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  • Writer's pictureHarshal

9 Tips To Elevate Your Cooking Before The Heat Is On

Preps Before You Cook To Save Time And Effort.


Do you find the idea of preparing a meal from scratch daunting? Are there things you'd rather be doing with your precious time and energy? You are not alone in this struggle. Let’s talk about saving your cooking time, keeping your groceries fresh for longer, and eliminating the painful parts of cooking food.


We identified 5 stages of meal prep in the earlier post:

  1. Grocery shopping.

  2. Pre-cooking storage and preparation.

  3. Cooking.

  4. Food storage.

  5. Final touches and consumption.


This post looks at stage 2, preparations before you cook.

Busy kitchen. Preparations for cooking.
Busy kitchen. Preparations for cooking.

Here are all the posts in this series:


(Stage 2) 9 Tips Before You Cook

You have done your shopping. The next step is to cook. Or, is it? I suggest a few preparation and storage tips before you cook.


Tips 1 to 5 - Prepping Vegetables

1 - I find hiring household help to wash and chop vegetables invaluable for pre-cooking preparations. 2-3 hours a week is sufficient.


2 - A salad spinner will dry green leafy vegetables very well after they are washed and chopped. This keeps the vegetables fresh longer in the fridge.


3 - Chopping vegetables in large pieces saves time. The cooking time does not increase much if you are boiling the vegetables.


4 - Canned tomatoes, with their extended shelf life, are a superior alternative to home-ripened tomatoes.


5 - Pre-diced frozen onions, bell peppers, garlic, and ginger, are excellent add-ins for dishes without a lot of calories. They offer both flavor and convenience, eliminating the need for daily dicing.


Tips 6 and 7 - Prepping Fruits

6 - I use an apple slicer to process apples and pears. Opting for larger slices minimizes juice loss and prevents the mushy texture seen in fruits like plums and pears.


7 - Add a few drops of lemon or lime to prolong the freshness of chopped apples.


Tips 8 and 9 - Prepping Nuts 

8 - I chop nuts in a food processor. After chopping, I recommend roasting the nuts and seeds using a microwave. This method draws out the acidic taste and aromatic compounds through the Maillard reaction from roasting, negating the need for daily roast preparations.


9 - Store chopped roasted nuts in glass containers for several weeks. This saves time chopping or roasting nuts when you need to eat them.

Here are all the posts in this series:

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