Smart Cooking: Ingredient Shortcuts For You

From grocery shopping to cleaning up, getting food on the table everyday is not an easy task. And as satisfying it is to do everything from scratch, there is no shame in depending on shortcuts when it comes to meal preparations.

In this blog, I have curated some ingredient shortcuts that you can use to make cooking easier and quicker. These are healthy and budget-friendly convenience foods that can lessen your load in the kitchen.

Top Ingredient Shortcuts For Smart Cooking

Shortcuts are a necessity, especially for those who don’t have enough time to cook meals. Whether you’re throwing a big dinner party or cooking for your family, these ingredient shortcuts will help you out:

1. Rotisserie Chicken

One of the best all-time shortcut ingredients is the rotisserie chicken. You can use it to for chicken sandwiches, salads, enchiladas, tacos, and casseroles. Make sure to pull the meat off the bones immediately when you get home. Then, store it in a covered container in the fridge.

2. Thai Curry Paste

Are you making a pot of Thai-style curry? Then, prepare it quicker using Thai curry paste. But this ingredient shortcut isn’t just for curry. It can also be used to level up the flavor of salad dressings, cooked vegetables, and noodle dishes.

3. Canned Beans

Canned beans are a convenient and budget-friendly ingredient. You can blend them with few seasonings and broth to make a quick soup, turn them into pots of chili, serve with avocado and salsa, toss them with rice, and use them for tacos, burritos, and salads. To reduce the sodium content on canned beans, try dumping them into a colander and rinse well on running water. 

4. Store-bought Pesto

Store-bought pesto is a great back pocket trick for home cooks. Just toss a few tablespoons of it into a bowl of pasta and squeeze some lemon, and you’ve got a fancy dinner. It can also be a substitute for tomato sauce on a pizza or spread on a sandwich. Try mixing it on a dish of steamed vegetables or add it to a brothy soup, too, they will surely taste great.

5. Frozen Veggies

Frozen vegetables are as nutritious as fresh ones. The only difference is that they are easier to cook and prepare. So, make sure to keep a few bags on your fridge. You can stock up on chopped broccoli, cauliflower, onions, peas, and spinach. They can be added to pastas and soups, made into smoothies, or roasted.  

6. Spice Blends

One easy way to make your meals more flavorful is adding spice blends. This ingredient shortcut, which can be purchased on grocery stores and online, are great for any type of dish. Just make sure to store them on airtight containers so that they last longer.

7. Salad Kits

Salad kits come in various flavor profiles, including Asian Cabbage, Caesar, Southwestern, and Chopped Kale. They can help you save time when making salad. Just add tofu, beans, canned chickpeas, or leftover chicken, and you’ll have a nutritious meal. I have one tip, though. Since the dressings on salad kits are a bit sweet, try using less than what is provided or add a splash of vinegar.

8. Braised Tofu

Baked or braised tofu bought on grocery stores is a great source of protein. They are fully cooked, seasoned, and ready to eat. You can also add the on stir-fried, grain or noodle bowls, and Asian-style salads. If you want to store it in the fridge, try submerging the tofu in water before storing. This can be kept for up to 5 days.

 

Ingredient shortcuts can help a lot of home cooks. If you don’t have enough time for meal preparations, leaning on these convenience foods is a great option.