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5 Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks from Chef Laura Pauli

Mar 17, 2022

As Spring and its bounty of fresh healthy ingredients is upon us, the SugarRoti team had the opportunity to talk with San Francisco Bay Area chef Laura Pauli (@cucinatestarossa) about time-saving hacks for cooking healthy and delicious meals. Chef Laura shared some of her short-cuts that make it easy to enjoy healthy cooking without sacrificing the freshness or taste. We are excited to share them with you:

  1. Shop & Stock– plan and shop at least once if not twice a week. Use Sundays to loosely plan your week’s meals and pick up fresh vegetables, proteins, and key items needed to stock your pantry. Midweek is a great time to review and if needed, pick up fish or meat so it’s extra fresh. Chef Laura also keeps her pantry stocked with quinoa, brown rice, and barley along with tuna fish, black beans or cannellini, nuts, raisins, canned tomatoes, tahini, and SugarRoti spices. This makes it easy to just grab a SugarRoti spice packet, add fresh vegetables or proteins and serve with whole grains or beans.
  2. Prep – wash, chop, and store vegetables ahead of time in the refrigerator. Pre-make grains for the week and store them in easy-to-grab containers. Make a healthy vinaigrette that can dress all salads, vegetables, or grains. A quick and easy Chef Laura-approved recipe: mix one part lemon juice; the zest of one lemon and one part olive oil.
  3. Storage - Store prepped vegetables wrapped in paper towels to keep them fresh and crisp. Use mason jars for pre-made grains and vinaigrettes. Don’t use plastic or foil directly against food; use parchment paper instead. Freeze leftovers - including cheese! They last up to a month if not longer.
  4. Good Knives – a well-made knife is worth the investment. They last forever if cared for properly and make preparing food easier and quicker. Chef Laura recommends having a good steel on hand to freshen up knives and keep them from losing their sharpness. These 3 basic knives should cover you in the kitchen - a Chef, Paring, and “Bread” (serrated) knife.
  5. No Waste - use your leftovers to create new meals. Leftover vegetables can become part of a stir-fry or soup. Save your vegetable scraps to make stock or freeze and store to make meals easier.

The most important hack of all is to have fun and enjoy life. Grab a glass of wine or your favorite beverage, turn the music on and start cooking!

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude. – Julia Child