How to Get Creative in the Kitchen: Quick Tips

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when you watch the TODAY show food segments or any cooking show for that matter on how to make easy, quick meals or how to put together healthy snacks or how to make healthy swaps? Well, you’re not alone.

I am a dietitian and sometimes when I see delicious, mouth watering recipes, I get bummed instead of excited and motivated. I think it’s partly because deciding what to make for my family, organizing the groceries (hello, delivery!), prepping the ingredients, and finally cooking… makes me so tired even before I start.

Regardless of what your lifestyle dictates, I’ve put together a few ideas to help you try and get your creative juices flowing:

1. Did someone say zoodles? I thinks spaghetti squash kicked off the trend to enjoying a faux Italian meal. Once you fork off the spaghetti, you get spaghetti like strands that you can simply top with pasta sauce, fresh garlic and whatever veggies you want. Similarly, you can use something more intense like Inspiralized or something easy like OXO’s hand spiralizer to create healthy vegetable friendly recipes in order to help limit your carb intake. My tip is to try this post baby’s bedtime so you can enjoy your lower-carb dinner. The hand spiralizer works well with carrots, zucchini, cucumber, radish and more!

2. Who doesn’t love a good avocado toast? You’ve got a whole grain topped with a healthy fat. If you add a boiled egg for protein — vioia! I feel like avocados are a tough fruit to purchase for immediate use. I always buy avocados and try to ripen them two days before I may want to consume them. Some days I forget to consume them and then they get mashed for guacamole otherwise I get to slice them for avocado toast or avocado sandwiches. Take a slice of any bread, top it with avocado and literally any toppings you want — and I PROMISE you’ll get a tasty meal. I love OXO’s 3-in-1 avocado slicer which helps speed up the process of prepping this delicious toast.

3. Veggie Tales. So every week, I commit myself to chopping a bunch of veggies and bagging them in the fridge or mincing them. I use them for a various baked products, omelets, grilled veggies, or even soup. This is my way of guaranteeing a fire packed nutritious meal. Depending on the size of the veggies I want, I usually use the Cuisinart PowerBlend Duet (blender + food processor) to mince them and store them. Plus the counter space required is minimal — a bonus for urban moms!

4. Core ‘dem apples. Apple picking season is a fun activity and coming home with a basket of apples means lots of recipes to explore. Slicing an apple and adding some cottage cheese, yogurt or nut butter is the quickest way to obtain a serving of fruit, fiber, and protein at once. Ever since I purchased an apple corer, this process has become quite easy. Unless required to take the skin off for baked products, I just core and slice the apple for ready-to-eat meals. Cuisipro Apple Corer by Williams-Sonoma is a savvy and easy-to-use tool. Bonus: It’s only $10 and you can use it for pears too.

Having the right gadgets on hand can make what seems daunting…. not! Do you have any cool gadgets to share? Would love to hear your thoughts.

[This article was previously posted in Huffington post on September 25, 2015]

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