Ten Tips for Heat and Serve Cooking
Here is a short list of some of the things that you can keep in your pantry to help you short-cut dinner preparation. Use it as a start-up list and add your personal favorites.
- A variety of frozen vegetables.
- Canned chicken, beef and vegetable broths, preferably low-sodium.
- Canned tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, and pasta sauces.
- Couscous, bulgur and precooked dried pastas.
- Frozen rice mixtures.
- Seasoned bread crumbs, stuffing mixes, and croutons.
- Salad dressings to use for marinades, sauces, and dips as well as salad toppers.
- Basic herbs and spices such as dried basil, cilantro, dill, oregano,parsley, rosemary, thyme, ground cumin, paprika, pepper, chili powder, curry powder, onion flakes, garlic flakes and your favorite herb and spice mixtures for savory cooking. Allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg are essential for desserts.
- Frozen precooked meats; frozen shelled and de-veined shrimp and breaded seafood.
- Ready-to-use refrigerated Italian, French, and Asian sauces.
A Few Tips for Speedy Heat and Serve Cooking
A few simple measures can cut down on your kitchen preparation time.
- Focus on simple recipes rather than elaborate techniques. These elaborate techniques just cause more dirty dishes and more clean-up time.
- Consider what else you can do to speed up your meal after you start noodles to boil, rice cooking or meat browning.
- Use quick flavor enhancers, such as low-sodium broths and sauces, herb vinegars, hot pepper sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and nuts.
Fast Food Fix
Try apples with fat-free caramel dip, brocco-flowers with low-fat ranch dressing, carrots with peanut butter, or tomato slices topped with a little olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.