Kitchen Hacks! by Pamela Salzman
Updated: Mar 13
This weekend I reached out to the amazing cooking instructor, holistic health counselor, and cookbook author, Pamela Salzman. I wanted her to share with us some kitchen hacks that she finds helpful while cooking in the kitchen.
Can you share some kitchen hacks you find most helpful?
I love using frozen vegetables in stir-fries and soups. In general, I defrost larger vegetables before a stir fry; in soups they can go in frozen. Frozen vegetables have already been blanched so they actually cook pretty quickly.
Parmesan rind adds the best flavor to soups and beans. Remember to remove the rind before serving. If the recipe calls for salt, I usually use a little less of it.
I use a few lazy Susans in my refrigerator to help organize nut butters and jams. They make it easier to access and visualize.
I keep my food processor in the most accessible spot in my kitchen.
I use my toaster oven to bake small, flat cakes, pies, frittatas and small pans of cookies.
I use kosher salt and aluminum foil to clean food stuck on cast iron pans. I merely sprinkle the pan with a handful of salt and rub that around with a dry rag/sponge or aluminum foil. I then wipe off the excess salt, rub a few drops of oil on the surface and then store it for future use.
Raw cashew butter makes a quick stand-in for blended, soaked raw cashews.
I use a stainless steel 1-cup measuring cup over the stove to melt small amounts of butter or coconut oil.
I use a basic principle for better organization that is -- Likes are stored with likes. Basically, all canned goods get stored in one place, all nut butters are in one place, all measuring spoons are in one place, and all baking essentials are in one place. This makes it easier to know what I have and makes everything more efficient.
What kitchen utensils do you find you can't live without?
My food processor
Medium and fine microplanes. I use the medium one to grate parmesan cheese, garlic, chocolate and ginger and the fine one for zesting citrus.
4 ounce measure and pour shot glasses, both of these are 8 Tablespoon volumes with markings at each teaspoon. These are best for measuring out liquids for dressings, sauces and baking.
Can you please share with us what your go to recipe is when you need to prepare dinner in a pinch?
I say when in doubt, saute' it out! I do tweaks on a fried rice. I swap in any cooked grain or lentils for the rice, any fresh or frozen vegetable, any leftovers, and then add in different seasonings according to what flavor profile I want. Click here for my recipe for Italian fried rice.
Pamela Salzman is a cooking instructor, holistic health counselor, and cookbook author. Her first book, “Kitchen Matters,” was published in 2017 and her second, “Quicker Than Quick” will be released in April 2020. Pamela is also the culinary nutritionist for Clean Eating Magazine, to which she contributes regularly. Her focus is on teaching healthy, family-friendly recipes and encouraging people to cook from scratch as much as possible.
A proud Long Island native, Pamela resides in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband and three children.
Pre-Order her new cookbook Quicker Than Quick!