Kitchen Shortcuts for a Simpler Spring

Spend more time with your family — and less time at the stove.

We know you’re short on time, and you’re trying to simplify your life this spring. Here are some kitchen shortcuts to make cooking easier.

Ditch kitchen clutter. Spring-clean your kitchen! Once you get rid of items you haven’t used in three months, or that you have an abundance of — think mugs, water bottles, and dull knives — you can rearrange your cabinets so the most used items are easy to reach. Having a clear counter, and knowing where all your gadgets are, will shave more minutes off food prep than you’d expect.

Use your excavated counter space to chop the apple in this excellent warm-weather dish: 5-Minute Apple Coleslaw.

Choose thinner cuts. When you need a quick main dish, remember that meat filets cook faster than bone-in meats, and that the thinner your chicken breasts or pork chops are sliced, the faster they will cook.

Use thin slices of chicken breast in this Chicken & Basil Rice Stir Fry.

Opt for frozen vegetables. We all love spring’s new crop of fresh vegetables, but sometimes washing and chopping our farmers’ market favorites can take too much time. A freezer full of frozen favorites can make any meal healthier in minutes.

Using frozen spinach makes Crunchy-Topped Savory Spinach Casserole quick and easy.

Fill up on basics. Stock your pantry with pasta, rice and dried legumes for nights when dreaming up complicated dishes is out of the question. Some staples, such as chicken broth, bouillon, tomato sauce, honey and olive oil, are great, quick flavor-boosters.

Enjoy fresh herbs. Spring is a wonderful time to grow fresh herbs right in your kitchen or buy them at the supermarket. They’ll add new and exciting flavors to your old standbys.

Fresh cilantro makes these Cheddar Stuffed Burgers extra special.
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