Madison
65° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Advertisement

Forget fast food: 10 secrets to making good food fast

Published On: Jul 25 2013 02:52:40 PM CDT
Vegetables, farmer's market

(NewsUSA) - Today's busy lifestyles leave little time for basic cooking, and have led to a growing trend of daily fast food meals -- for breakfast, lunch and dinner! But eating healthy and cooking at home can fit within a busy lifestyle if you learn to make quick, 15-minute meals.

Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati, authors of the "Cooking with Trader Joe's" cookbooks, are two moms who found that recipe shortcuts are the key to quick meals -- and kicking the fast food habit.

"By taking fresh ingredients and strategically coupling them with prepared items and shortcuts from the grocery store, we can create healthy meals in a fraction of the time it would take to make from scratch," says Gunn.

Most markets now offer fresh, ready-to-use ingredients such as jarred sauces, cut veggies, bagged salads and marinated meats -- the key to these easy shortcuts. Here are Gunn and Miniati's top 10 kitchen tips and tricks for cooking delicious and easy meals at home, without compromising quality or resorting to the drive-through:

1) Use prepared sauces, from marinaras to curries. Add vegetables or meats and simmer, or toss sauces with couscous or pasta.

2) Add everyday superfoods, like canned beans or pre-cooked lentils, to soups or salads, or serve them over rice.

3) Pick up a fully cooked rotisserie chicken. Use the leftovers in wraps or soups.

4) Perk up any meal with fresh herbs. Add fresh basil to a simple pasta dish, cilantro to plain rice, or rosemary to roasting potatoes.

5) Toss a healthy salad in minutes using washed and bagged salad.

6) Salad dressings do double-duty as fast and flavorful marinades for chicken or meats.

7) Transform boxed meals such as rice pilaf or mac-n-cheese by adding frozen vegetables, ready-cubed pancetta or a little curry powder.

8) Put an end to greasy pizza delivery. Use ready-made dough to roll out quick pizza crusts that you can top with your own favorite and healthy ingredients.

9) Customize cake and bread mixes to your tastes. Add dried fruits and nuts to a bread mix, or stir lemon and orange zest into a plain white cake mix.

10) Plan simple recipes for the week before going shopping. If you shop with meals in mind, you'll save time and wasted groceries.

Advertisement
  • Lindsay Lohan in court new

    David McNew/Reuters

    Worst celebrity drivers

    NBA star Dwight Howard's Florida driver's license has been suspended after he failed to pay a ticket for running a red light, Reuters reported. In turns out Howard was ticketed an astonishing 10 times for running red lights in the Orlando area, and received four speeding tickets, 12 citations for failing to pay highway tolls and one citation for failing to change his address on his driver's license. Take a look at the worst celebrity drivers.

  • California fires night firefighters

    Noah Berger/Reuters

    Wildfires rage out of control in California

    Hundreds of homes have been destroyed by wildfires raging out of control in drought-stricken California. Thousands more are threatened.

  • Scotland independence crowd

    REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

    Celebs react to Scotland's independence vote

    Scots head to the polls today to vote on the future of their country. The outcome could end Scotland's 307-year union with England and Wales as Great Britain -- and see it launch into the world as an independent nation of some 5.3 million people. Take a look at celebrity (both Scottish and not) reactions to the referendum.

Advertisement