Rachael Ray’s Kitchen Shortcuts

Six tips for easy, faster cooking.

1. Speed your process. I often suggest pre-shredded cheese and pre-cut veggies as options in my recipes. They offer convenience that’s hard to beat.

2. Wash in one fell swoop. After a weekly trip to the market, wash and pack all your greens and herbs in plastic bags with damp paper towels before storing in the fridge. It’ll save you prep time all week.

Cut corners like Rachael Ray does and make cooking a breeze.
Cut corners like Rachael Ray does and make cooking a breeze.

3. Perk up flavor. Broths and stocks have come a long way in the last few years, not only with taste and consistency, but in packaging. They now come in re-sealable paper containers, which make storage of remaining product super-easy.

4. Sweeten without sugar. To sweeten a tomato sauce recipe, don’t add sugar — simply add half a minced onion to the garlic beforehand, and let it soften and sweeten over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Then add your tomato products.

5. Freeze for ease. For easy slicing of raw meat, pop it into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before starting to prepare the meal. This firms it up and makes it easier to control the thickness of slices.

6. Dress your salad in style. When dressing a salad with olive oil and vinegar, always put the acid (vinegar) on first. If you add the oil first, it keeps the acid from getting to the greens.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest