These are helpful tips we use in our kitchen that will get you on the road to kitchen success. READ the recipe and accompanying notes thoroughly prior to shopping, prepping and cooking. Comment below or contact us for any questions or inquiries. We’d be happy to help!
Bacon. DO cut up 2 to 4 bacon slices at a time with kitchen shears instead of chopping them with a knife (this method really works well for us). DO use the same plate or bowl the bacon was cut in to transfer the cooked bacon for less dirty dishes. We DON’T use added oil when cooking bacon, which in turn DON’T require lining the plate or bowl with paper towel.
Butter. If a recipe calls for melted butter and/or greased baking dish, melt the butter while oven is preheating. This time-saving shortcut will also save a dish or two. Once butter is melted, pour it out of the dish and incorporate it into the rest of your ingredients. A small amount of left-behind butter will coat the dish, eliminating the need to grease.
Cabbage. Bok Choy is a mild tasting Chinese cabbage. It’s perfect for the Seasoned Beef and Bok Choy recipe, but common green cabbage can be substituted. Its best to soak the bok choy in cool water to remove any grit stuck within the stems, and let air dry. For the Seasoned Beef and Bok Choy recipe, we use Shanghai baby bok choy which we pick up from an Asian market.
Green Beans. For a kid friendly dish, DO chop or cut the green beans into 1-inch bite-sized pieces.
Ground Beef. We use grass-fed, organic 85% lean ground beef in our recipes, which usually DON’T require the use of added oil. The small amount of fat from the meat is usually sufficient in preventing the meat and the whole dish from drying out. Add oil later as needed.
Chicken Thighs. We use organic chicken thighs in our recipes, which usually DON’T require the use of added oil. The small amount of fat from the meat is usually sufficient in preventing the meat and the whole dish from drying out. Add oil later as needed.
Stinky Cheese. Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheese are staples in our kitchen. These aged Italian cheeses can be found from most national and local grocery stores. We mix a bag of each in a tightly covered container and store in the refrigerator. We playfully call the cheese mixture “stinky cheese”. The goodness, saltiness, nuttiness and sharpness of stinky cheese makes it near perfect as an all-purpose cheese for everyday cooking and baking. We use stinky cheese for recipes like this make-ahead Veggie Bake and kid-friendly Bacon and Peas Pasta.
Eggs. We use organic eggs in our recipes.
Here is a simple and forgiving method of boiling eggs that really works well for us: PLACE eggs in a pot and ADD enough water to cover the eggs. COVER with lid and bring to a BOIL. Turn heat off and KEEP the pot on the hot burner for 10-12 minutes. Slightly COOL the boiled eggs and PEEL under cold water (the cold water will help in preventing the shells from sticking to the eggs).
We DO use an egg slicer to slice or cross-slice eggs for easier and faster prep.
If using an egg slicer, DO slice or cross-slice the eggs directly over the dish you are preparing for less dirty dishes.
For the Avocado Egg Salad recipe, use a ratio of 3-4 eggs to 1 avocado. If you like a creamier consistency and more avocado to your salad, mash the avocado well and use 3 eggs to 1 avocado.
Lemon Juice. When a recipe calls for lemon juice, DO prepare and squeeze the lemon into a small bowl or measuring cup ahead of cooking or during idle time in the kitchen.
Pasta. We use organic, gluten-free pasta with only 2 ingredients—organic quinoa flour and organic corn flour—for all our pasta recipes. We don’t have a gluten sensitivity in our household, but we only buy this pasta because it’s lighter for the belly and better for our health.
We DON’T add oil or salt to the pasta water, because we found that simply giving them a good stir shortly after submerging them in the boiling water will keep them from sticking.
DO use generous amount of water when boiling pasta to keep them from sticking.
We DON’T rinse the pasta when it’s done. Instead, we DO set aside some pasta water before draining them in a colander. We add pasta water to the dish if the pasta seems dry.
Rice. If serving rice, DO start the cooking process—with instant pot, rice cooker or stove top—ahead of cooking the main dish or during idle time in the kitchen. This ensures the rice is ready to serve along with your other dishes.
We DO use organic brown rice and cook with rice cooker with a stainless-steel pot. We DON’T recommend using any rice cooker with a Teflon-coated pot (when lining of the pot is scratched, Teflon flakes may end up in the food).
Frozen Vegetables. We use organic, non-GMO frozen vegetables in our recipes.
DO break up the bag of frozen vegetables before adding to the dish.