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5 Prep Hacks for Busy Cooks

These ideas are sure to help your kitchen run faster and smoother - add one of these recipes to your list this week!

1. Take a cue from restaurant chefs and prep fresh vegetables, like onions, carrots, celery and bell peppers, packaging them in separate containers or bags. They’ll come in handy when making soups, stews and chilies.

2. Buy a rotisserie chicken. One 2- to 3-pound chicken will yield about 4 cups of shredded meat. Most recipes call for 2 cups—freeze or chill the remaining meat to use in another meal.

3. Wash and spin-dry lettuces, then store in plastic bags lined with paper towels. You won’t believe how long lettuce will stay crisp this way.

4. Make your own vinaigrettes and salad dressings. It requires a little work up front, but they’re a simple way to add a huge flavor boost to your meal. Make them fresh, and you’ll be dressing those crisp greens with outstanding flavor all week.

5. Buy fresh fruits in season—they make nutritious, ultra-speedy desserts. When you buy fruits in season, they’ll be at the peak of flavor and reasonably priced. Freeze them for fresh flavor year-round.