You want to feel good and look awesome, right? Who wants to be fat, sick, and pimply? The quickest route to feeling great isn’t a magic pill, expensive shake mix or a starvation diet. It’s vegetables. Yup. Humble, everyday veggies.
But wait… cutting vegetables up is a drag. Of course, you can buy those baby carrots and precut veggies, but those won’t work for everything, and it gets boring fast.
What’s the big deal, though? Why not just take vitamins?
Basically, there’s a difference between feeling okay and being healthy. Not just old sick people but athletes and celebrities who eat a Whole Foods Plant Based diet have amazing stories to tell about improving physical and mental health. Whole vegetables contain phytonutrients, enzymes, fiber, minerals, and proteins that your body can absorb much more readily (and cheaply) than any pill. And once you know how you like them, whether cooked or raw, they’re delicious. Even if you don’t go completely vegan, there is no arguing that more veggies will make for a healthier you.
First, Get a Sharp Knife
First of all you need a big sharp knife. I prefer a chef’s knife. It’s heavy, and big enough to cut even the thickest veggies. Every time I use it I put a little edge on it with a sharpening stick to keep it honed, then I wipe the edge on a clean cloth and get to work.
Why a sharp knife? Won’t you cut yourself? No. Actually, it’s the opposite. If your knife is dull you’ll have to use more force to cut things and the blade is more likely to slip and accidentally get your finger. Especially on onions. It’s also tiring.
Sticks, Then Cubes
The key words on this job are sticks and cubes. That’s right. Cut said veggie lengthwise into sticks, then line up the lengths and cut cross ways, and you get cubes.
It’s so much faster and easier than when you cut each individual piece this way then that way then this way … It’s called efficiency.
How to Cut Onions Without Crying (so much, anyway)
Cut onions lengthwise from stem to root, and there will be less tears involved. If you look at them you’ll notice where the root and stem come out at opposite ends. Then you can save your tears for the last-minute when you chop the lengthwise cuts crosswise, if you choose to do so. Of course, if you use sweet onions there are less tears (though refried beans with sweet onions just tastes sort of wrong). The sharper your knife is the quicker you’ll finish, and the less you’ll cry. Try to keep the tip of your knife close to your board so you can kind of just rock it back and forth as you cut, rather than banging it repeatedly on the board. And keep your fingertips curled under so that the knife doesn’t cut off your fingertip.
If I’m sauteing an onion and the entire onion is more than I need for my recipe I just pop part of it into a Ziploc in the freezer and it will be ready to go another night.
Now clean your knife, dry it, and put it away where it won’t bang against other things.
So there you go. Cutting veggies doesn’t have to turn into a life’s work, a mission or a boring chore when your feet are already tired. If you cut up enough for your lunches all week and keep a big bowl of salad in the fridge you’ll be well on your way to looking great and not catching a cold along with everyone else this fall. It’s quick and easy as long as you have a sharp knife and a plan. Hmm… that sounds a bit dark. 😉
For Further Reading:
While I will be sharing more posts with cooking and kitchen tips, I highly recommend the book “Kitchen Counter Cooking School” by Kathleen Flinn This is an affiliate link, so you will not only get a book, but you will support this blog at no cost to you.
If you think about it, there is an awful lot of corporate dollars involved in convincing people cooking from scratch is just too hard, which is something to think about. This book will really help you realize that. If you’re like me, you’ll like the personal story of it all. It’s a fun read, and it has some great recipes and references to give you confidence in your cooking.
Have you improved your health with a better diet? I’d love to hear your story. Do you have any tips to share?