Plan-ahead tips - time savers

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~ Roast a half-dozen heads of fresh garlic at one time; let cool, and squeeze out the individual cloves. Place the cloves in a zip-top heavy-duty freezer bag, press the bag flat, and freeze. To use, pry off cloves with the tip t\\of a knife, let thaw for 1-2 minutes, mash, and use. - Buy minced garlic in a jar. It's quicker and easier than using fresh garlic.

~ When you have extra bell peppers on hand, chop them in the food processor, and freeze them to use later. There's no need to blanch the peppers ahead of time; simply place the chopped peppers in a zip-top heavy-duty freezer bag, press the bag flat, and freeze. You can do the same with onions.

~ Store gingerroot in the freezer in a zip-top heavy-duty freezer bag. It's easy to peel and grate while frozen.

~ When a recipe calls for toasted nuts, toast more than you need.

Freeze the leftover nuts in a zip-top heavy-duty freezer bag.

~ Buy roasted bell peppers in a jar instead of roasting your own.

~ Most grocery stores will steam fresh shrimp, seasoned or unseasoned. And many stores will peel and devein shrimp for you, too.

Some even offer this service at no extra charge if you call and place your order several hours in advance.

~ Use more dried than fresh, and keep them in the freezer, arranged alphabetically, for optimal flavor and easy access.

~ Use canned beans instead of dried ones. Canned beans have more sodium, but rinsing the beans before you use them reduces it. They're also easy to keep on hand and use on a moment's notice.

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Quick & Easy Weeknights

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 11-13-95

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