Double Duty Kitchen Tools

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kitchengadgetsThere are thousands of kitchen gadgets on the market designed to make cooking easier, quicker and more efficient. However, most of these gadgets serve one specific purpose and take up prime kitchen real estate. After a few uses they end up being thrown in the back of a drawer or cabinet, never to be seen or thought about again.

Before you consider purchasing the next "latest and greatest" kitchen gadget, stop and ask yourself if any of the kitchen tools you already own could do double duty, giving you the same end result. You’ll be surprised how often you’re already equipped with the tools you need which can save you the cost and clutter of additional, unnecessary gadgets.

Cooling Racks- Not Just for Baked Goods!

Most of us use cooling racks for one purpose- cooling baked goods. However, they can actually be used in other ways to help save you invaluable time and space in the kitchen!

Instead of purchasing an egg or avocado slicer, try this double duty trick:

  • Place a cooling rack over a large bowl.
  • Press a hard-boiled egg firmly into the rack.
  • The egg will fall into the bowl and you’ll have perfect, evenly diced eggs ready for egg salad or to use as a topping on salads.
  • You can also do this with avocados. Simply slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, and follow the same steps. Homemade guacamole has never been easier!

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Deli Lids- Not Just for Leftovers!

Do you waste precious time chasing grape tomatoes around your kitchen trying to cut them in half? I know I do! Instead, put those old deli lids (that you’ve likely lost the matching container for!) to good use with this double duty trick:

  • Place 10-12 grape tomatoes into the top of a round deli lid (make sure the side that has a raised edge is facing up so the tomatoes won’t slip out).
  • Place another deli lid, top side down, on the tomatoes.
  • Holding the lid gently in place to not bruise the tomatoes, slice tomatoes in half with a sharp knife.
  • Now you have perfectly halved tomatoes ready to be used in any recipe!

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Tomato Basil Bruschetta Bites
Makes About 30 Servings

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This recipe is a crowd pleaser and a perfect, fresh appetizer for the warmer months. Use the time-saving, double duty tip above to help prep the tomatoes!

Ingredients:

12oz grape tomatoes, diced
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced
½ cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 whole wheat baguettes, cut into 1-inch rounds (about 30 slices)

Directions:

  1. Combine diced tomatoes (try double duty trick above!), minced garlic, olive oil and basil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Slice bread into 1-inch rounds. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until slightly golden brown (not completely toasted).
  4. While bread is in the oven, place balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat until vinegar has reduced by half, stirring occasionally (this will take approximately 15 minutes for 1 cup of vinegar). Remove from heat.
  5. Remove baguettes from oven. Top each round with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and a spoonful of the tomato mixture.
  6. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  7. Before serving, drizzle with warm balsamic reduction.

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Nutrition Information per Serving (1 baguette bite): Calories: 90, Total Fat: 2.5gm, Saturated Fat: 0gm, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 125mg, Carbs: 13gm, Fiber: 1gm, Protein: 3gm

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About Author

Ashley Bailey, MS, RDN, LDN

Nutritionist

Ashley is a Nutritionist at SAS Institute in Cary, NC. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Biofeedback Instructor, and has a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys spending as much time as possible at the beach, running, cooking and crafting. Follow @abaileyRD on Twitter.

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