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Cooking Secrets

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

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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.

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Meat not sticking to the baking pan.

A trick that I just learnt when baking fish or meat in the oven. Heat the baking pan at the same time you are heating up the oven. Then put the meat or fish on it and you will find that it won't stick.

- Submitted by KNITTABLES 2/28/2011 in Cooking | 6 Comments

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Heat peanutbutter in micro for 30 seconds

I did this before spreading on my bread and it thins it out and helps it last longer (ie one tablespoon goes alot further) I was excited to figure this one out

- Submitted by ANIKAJAC 7/15/2011 in Cooking | 4 Comments

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Ground beef

I got this tip from Heloise months ago and never tried it until recently. When you buy ground meats, and separate them, push all the air from the ziplock bag and press the meat flat, like a sheet of paper, before closing. Not only does it save SO MUCH SPACE IN THE FREEZER, it literally thaws out within 30 minutes, so if you forget to lay it out in the morning to thaw, you can do it when you get in from work and it thaws while you shower or work out!

- Submitted by CRACKERJACK2825 2/2/2011 in Cooking | 6 Comments

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Chicken Breast

I keep cooked, chopped chicken breast in the freezer. I buy the large packages, bake them all, chop and freeze in portions. 4-cup bags for quick casseroles, 2-cup bags for chicken salad, 1-cup bags for quesadillas, topping salads, etc. Saves a lot of time!

- Submitted by CARRKM 3/24/2011 in Cooking | 3 Comments

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Make 2 casseroles and freeze the second - but wait! There's more!

Line the 2nd casserole dish w/ heavy-duty foil, leaving enough to fold over the top, then fill, close up and freeze. When frozen, remove foil package - you get your dish back, and when you want to eat the frozen casserole, just put it back in the dish and bake. To clean up, just toss the foil!

- Submitted by SCOOTER4263 5/24/2010 in Cooking | 4 Comments

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Saving tupperware from stains

Whenever I put something in tupperware that will stain if heated up (especially anything with tomato sauce), I first spray the container with cooking spray. It provides a barrier and the container won't stain, and also makes washing it out easier

- Submitted by THELUCKIEST018 5/10/2010 in Cooking | 4 Comments

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The Secret to Delicious Brussels Sprouts, Finally!

Brussels sprouts are great for you! They contain "sulforaphane", a chemical that is believed to have potent anti-cancer properties. They are also a source of indole-3-carbinol, which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. But, I've never liked them because the ones I had were always boiled (which actually ruins their health benefits). That is until I tried them roasted in the oven with just a little bit of olive oil, salt & pepper. 30 mins at 400F. Delicious!

- Submitted by DRLCORNETT 11/30/2010 in Cooking | 14 Comments

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Carrots and Patotoes Oh My

Mama always taught me to peel potatoes and carrots. But I've found you can save time and add fiber by just giving them a good scrubbing especially carrots. Potatoes can be chopped and fried and you'll never notice the peelings. I've found with carrots you can shred, boil or roast with no problem.

- Submitted by CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 10/25/2010 in Cooking | 2 Comments

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Aluminum Foil is the ticket!

Whenever I bake chicken or fish, I line the baking dish with foil and spray it with nonstick spray before I put the meat in the dish. Then when its done, I just throw the foil away and give the dish a quick suds and rinse. I save so much time on cleaning up this way!

- Submitted by KCHRISTY6 12/13/2010 in Cooking | 9 Comments

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Mix it up

When you're eating for weight loss, remember that it doesn't mean limiting your foods so you're eating the same thing every day. You're more likely to stick to it if you add some variety. Make a goal to experiment once a week - eat one healthy thing you've never had before, like exotic fruit.

- Submitted by CALEXICA 5/10/2011 in Cooking | 1 Comment
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