Updated: Feb 4
Preparing food fast can be a challenge, but there are several strategies that can help make the process more efficient:
Plan ahead: Make a weekly meal plan and grocery list to ensure that you have all the ingredients you need on hand. Consider cooking meals in bulk and freezing leftovers for quick and easy meals later in the week.
Use quick-cooking ingredients: Stock your kitchen with ingredients that cook quickly, such as boneless chicken breasts, pre-cut vegetables, and quick-cooking grains like quinoa or couscous.
Utilize quick cooking methods: Grilling, stir-frying, and microwaving are all fast cooking methods that can be used to prepare meals quickly.
Keep it simple: Opt for simple recipes with a few ingredients, as opposed to complicated, multi-step recipes.
Make use of leftovers: Incorporate leftovers from previous meals into new dishes, such as using leftover grilled chicken in a salad or pasta.
Use pre-made ingredients: Take advantage of pre-cut vegetables, pre-cooked grains, and other convenience items to save time.
Invest in time-saving tools: Consider purchasing tools such as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or air fryer to make meal preparation faster and easier.
By incorporating these strategies, you can save time and effort in the kitchen while still enjoying healthy and delicious meals.
In order to shorten the time needed for a recipe, reducing the prep time could be the best way to do it. You can't really reduce the cooking time, but you can reduce the prep time significantly with the proper methods and tools.
Part 1: How to Cut Fruits Quickly
Firstly, let's look at a fruits related recipe:
Fun fruit salad (Snack)
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 0 min
2 apples, cored and chopped
2 oranges, peeled and chopped
½ small cantaloupe, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp lime juice, about 1 medium lime
Add the apples, oranges, cantaloupe and pears to a bowl. Squeeze the juice from the lime over the fruit. Toss together and serve immediately or chill until ready to eat.
So the prep time is 15 minutes, which can be quite long time.
Let's use some tricks to reduce the prep time now:
Here is an article about How to Cut 13 Fruits the Right Way. For this article, the way to cut an apple can also be applied to a pear. We don't need other methods, but the way to slice grapes is actually very good.
Here is a video about Orange Peel Trick, which is quite fun and also saving lots of time.
Here is a video about How to Cut A Cantaloupe, which can be the faster way to do it.
Now you can save at least half of the time for preparing the recipe!
Part 2: How to Cut Vegetables Quickly
The most difficult part for vegetables could be grating. The best way for grating is to buy a rotary grater, which is easy, quick, safe, and saving lots of efforts. Usually, the rotary grater can be used for grating, striping, slicing, grounding, and shredding.
For dicing vegetables, it is not difficult for just doing by hands. But using a dicer can be much faster. Just think about dicing an onion with just one cut.
For mincing garlic, etc. it is not difficult for just doing by hands. But using a mincer can be much faster.
Let's look at a vegetables related recipe:
Carrot potato pancakes (All)
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
500 mL (2 cups) finely grated carrot
500 mL (2 cups) finely grated potato
15 mL (1 tbsp) finely grated onion
30 mL (2 tbsp) whole wheat flour
2 mL (½ tsp) baking powder
Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in carrot, potato, onion, flour, and baking powder. Mix well.
Spray griddle or non-stick skillet lightly with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Using 125 mL (1/2 cup) measuring cup, pour batter onto hot griddle. Cook for about 2 minutes or until light golden brown. Flip over and cook for another minute or until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.
The prep time is 10 minutes, which can be quite long time.
By using a rotary grater, you can save at least half of the time for preparing the recipe!
Let's try to do really quick and healthy meals for a typical working day:
Morning: Carrot potato pancakes (4 servings for 15 minutes, about 500 calories in total; 1 serving for 1 person)
Snacks: Fun fruit salad (8 servings for 8 minutes, about 700 calories in total; 1 serving for 1 person)
Lunch: Lunch box tuna salad wrap (2 servings for 10 minutes, about 600 calories in total; 1 serving for 1 person; 4 persons require doubling the ingredients, but the prep time doesn't change much)
Snacks: Fun fruit salad (Leftovers; 1 serving for 1 person)
Dinner: Fun flatbread pizza (4 servings for 13 minutes, about 1300 calories in total; 1 serving for 1 person)
Note: The preparing time (including snacks) for the day is less than 50 minutes, which can be quite fast and save lots of time.