In my kitchen there are 2 main reasons the cooking process takes a lot of time (besides little people telling me they need something every 5 minutes). The first reason is if I am not organized. If I haven’t looked at my recipe before I begin cooking, and I’m not sure what I need, then it takes me twice as long. I end up going to my pantry and fridge a bunch of times and only getting one thing out at a time after I read that ingredients. Totally scattered. The second reason is if I use a lot of dishes, which usually is another effect of problem number one. Then I spend forever after dinner washing dishes. I haven’t reached the phase of life when my have kids are old enough to actually be helpful with the cleanup part of kitchen duty.
I love this Quick and Crunchy Lettuce Wraps Recipe because it uses one pot. I love only having to clean one pot! I’m going to be honest though – I really lucked out in the pot washing department, because my husband loves to do dishes. We have a pretty good kitchen cleaning system down, and he does all the dishes, and I whirl around like a white tornado and clean the rest of the kitchen. But either way, one pot is one pot.
I am in the kitchen cooking A LOT. Like 70% of my life it feels like. From my experience, these 3 tips will really save you a lot of time in the kitchen.
1) Buy pre-chopped ingredients. And not just pre-chopped. Pre-rinsed, pre-cut, pretty much when you are short on time, whatever you can find that has already done some of the work for you. For this recipe I found pre-diced water chestnuts which were the best things ever! Chopping little things always takes way longer. Like olives – pre-chopped olives (although I have never bought these, I really think I want to because slicing olives is one of my least favorite jobs) And the mushrooms I bought, although they were diced, it still saved time because I didn’t have to do ALL of the cutting.
2) This is the organized part. But really, if you just take 5 minutes before you begin cooking and set all your ingredients out in your prep area, you will save yourself tons of time from trips to the fridge and pantry!
3) I love kitchen tools, and if you invest in some good ones they will save you time. My chopper is one of my favorite tools, because when I have to chop things small, it takes literally half the time doing it with my chopper. I love my non-stick pans and silicone utensils because when it comes time to doing dishes, I don’t have to let things soak, I can just wash them right away.
This recipe is not only delicious, but kids love to eat it. My girls had some friends over the other day, ages 3-5, and I told them we were having lettuce wraps. They all wanted one and ate the whole thing! They thought it was fun to wrap it up and it is like a burrito. It is also fun to plate one in a fun way like this lettuce wrap butterfly. You will want to add these lettuce wraps to your meal plan rotation, and you can change it up a bit every time you make it. I added red bell pepper, but you could add shredded carrots, or green onion, or green bell pepper. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces for a quick, fun and delicious dinner!