Cooking Healthy Meals in Less Time

"Cook Healthy Meals in Less Time".....That's the promise you are given by virtually any cooking show or magazine these days.

As many of you have read over the past months, I'm not making that promise here. Instead, you're getting information from me on how to cook better. That is, at a higher level of quality based on the ingredients, recipes and techniques I share.

I've written about this before - There are no shortcuts to becoming a great cook (except using a lot of fresh herbs - that helps a lot!)

On the other hand, if you try some of my recipes and techniques, you will get faster in the kitchen. How?
  • Use high quality kitchen tools (and sharp ones for cutting) the tools make the job easier for you. Here's an overview on using a good chef's knife.
  • Find good quality ingredients .....find favorite brands and only use them, so the products are predictable and reliable for you. High-end, pricey is not necessarily needed, just good quality and consistency. For example, Barilla dried pastas.
  • Ensure your produce, meats and seafood are very fresh.....This eliminates uncertainty about ingredients you're using ("Does this smell OK to you?") and the hassle of working around bad spots or questionable textures.
  • Learn proper prep techniques.....there is a fastest and most appropriate technique for any product you're working with. For example, here's a link to my advice about how to dice plum tomatoes. If you're not sure about a technique, just ask me....I'll help. Drop me an email at
  • Have a great, reliable you can focus on just making the dish, instead of second guessing/modifying/improving an average or poor recipe.
There are also a few habits you can develop before you even get into the kitchen that help you save time when making better meals.
  • Have a menu plan covering the upcoming few days or week.....even if it's a pretty loose outline, you'll be a more focused and prepared to cook
  • Plan complimentary dishes.....for example, be ready to use similar ingredients during the same week, or use leftovers for a next dish. We'll be using turnips twice in the next 3-4 days. Last Saturday's marinated tomato salad become part of Monday's homemade salsa. Leftover baked potatoes became Silky Mash (an incredible dish).
  • Organize your shopping list.....My wife Margie has a list organized aisle-by-aisle for her favorite store. I choose to simply group produce, bakery, dry goods, meat/seafood, dairy into sections on this list. 
  • Only shop for what's on your list.....inventing new recipes while strolling the aisles is possible, maybe even fun, but the odds of creating really stunning new dishes that way is low. Unless you use a lot of fresh herbs in the new dish. :)

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