30 Minute Meals: A Lifetime Cleaning Up

Accidental Locavore Pork Chop Spinach RiceHave you ever noticed that a lot of 30 minute meals…

  1. May take 30 minutes or less to prepare, but add in cooking time and (fairly often) marinating time, tossing dinner together at the last minute is often thwarted.
  2. Require a lot of equipment and that equipment has to be cleaned. I mentally cringe every time something requires a quick buzz in a food processor. Yeah, they’re great, but take up a lot of room in the dishwasher, and washing them by hand means cleaning four large pieces and a sharp blade. A blender is a bit easier with only 3-4 parts. (and it takes up less dishwasher space), but more washing up.Accidental Locavore Cuisinart
  3. Speaking of blades… It’s why I often use just a knife to slice or chop things. It’s much faster and easier to clean than my beloved mandoline, or my mini-prep machine, it gives me control over the cuts and improves my knife skills. And there are days when wielding a big sharp knife is very therapeutic!Accidental Locavore Knives
  4. Then there are the bowls, pots, pans etc. Until recently, it was one of the reasons why I scoffed at any 30 minute meals that involved pasta. You always have to make sauce, which generally uses a pan, why even pesto needs a Cuisinart. With my new range and the high burner, it still takes a while to boil water and cook pasta (unless it’s fresh). And no one likes to clean the pasta pot–another space hog! This changed recently when we picked up a “Fasta Pasta” cooker that cooks pasta in the microwave. I never would have considered it, however Cooks Illustrated named it one of the winning tools of 2014 (and they were right!). While it’s not going to save you more than a few minutes cooking time, it will save you at least that much time cleaning up (and fits nicely in the dishwasher).Accidental Locavore Fasta Pasta
  5. They need side dishes. Which combine the worst parts of all of the above…

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