Icon WebMD Expert Blogs

Tasty. Easy. Healthy.

with Chef Domenica Catelli

Domenica Catelli's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support she has brought to the WebMD community.


The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have... Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cut Your Kitchen Clean-Up Time

By Chef Domenica Catelli

One of the first things I think of after “What should I cook for dinner?” is: “I don’t want a big mess in the kitchen.” I realize that after a long day of work or running around with our kids that the idea of cooking AND cleaning up our kitchen can actually prevent us from making food at home. What if I were to share a few practical tips that can reduce clean-up time? Perhaps adopting a few of these would be the tipping point to help you decide to cook vs. getting fast food or takeout? I hope so.

  • Do a Quick Rinse (it’s sometimes enough!): Go ahead and make that smoothie for breakfast – blender clean-up can be easy:  fill your blender halfway with hot tap water, a few drops of dish soap, and cover. Turn blender back on for a few seconds, rinse it out with hot water, and you’re done! You’ve got a clean blender and a delicious smoothie (my go-to recipe includes plain yogurt, frozen organic blueberries, ground flax seed, frozen banana and a splash of your favorite unsweetened juice or agave nectar)
  • Make only one mess, not five: Make sandwiches on Sunday and freeze in individual bags for the week. This will mean only one clean up time vs. every morning dealing with bread crumbs and sticky jam-covered knives.
  • Line your pans: Roast veggies, meats and fish on large sheet pans lined with parchment paper or foil. Throw away after cooking and you won’t spend any extra time scrubbing caked-on food from your pans.
  • Do the one-dish: Consider making one-dish dinners or using a crock pot for a few meals a week. This cuts your clean-up dishes from several down to one!
  • Get the kids involved: Whether it’s clearing and scraping dishes, rinsing, wiping down counters or loading the dishwasher. This can be a family event and get done in a quarter of the time. (Remember, two people cleaning for 10 minutes is like one person cleaning for 20!)
  • Loosen the gunk: If you have cooked something that looks like it’s going to need a lot of muscle to get it clean, add water when the pan is still warm and put it back on the stove on low heat. Use a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula to dislodge stubborn, stuck-on food. You will use a lot less elbow grease when the residue is warm than when everything has cooled and stuck to the pan.
  • Soak while you eat:If you have two sides to your sink, fill one side of the sink with warm soapy water and quickly put all dirty pans and bowls or cutting boards from your dinner prep in there before you eat. This will take less than a minute but save you time when cleaning after you eat.
  • Make it fun! Put on some music, set a timer for 10 minutes – and the race is on! This game works great with kids, and even with myself…”can I get it all done in time?”

Incorporate these time-savers and don’t let the clean-up keep you from cooking. Remember, cooking can be fun, and cleaning can be easy.

Until next time, stay fresh and delicious!

Posted by: Chef Domenica Catelli at 11:09 am

Subscribe & Stay Informed

The Daily Bite

Receive a healthy, delicious recipe in your inbox every day.


WebMD Health News