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5-Minute Cooking Steps for 30-Minute Meals

Part of the 30-Minute Meals For Dummies

Mastering the following cooking skills can make your meal preparation time effortless and provide fast, delicious meals. Try these techniques:

  • *Browning onions: Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil in a 10- to 12-inch skillet. Add 1 medium, chopped onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are transparent. For golden brown onions, raise the heat to medium-high.

  • Browning ground beef: Place a heavy-bottomed 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add a pound of ground chuck or ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon while stirring occasionally until the meat is brown, crumbling into smaller particles.

  • Stir-frying chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok or high-sided skillet over high heat. Add 1 pound of chicken breast strips and cook over high heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until the chicken is firm and white on all sides.

  • Cooking precooked rice: Reconstituting rice in water or broth is what you’re actually doing to precooked rice. Bring 1 cup of water or broth to a boil in a small pot. Stir in 1 cup of rice. Cover the pot, remove from the heat, and set aside for 5 minutes. This makes about 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice.

  • Cooking greens: Spinach is one of the more popular greens, but kale, Swiss chard, and beet greens fit the bill as well. Wash a 12-ounce bag of fresh spinach leaves. Don’t dry the leaves. Place the spinach in a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium heat and cook until the leaves are limp. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet for flavor or if you’re preparing a longer-cooking green, such as kale.

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