Secrets of Success

Cooking Secrets

Do you have a kitchen or cooking secret that saves time, calories or clean up?

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Silicone Muffin Pans

Silicone muffin pans -- regular, mini, or individual -- are GREAT for freezing servings of gravy, rice, beans, BBQ, or anything else. Unlike regular plastic ice cube trays, nothing sticks! Once you've frozen whatever you're freezing, pop them into a labeled (and dated!) plastic freezer baggie.

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Measure EVERYTHING!

Make sure everything you eat is measured or weighed...especially if you are new at cooking healthy portions. What we think looks like one cup or 4 oz might be surprising! Measuring everything keeps you on track with nutrition and portions!

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daily vegetables

serve 3 vegetable per meal, except 1 for breakfast. 1 raw per meal

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Salads for lunch save money and calories

I usually take a big mixed salad to work for my lunch break; iceberg and other lettuces are cheap and low in calories. To spice it all up I add sesame or sunflower seeds, some veggies or fruit like pineapple, cantaloupe. For a dressing I go with oil & vinegar, walnut-, sesame-, or pumpkinseedoil.

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Plan Ahead

Every Sunday night I like to make a list of all the stuff I will eat for the next 7 days by browsing spark receipes and staying within budget I go to the store with an exact list of everything I need, I dont stray from the list which helps me avoid buying unhealthy fooda that I dont need.

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Buy It From the butcher!

I've discovered that because I live single that buying one item of meat from my butcher saves me from over spending/waste/ and overeating. You'd be surprised how much easier it is to by one servering if ur single living over a whole pack you may throw out!

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Ground Beef Ready for Casserole or Crockpot

When I buy 3-5 pounds of ground beef I cook it in large pot with onions and seasonings. Cool. Divide in freezer bags. Unthaw in microwave and it is ready for quick casserole or crockpot meal.

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Use Fat Free Greek Yogurt Instead of Sour Cream

On tacos, garnishing chilis and soups (borscht) - you can't tell the difference on these! Try it and see what you think, we love it!

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Breakfast time saver-oatmeal

This may seem like a no brainer, but it saves me a ton of time. When I make my breakfast in the morning, I prepare two servings of oatmeal. I eat one and put the other in the fridge for the next morning. Saves me some time which I always seem to be short of as I am rushing to work in the morning

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sweet tooth

I have a horrible sweet tooth at night so what I have done to fulfill this & keep my calorie low is buy Quaker chocolate rice cakes, add 2 tbl of lite cool whip, nutmeg & cinnamon & drizzle a small bit of honey on top! this is a perfect snack for me that does not equal a lot of calories.

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Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click the "Report Inappropriate Secret" on the secret's page and our staff will review it.