Quick Meal Tips from Rachael Ray

The Reno Gazette-Journal recently devoted its food section to quick dinners, so of course they had to include Rachael Ray. The Gazette-Journal's Johnathan L. Wright featured some of the tips from Express Lane Meals on how to shorten your cooking time for many common tasks:

  • "Stock up on basics like skinless, boneless chicken breasts when they're on sale. Place extra breasts in small freezer bags with a splash of water and pound them into cutlets for go-to meals in single or multiple servings."
  • "Wash and dry greens, herbs and vegetables, then place them in plastic storage bags to save time later on rinsing."
  • "Keep a list of staple foods you use most often. Shop for staples every two weeks so that during the work week, you can Express-Lane it every couple of nights with only fresh meat, produce or fill-in ingredients."
  • "Hearty sandwiches . . . can make a meal. Skip the chips and serve the sandwiches with a quick salad made by mixing leftover cooked vegetables with a can of drained black beans, extra-virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice, cumin and salt."

I'd add a couple things, like use a garbage bowl and keep your knives sharp. Get a big cutting board and place it right next to the stove, so you can chop and drop things as you go. Anyone have any others to add?


  1. I actually make a calendar of what foods I'm going to make what nights, so I know what ingredients I'll need. It's a little silly (my husband laughs at me), but I'm a quicker cook since I know that I have to take the hamburger out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw before I go to work. My other tip is that I cook my rice in the microwave and it comes out perfect every time without having to babysit it, 'cause I always seem to burn it on the stove. But I think you just inspired me to write a blog post about this. Check it out later today if you have time....

  2. Hey, you can't ever be too organized! I wish I could get my act together that much....

  3. I've found her tips on cutting peppers and tomatoes on the inside (as opposed to cutting on the skin) really helpful.

  4. Jennifer - that's a good example of one of those things that you just don't think of doing, but that really make the job easier.

  5. Okay, I need clarification on the freezing of the chicken. I usually just but a big pack and separate it into 2 breasts per plastic bag (for my husband and I) then freeze. Are you really supposed to add water and pound it into cutlets (I'm not really sure what that means!) Please help!

  6. Kristy - it just depends on how you like your chicken. She says to pound it thin so that it will cook faster. If you don't want them thin, that's fine, too! I don't pound them thin, if that makes you feel any better.


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