Ten minute sausage and quinoa dinner

Ten minute sausage and quinoa dinner

I am working to a tight deadline today, but hunger said it was time. I thought about takeout. I have a favourite Vietnamese restaurant that makes a great, quite healthy selection that i love. However, it is a ten minute drive, each way. I checked the freezer, and truly, without … Read more…

Freezing meat with options

Freezer full of real food ingredients
Freezer full of real food ingredients
With a selection of single serving meats in the freezer, cooking real food becomes quick and easy.

Freezing meat allows you to keep real ingredients on hand. You can save plenty of money when buying in bulk quantities, or stocking up at special prices. Purchase extra amounts of specialty or hard-to-find cuts and save time and travel costs.

But how do you know what portion of any one item you will need? Small families sometimes have guests, and even large families can need just a bit of a frozen meat.

Read more…

Share

Roasted peppers are worth the work

Roasted red pepper in a sandwich image
Roasted red peppers add substance and exciting taste to a simple sandwich with cream cheese, zucchini slices and shredded Swiss cheese.

Warning! This is not one of my simple tips. Making roasted peppers takes time. It’s fiddly. It’s also worth it. I’ve tried bottled roasted red pepper, and while I don’t know exactly how they make them, I taste a chemical undertone every time. The version you can buy at an olive bar in an upscale supermarket is often great, but very, very costly.

Once in a while, when I find a really good price on red pepper, I will buy a few and commit the time to roasting and freezing a supply.

Read more…

Share

Quick and easy separate freezing

Real food freezing: ground chicken patties ready for the freezer.

Quick and easy separate freezing

I outlined the process for freezing individual portions of meat after a major shopping trip, but this is an everyday alternative.

Real food freezing: ground chicken patties ready for the freezer.
Three ground chicken patties on a plate, using the original packaging to protect the meat.

I used one quarter pound of ground chicken, which left three portions. I simply formed  three patties (wet your hands so the chicken does not stick), and placed them on a plate lined with the plastic from the chicken container.

Read more…

Share

Keeping bean sprouts fresh

Bean sprouts in water and lemon photo
Storing bean sprouts in a covered container, with water and lemon juice keeps them fresh for a long time.

I love bean sprouts. I love them in sandwiches, soup, salads and stir fries, of course. Trouble is, they last about 20 minutes in the fridge before they turn into a soggy, slimy mess.

Store them in a covered container filled with fresh water and a lemon slice, and you will find that your bean sprouts will stay fresh, white and crisp for a week or more. Trust me … it works.

Hint: Find a place that offers bean sprouts in bulk.

Read more…

Share

Keep fresh herbs fresh

Fresh herbs stored in water in the fridge
Fresh herbs stored in water can last for weeks in the fridge.Click the image to see the glass container.

Hands up if you have bought fresh herbs, used them once or twice, and had them turn brown, or even to mush before you get used to having this treat available. I thought so. It doesn’t have to be so.

Fresh herbs that have stalks, which is most if you are buying commercially, can be kept fresh for far longer if you store them upright in water in your fridge.

Read more…

Share

Reducing the Grr! Factor: Garlic skin

What’s a Grr! Factor? When preparing a meal, something happens that is not bad enough to warrant a launch into your best expletives, but definitely reduces any pleasure you are having with your work … that’s the Grr! factor.

The first one up is garlic skin. When you cook real food, your hands are often wet, or sticky, and your work surface is cluttered. Introducing a garlic head into this scene can cause Grr! to occur. Garlic skin sticks to everything. It flakes, it flies. Trying to pick a garlic skin out of the chopped garlic with fingers that have garlic skin sticking to them … well, need I say more?

Read more…

Share

Real food has seasons: Strawberries

Real food fresh organic strawberries
T'is the season ... for strawberries. These local organic strawberries were growing this morning.

We have become spoiled with having access to a complete selection of fruits and vegetables year round. I must qualify that, however. We have become spoiled with access, but very tolerant of low quality. If you have been paying attention to the quality and price of your produce, you may have noticed the inverse relationship between quality and price. When strawberries are cheap, they are excellent. When they cost the earth, they are usually disappointing. That’s because there is a strawberry season.

Read more…

Share

Freeze bread for single-slice use

A good bakery offers many great, healthy types of bread. But bread without preservatives does not stay fresh for long. Bread freezes well, but what if you want rye bread, but whole wheat is the one that is not frozen. Solve that dilemma and open all choices by freezing all your bread. I keep two or three types of bread on hand at all times — in the freezer. I never waste a slice, and simply select the number of slices I need each time.

Read more…

Share

Reducing the Grr! Factor: Tame your cords and loose ingredients with elastics

Real food tips controlling cords photo
A simple elastic wrapped around small appliances ends cord problems in your cupboards

I’ve mentioned before that I have a small kitchen. One of the secrets to happy work in a tiny space is keeping countertops clear, so I choose to store small appliances that I use occasionally in a cupboard. However, I hated fighting with cords when moving them in and out.

The solution turned out to be a simple elastic band.

Read more…

Share