Helpful Hints In the Kitchen: Part 3, Vegetables and Side Dishes

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern



Have you ever cooked a meal with one of your parents or grandparents and they showed you a cool trick or shortcut you didn’t know before? Well thanks to Southwest Family Citrus, we have a whole series of them for you! Make sure to check back next week for more tips.


  1. When preparing a casserole, make an additional batch to freeze. It makes a great emergency meal when unexpected guests arrive. Juts take the casserole from the freezer and bake it in the oven.
  2. To keep hot oil from splattering, sprinkle a little salt or flour in the pan before frying.
  3. Never overcook foods that are to be frozen. Foods will finish cooking when reheated. Don’t refreeze cooked thawed foods.
  4. A few drops of lemon juice added to simmering rice will keep the grains separated.
  5. Green pepper may change the flavor of frozen casseroles. Clove, garlic, and pepper flavors get stronger when they are frozen, while, sage, onion, and salt get milder.
  6. Don’t freeze cooked egg whites; they become tough.
  7. For an easy no-mess side dish, grill vegetables along with your meat.
  8. When freezing foods, label each container with its contents and the date it was put into the freezer. Store at 0 degrees. Always use frozen cooked foods within one to two months.
  9. Store dried pasta, rice (except brown rice), and whole grains in tightly covered containers in a cool, dry place. Always refrigerate brown rice, and refrigerate or freeze grains if they will not be used within five months.
  10. To dress up buttered, cooked vegetables, sprinkle them with toasted sesame seeds, toasted chopped nuts, canned french-fried onions, or slightly crushed seasoned croutons.
  11. Soufflé dishes are designed with straight sides to help your soufflé climb to magnificent heights. Ramekins are good for serving individual casseroles.
  12. A little vinegar or lemon juice added to potatoes before draining will make them extra white when mashed.
  13. To quickly bake potatoes, place them in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Pierce their skins with a fork and bake in a preheated oven.
  14. To avoid toughened beans or corn, add salt midway through cooking.


Find more cooking tips on Fill Your Plate’s blog!

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