Quick Kitchen Hacks Save Loads of Time

I love cooking, but I might love saving time even more. I'm a huge fan of crock-potting and making big pots of stuff that we can eat for a couple of days. Basically, I just always act like I'm always cooking for a crowd.

So you know you can count on me for tips and shortcuts! Here are a few current favorites:

Try Zoodles

With an inexpensive spiralizer (find one at any big-box store for $10 or $15), you can make noodle-shaped pasta look-a-likes with zucchini, beets, carrots and more, no cooking required. Top with your favorite pasta sauce or FMD salad dressing recipe, toss in some veggies and some leftover chicken and you have yourself a home-cooked meal without the 'cook.'

Freeze Your Grains    

Did you know you can freeze cooked brown rice and quinoa? Believe me; this is going to change your life. Make a big batch of brown rice or quinoa. Spread it out on a moist baking sheet and let cool. Then scoop into quart-sized zipper bags and freeze. Thaw and reheat as needed for quick-and-easy grains.

Try the New No-Cook Noodles

I just about flipped when I saw Japanese noodles (shirataki noodles) in a specialty shop in Florida a couple of years ago, and I loved them so much. They are made from a type of Asian yam called konjac. The rice and noodles come fully cooked, so literally, all you need to do is add a sauce, a protein, and some veggies! 

Double or Triple Roast Veggies

Not all cooked vegetables do that well as leftovers, but one exception is root veggies. Roast a big batch of cubed beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips and/or carrots. Use leftovers in salads or as a next-day side dish. And I think they taste just fine at room temperature, which makes them great for a snack.

Use Canned Veggies for a Quick Soup

This super-fast soup is all veggies, so it's a fantastic snack anytime (Phases 1 and 3), or at the start of a meal. And it literally takes 10 minutes to make.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large can organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, brown the onions and garlic in a little broth or oil, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, tomatoes, and broth and stir to combine. Cook until heated through, then puree the soup. Season with salt and pepper.