5 Time Savers in the Kitchen (not a list of gadgets!)

Most of us are on a never-ending quest to save time. We make choices that aren’t good for us out of convenience. It seems so much easier to go through a drive thru than to cook our own meals.

Today I want to share some of my favorite time savers in the kitchen.

5 Kitchen Time Savers

1. Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Did you know you can cook potatoes in the Crock Pot. It’s so easy. You don’t need foil or oil or anything else. Just scrub the potatoes, prick a few holes in them and put them in the Crock Pot. Cook them on low all day and you have hot baked potatoes when you get home. This is the perfect way to cook those HUGE potatoes that take forever to cook in the oven.

You may say, “these cook all day, that doesn’t save time.” It only takes a few minutes to scrub them, boom, you are done until it’s time to eat.

2. Use your Crock Pot

I know I already mentioned Crock Pot Potatoes, maybe it’s because I could eat potatoes everyday. Most of the soup and casseroles I make can easily be made in the Crock Pot. I don’t cook pasta in the Crock Pot but everything else is fair game. I’ll spend 5-10 minutes dumping everything in then forget about it until dinner. You may need to add more water if you are adapting recipes.

3. Buy Frozen Veggies

I love fresh veggies but when time is short I reach for a bag of frozen veggies, especially frozen Stir Fry Veggies. I can have my Veggie Pad Thai on the table in about 15 minutes. (The noodles cook super quick).

4. Use Veggie Broth (or bullion)

Most of the time when I cook and use the “taste and see” method. I taste the food, see what spices I have that could improve it, then taste again. This process goes on until I feel it’s “just right’ or my kids distract me (or sometimes I just give up).

I’ve found using a veggie broth helps give my dishes a richer flavor from the get go. Of course my Dry Veggie Broth Mix is my favorite. If you aren’t a “make it yourself” kind of person Massel makes some great products that I really love. They have bullion cubes, granulated bullion and liquid stock. The are vegan (yes even the beef-style and chicken-style), gluten-free, and all natural.

Veggie Broth can be used to make quick sauces or to add extra flavor to grains, pasta or soups. I spend a lot less time tweaking dinner when I use a broth mix.

5. Cook Once, Eat Twice

I’m not talking about a full on batch cooking session. Make twice as much food as you need and save it for another time. Four cups of rice cooks in the same amount of time as two cups of rice, the same with beans, potatoes, etc. When it’s time to put the leftovers away put them in the freezer if you don’t want to eat it right away.

Now put all these tips to good use by putting leftover Crock Pot Baked Potatoes in the Crock Pot with Frozen Veggies, Veggie Broth and any beans, grains, or other leftovers.

Or, you could take baby steps and just try them one at a time.

On a side not I’ve had LOTS of people tell me I need an Instant Pot. I’ve heard amazing things but I don’t have one so I don’t know much about them but it’s on my future wish list.

How do you save time in the kitchen?

 

Roasted Stuffed Winter Squash from the Forks Over Knives Plan

Yesterday I shared a review of the new book The Forks Over Knives Plan by Alonda Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD. Today I’m going to share a recipe from the book! This recipe is shared with permission.

It’s perfect timing too because fall is on the way and soon we will be looking for comforting recipes just like this one.

Roasted Stuffed Winter Squash from the Forks Over Knives Plan

Roasted Stuffed Winter Squash

Winter squashes, such as acorn and butternut, can be tricky to work with because their tough skin is hard to peel. Preparing squash this way — stuffed with a savory filling and roasted — puts that sturdy shell to good use. The rice should be quite moist after it cooks in step 3; it provides good contrast to the squash and helps the stuffing mixture stay together without becoming chewy or dry during baking. — Darshana Thacker

Makes 4 stuffed squash halves

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • ½ cup wild rice medley
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons dried rosemary
  • ½ cup finely chopped carrot
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup small broccoli florets
  • ½ cup small cauliflower florets
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts

1. Cut each acorn squash in half through the stem. Trim the stem and remove and discard the seeds (keep the skin on).

2. Bring a large saucepan or pot of water to a boil. Add the squash halves and cook until the squash is slightly soft when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the water and drain well. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

3. Meanwhile, bring 1½ cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the wild rice medley and cook, covered, over medium heat for 25 minutes. (Alternatively, follow the cooking instructions on the rice package, using a bit more water than called for so that the rice is moist after steaming.) Remove from the heat and set aside.

4. Use a spoon to scoop out the inner edges of each cooled squash half to create a wider and deeper hollow for the stuffing; leave about half of the squash flesh attached to the peel. Reserve the scooped-out squash flesh for the stuffing. Set the squash shells aside.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

6. In a skillet with a lid, combine the vegetable broth, onion, garlic powder, ginger, and rosemary. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Add the carrot, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, black pepper, and salt to taste, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more.

8. Add the reserved squash flesh and wild rice. Use a wooden spoon to mix the stuffing together; it should be a bit creamy. If all the liquid has dried up, add about ¼ cup broth or as much as is needed to make it slightly creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat.

9. Arrange the acorn squash shells on a baking sheet and divide the stuffing evenly among them. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top.

10. Bake until the pine nuts are browned and the stuffing is heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot.

The above is an excerpt from the book The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet by Alona Pulde, MD, and Matthew Lederman, MD. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy and references.

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win you very own copy of the Forks Over Knives Plan and read my full review.

Have you entered the giveaway yet?

The Forks Over Knives Plan Giveaway

I recently had the opportunity to receive an advance copy of The Forks Over Knives Plan: A 4 Week Meal-By-Meal Makeover by Alona Pulde, MD, and Matthew Lederman, MD. You’ll remember them as the husband and wife team from Forks Over Knives. The Forks Over Knives Plan debuts today and I’m ready to tell you what to expect!

Forks Over Knives Plan

What You’ll Find Inside

One of the things I hear over and over again from readers is that they have watched Forks Over Knives but they aren’t sure how to make the transition. The Fork Over Knives Plan teaches you how to make that transition one meal at a time starting with breakfast, followed by lunch then dinner.

Part 1

The Fork Over Knives Plan starts by sharing Dr. Pulde and Dr. Lederman’s stories. It gives us insight as to how they became doctors and learned about a whole food, plant-based lifestyle and what it did for each of them. Second, we learn why the “Plan” works to reverse and eliminate disease. Next we learn what a whole food, Plant-Based Diet looks like. You’ll be happy to learn you don’t need to live on a diet of green salads alone and it’s important to get enough calories (which is easy to do on their plan).

Part 2

The second part of the book covers the 4 week transition. Week 1 you focus on making healthy choices at breakfast. They also discuss how to read nutrition labels, what to have in your pantry and protein.

Week 2 encourages healthy choices at lunch, now you are up to 2 healthy meals per day. It also discusses Meal Planning, calcium and will power. Week 3 helps you transition toward a healthy dinner and offers helpful suggestions like cooking in bulk or cooking with friends. There is also a discussion on fats, oil and cravings.

Week 4 is all about fine-tuning your lifestyle and making small changes to get everything working well. There is also discussion on eating out, traveling and carbs.

Part 3

The last section is recipes, glorious recipes! A 100 recipes to be exact! Later this week I’ll share a delicious Fall recipe from The Forks Over Knives Plan.

If you’ve been intimidated by the science in other plant-based books or you’ve tried eating plant-based but would get stuck along the way then The Forks Over Knives Plan may be what you need. You’ll be encouraged by stories from other people who have been on the same journey.

The Giveaway

You can even win your very own copy! The giveaway is open to US residents only. If you don’t live in the US or don’t win the giveaway you can still find it in bookstores and Amazon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a free copy of The Forks Over Knives Plan. I didn’t receive any compensation. All opinions are my own.

This page contains affiliate links.

Meal Plan Monday: Quick Meals and Comforting Soups

September signals fall sports, dropping temperatures and back to school activities (read homework). Thankfully, I’ve found my back to school routine for the most part. Our evening sports practices make for hurried dinners at least twice a week. I love making quick meals and comforting soups, especially when they are easy.

This weekend is my Gluten-Free Lunch Box Class. If you live in the Phoenix area you don’t want to miss it! The deadline to sign up is Tuesday! Next week I’ll be releasing the New Meal Plans so be on the lookout for more clues this week on Facebook and Twitter!

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast

I know I’ve mentioned it before but I’ve fallen in love with Oatmeal again. The slightly cooler mornings make it my go to breakfast. I always use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats (it’s a 4 packs).

  • Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
  • Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
  • Cereal (on busy mornings)

Lunch

I pack a lunch for my kindergartener but my preschooler and I eat at home.

Dinner

I just restocked my pantry so I get to have some of my favorites this week.

I’m thinking of doing a little baking too! Maybe these Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins or Gluten-Free Apple Muffins with hit the spot. They would taste amazing with Sarah’s Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Spice Creamer (warning: contains nuts).

What do you have planned for the week? Have the temperatures cooled down enough for warm soups and comfort foods?

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

Every fall my news feed gets filled with pictures of leaves, Pumpkin Spice stuff and the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. Have you heard of this yet?

The Healthy Living Bundle is this incredible bundle of resources including ebooks, eCourses, memberships, and products.

Let’s take a look at some of the ebooks available.

And the eCourses!

Don’t forget these special offers for products/store credit!

 

I don’t want to mislead you. This is a LOT of information and a lot of it isn’t plant-based or vegan BUT I feel like it is such a great deal you really can’t pass it up. I didn’t even list everything!

Here is the thing, it’s less than $30 for over $1000 in ebooks, eCourses, memberships and products!

 

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is only available for a few more days! That’s how they can offer this at such a good deal. Don’t wait because it will be gone.

If you still have questions check out the FAQs page.

This page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using a link I will make a small percentage at no additional cost to you.
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