Raise your hand if you are a cook? I have been an amateur chef in my own kitchen for many years and I have come to the conclusion that we make it
harder than it needs to be when it comes to preparation of our vegetables, at least I have decided to do things differently.
I use to be OCD when it came to cutting onions, carrots, peppers, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes or garlic. I use to get the cutting board
out and strategically hold a knife in that very safe cutting stance and get myself psyched to attack meticulously. I would pretend I was some famous
chef and use those techniques we have all seen.
First, let me just go to the pre-prep part. Peeling.
I don't peel potatoes, ever. I just place them in hot water and let them soak until I decide to cut them.
Carrots, no peeling, I do the same, place in hot water. Unless you like them cold in your salad. Then use the grater.
Tomatoes, it depends what they are going to be used for. If I am making a sauce, I remove the skin by boiling them first and then after a cool down,
just take my fingers and peel away the skin. This also, depends what type of tomato, roma, I never peel.
Garlic, some people like to press, I don't, I will boil a bulb, and then remove the skin. I do not remove the core.
Onions, I soak then in ice cold water until ready to remove the skin, then instead of cutting the skin off, which almost always waste precious onion,
I just remove the skin with my fingers, this might require a tiny cut first at the top, but only the core head. I do not want to cry!
The peeling and pre-prep is done, now how to get them into the size pieces you want? Most people will use a knife to do this, me, I have come up with
a different method when it comes to onions, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower; I simply tear them apart with my fingers piece by piece. The OCD me
used to spend so much time worrying about cutting them in nice little pieces, no more, now I just enjoy making things simpler. There are some bigger
parts that can not be torn, so those go into the compost pile. Also, when it comes to the peppers, with the exception of that little nub on top, it
all gets used, seeds go in, especially if I am making a spaghetti sauce.
This method is so much more efficient, for me at least. Who cares about making perfect cuts. My meals are more enjoyable and I have fewer cuts on my
hands in the process.
Carrots and garlic and potatoes still get cut with a small a paring knife into whatever pieces they are cut while holding them between my 4 fingers
and thumb, right into the pot or bowl or pan (w/olive oil). Tomatoes are usually for my salads or spaghetti sauce so they get sliced with a normal
tomato slicer or thrown in whole (for sauces).
One more little tip, instead of using a knife to spread, try using a spoon instead!