Hannah Keel gives us her top 10 kitchen hacks so you can reduce kitchen time, meaning optimum revision (or procrastination) time.
During this busy term of seemingly endless deadlines and revision, it’s so tempting to order your favourite takeaway with the excuse that you’re saving those precious extra minutes for revision.
However, it’s the most important time of the year to be eating well, and with a few tips and tricks cooking doesn’t need to be a chore!
Putting a bit of effort into your down time will really pay off when you’re stressed and in need of some fuel, so just follow these 10 simple tricks for a well-stocked freezer and you’ll be able to whip up proper meals in no time at all!
lemon sole is my favourite fish. ever. hands down. 🙌🏼🐠 – today’s lunch was pan fried lemon sole fillet, lemony puy lentils with boiled asparagus and sautéed spinach 😍 this kind of meal is my favourite- beautiful fresh fish, deliciously crisp asparagus and a zesty lentils alongside ☺️ – started today with an upper body and stretching session in the gym, and remembered how much i love gymming first thing- gives you such a good boost to kick start the day 💪🏼 think i’m going to be doing some early mornings in revision period to get the ball rolling 🏋🏽♀️ #homemade #health #food #foodie #studentcooking #nutrition #eatclean #diet #healthyliving #foodporn #fish #lunch #fitness #fitfoodie #cleaneating #motivation #workout #training #upperbody #iifym #strongnotskinny #fitspo #girlswholift #gains #balance #gymlover #foodlover #protein
Plan your meals for the week and make a shopping list.
Being organised with your food definitely pays off when trying to save time. Make a list of meals to last you a week, including how many portions you should get from that dish so that you don’t spend ages staring into the fridge wondering what to cook! Then you can make a list and buy exactly what you need so it’s all ready and waiting.
Choose meals like pasta sauces or curries which you can cook in bulk to last a few meals, meaning you can make three or four meals in the time spent to make one. Either store in the fridge for up to four days or freeze individual portions which you can take out the freezer in the morning to be defrosted by dinner time.
Squash garlic before peeling it.
Peeling those pesky garlic cloves can be frustrating and time consuming, but by crushing the clove with the flat side of your knife, you release the garlic from the skin and it should just fall off. Done in a matter of seconds!
Keep the root on the onion whilst chopping it.
Cut your onion in half and remove the skin, but keep the root intact. Then you can cut along the grain of the onion without it all falling apart! You’ll be able to chop it up in one piece, giving you an evenly diced onion much more quickly.
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Speed up softening your veg with a splash of water.
Once you’ve got the veg in the pan with a splash of oil it can feel like an age whilst they soften, so by adding a glug of water and covering with a lid, the veg will steam as well as fry making them soften much more quickly ready for your sauce (or your mouth!)
Roll lemons and limes on the counter before juicing.
Save all the effort of squeezing the juice out of a lemon or lime by first rolling them on the counter. This releases the juice before you cut into it making it much easier and quicker to get every last juicy drop!
Microwave your rice!
First rinse the rice then place it in a microwave proof bowl covered with boiling water. Cover with cling film, make a few holes with a knife and pop in the microwave for ten minutes. No need to watch it or stir it! You’ll have ten extra minutes to go through that last little bit of revision whilst you await your perfect fluffy rice!
Freeze breadcrumbs and grated cheese for easy sprinkling.
Both bread and dairy freeze really well, so by having a bag of breadcrumbs and grated cheese in the freezer you’ll always have the toppings for a crispy pasta bake to hand! Coupled with your frozen pasta sauce you can easily make a zero effort, quick dinner.
it might not be the prettiest plate- but rest assured it tastes DELICIOUS! this is @janecowie’s homemade prawn and feta “brûlée” 😍 red onion, garlic and chopped tomatoes, with prawns and feta, topped with breadcrumbs mixed with olive oil, garlic and parmesan 😍 #treatyourself #foodie #recipe #dinner #prawns #healthy #balance #foodporn #foodstagram #studentcook
Freeze balls of cookie dough.
Whip up a batch of cookie dough on a rainy Sunday afternoon, freeze it in small balls on a tray until solid then transfer to a food bag in the freezer. Then just grab a ball and bake from frozen when you need a sweet treat without the effort, they’ll just need a few extra minutes to cook.
Clean as you go!
I’m terrible for not doing this, but by cleaning and putting away ingredients whilst you’re waiting for your dinner to cook you’ll minimise the time you need to spend cleaning up at the end! Use that waiting time rather than your revision time!
Do you have any top tips to help us out in the kitchen? Let us know!