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Quick and Easy Meals: 5 Tips for Faster Cooking

You don't have to be a master chef to create delicious meals. These 5 expert kitchen tips will help you cook faster, so you can get dinner on the table sooner and with less sweat.

4. Rescue Leftovers

Got rice that came with your Chinese take-out? Nuke it with a little water and butter to bring it back to life. Leftover veggies? Add a couple tablespoons of water before reheating them. Stale bread or crackers? Scatter them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with a little water and reheat in the oven at 350º until warm and crispy.

5. Shop Like a Chef

Stock up on pantry staples like spices, olives, canned beans, and tomatoes, says Matthew Accarrino, the executive chef at San Francisco’s acclaimed SPQR. “They have a long shelf life and will broaden your ability to be creative, spur of the moment.” Always have on hand: whole oats (use in place of bread crumbs in meatloaf and meatballs for extra fiber and vitamins); whole- grain tortilla shells (to make quesadillas, bake them for crispy taco shells, or cut them in pieces for “homemade” pita chips); and light sour cream

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