of bite to them.
    Ha, I HATE when onions crunch! SOMETIMES I'll use frozen onions in things like chili, and then cook the bajeesus out of them, but I do insist on fresh chopped onions if I'm making a roux for soup. The extra water in frozen onions fucks up the butter.
    The wateriness is what I hate most about a lot of frozen vegetables. You can't get crispy stir-fry vegetables when you start out with watery mush!
    I have a love/hate relationship with frozen veggies.  Broccoli usually comes out pretty well.  I like frozen peas to throw into pasta or soups.  Anything softer, like asparagus or green beans, gets too mushy.
    Truth. If I'm not going to get fresh asparagus or green beans, I go for the canned before I'd ever touch frozen. And frozen bell peppers are just awful.
    Eww canned vegetables are vile. Tomatoes, beans, olives and artichokes are the only things I'll touch in a can.

    Frozen peas, corn and spinach are the best. I actually don't mind frozen green beans, but I roast all my veggies in the oven so that helps. The only steamed vegetable I like is fresh broccoli. 

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  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I HATE frozen onions. They are so mushy when you cook them, and I don't like mushy onions. I liek my vegetables to have a little bit of bite to them.
    Ha, I HATE when onions crunch! SOMETIMES I'll use frozen onions in things like chili, and then cook the bajeesus out of them, but I do insist on fresh chopped onions if I'm making a roux for soup. The extra water in frozen onions fucks up the butter.
    The wateriness is what I hate most about a lot of frozen vegetables. You can't get crispy stir-fry vegetables when you start out with watery mush!
    I have a love/hate relationship with frozen veggies.  Broccoli usually comes out pretty well.  I like frozen peas to throw into pasta or soups.  Anything softer, like asparagus or green beans, gets too mushy.
    Truth. If I'm not going to get fresh asparagus or green beans, I go for the canned before I'd ever touch frozen. And frozen bell peppers are just awful.
    I love canned green beans. When I was little, we use to go camping and we use to eat green beans out of the can. I think it brings back some good memories. Well, that and the salt. I love salty goodness.
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer

    I don't really use many pre-made things, but I will pre-make my own. About once a month, I will make a massive amount of spaghetti sauce (FI is obsessed with my spaghetti) and then freeze it in portioned bags. I just have to thaw it a cook noodles...done. I will also do this with stew and chili in the winter time. That one day of non-stop cooking makes for many nights of quick dinners.
    I do this with sauce, too.  Both tomato sauce and pesto sauce. I freeze the pesto in ice cube trays so you can take little portions at a time.
     
    Dammit stuck in the box....
     
    My grandmother got me hooked on doing this, too! I will also use an ice cube tray to freeze chicken/beef/veggie stock so I can add it to stir fries and the like when they are getting too dry.
    My parents always did something similar growing up. At the end of the season we grind all of the herbs in the garden with a bit of olive oil and freeze them in ice cube trays. I do this with basil, chives, and leftover parsley. Ice cubes are too big for things like rosemary and thyme so I'll occasionally make cubes of a mixture of spices.

    This approach is also great for compound butters.
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  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    @wandajune6 I do that with herbs, too!  Sort of like having an infused oil, although I think I also like Lolo's idea of keeping some infused oils around at room temperature.
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  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Also, if there is such a thing as leftover coffee or wine, freeze those too. I hate how regular ice dilutes iced coffee so I use frozen coffee instead.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • ShellD13ShellD13 Can't get there from here member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    You can also use muffin tins to freeze left over broth or stock.  They are bigger than the ice cubes and work out better for my purposes.  I just freeze them in the muffin tins and then pop them out and into ziploc freezer bags for long term storage.
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  • FutureMrsN3312FutureMrsN3312 Dirty Jersey member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Also, if there is such a thing as leftover coffee or wine, freeze those too. I hate how regular ice dilutes iced coffee so I use frozen coffee instead.
    This is genius!  I'm a weirdo and like my wine ice cold.  So wine ice cubes is such a fantastic idea!!!!
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