Avoid Unhealthy Dinners
Mix and match: Stock pantry staples like whole grains, beans, nuts and dried fruit. Shop weekly for produce and lean protein, then cook ahead (think hard-boiled eggs and grilled chicken). A healthy meal (say, farro salad with chickpeas, roasted red peppers and feta) is now minutes away.
Get Out of Recipe Ruts
Shake off menu blues by dusting off your cookbooks. Member service Eat Your Books (eatyourbooks.com) lets you search its database of 100,000 titles. Make shopping lists and search by on-hand ingredient (in way less time than it’d take to check 14 different indexes for "chicken").
Don't Waste Food
Refashion "vintage" leftovers, says dietitian Jackie Newgent, author of Big Green Cookbook. Puree grilled veggies with hummus for a dip, or mix rice pilaf with ground poultry for burgers. And don't overlook scraps: Toss clean strips of citrus peel into hardened brown sugar to soften it.
Remove Kitchen Clutter
Toss out all your extras, from dishes to spices, says Julie Morgenstern, author of SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four- Step Guide to Getting Unstuck. Then, establish activity zones -- food prep and cooking, serving, cleanup and recycling, and paperwork -- and stay in the zone.
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