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Cook Healthy Meals Under 15 Minutes With These 10 Smart Products

Cook Healthy Meals Under 15 Minutes With These 10 Smart Products

We all appreciate a delicious home cooked meal at the end of a busy day. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find the time and energy to make dinner when you get in from work. You’re probably all too familiar with the sinking feeling you get when trying to find something quick and delicious to eat in your fridge. Cooking dinner takes too long, and you’re too exhausted by the time it’s ready to actually enjoy it anyway. A takeaway might seem like the perfect solution, but they are both expensive and unhealthy. The average takeaway meal is high in calories, fat, and salt, which will only make you feel worse in the long run!

That’s the bad news. But the good news is that cooking doesn’t necessarily have to take up a lot of your time. With the right equipment, it’s easy to put together a meal that requires very little planning and energy. Here at Lifehack, we’re proud to present 10 kitchen gadgets that will help revolutionize weekday dinnertime!

1. Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker

    This clever cooker cuts down your cooking time by up to 70%. Not only that, but it’s actually 7 kitchen products contained within just one unit! Whether you use the slow cooker, steamer, or any other of its 5 functions, the inner steel cooking pot will save you a lot of time.

    Customer Review: “Awesome features, Very well built appliance and consistently improving for every new model. Perfect for almost every cooking need.” – Phoebe, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer

    2. Kuhn Rikon Swiss Pull Chop

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      This clever gadget makes chopping food easy. All you have to do is place the food inside the sturdy container, pull the cord a few times, and you’re done! You’ll save time on chopping and slicing.

      Customer Review: “This product is a must for your kitchen if you enjoy cooking from scratch. It easily chops all crisp veggies and nuts into fine chops.” – Donna H Holmes

      3. Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

        This device saves you the hassle of boiling water and watching over your eggs as they cook. Use it to make boiled, scrambled, and poached eggs, along with individual omelettes.

        Customer Review: “I must say, I have become very fond of this little unassuming appliance. I like the way it saves me from having dishes or pans to wash that have cooked egg white stuck to them.” – CACGH

        4. NuWave 20631 Oven Pro Plus

          This portable infrared oven cuts down your cooking time by up to 70%, with up to 75% less energy compared to a standard oven. It cooks meat, fish, vegetables, and even desserts to perfection.

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          Customer Review: “It really is and does what it says in the ads. It’s remarkably flexible, fast, easy to clean and generally a pleasure to use.” – Doctor Sardonicus

          5. Chefaith 16-Blade Apple Slicer

            If you need to slice an apple in a hurry, don’t reach for a knife – use this apple slicer instead. Simply place the slicer on top of a medium-sized fruit, and press down. The fruit will be cored and sliced within seconds!

            Customer Review: “Used this today for the first time, and I’m wondering how I ever lived without it! I used it on both large and medium Granny Smith apples from my tree.” – Sarah F. Carr

            6. Philips Airfryer

              The Airfryer’s patented “starfish” design allows a quick and result. It allows you to cook with up to 75% less fat! Just one tablespoon of oil is all you need! It also allows you to grill, bake, steam or roast food.

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              Customer Review: “Love this airfryer!! I throw all sorts of frozen goodies in here and they all come out so crispy and delicious in just a few minutes! Quiet, easy to clean, and super convenient. Machine itself is a beautiful shiny white that fits perfectly with my kitchen :)” – Mina Kim

              7. Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker

                This versatile cooker lets you throw in your ingredients the night or morning before, and then heats them up for you during the day to create a delicious meal. You can look forward to an instant dinner after a long day at work!

                Customer Review: “My wife and I like to make up enough of something to eat on for about 3 days on the weekends so we can eat better in the middle of the week. Wow everything i have cooked in this has came out like my grand mother had made it, sooo tasty :)” – Canable

                8. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Bluetooth

                  This kitchen gadget makes cooking sous vide easy. You will no longer have to spend time making sure the water is exactly the right temperature. Just attach it to the side of a pot, add water and ingredients, and get cooking.

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                  Customer Review: “Cooking with the Anova Sous Vide has made kitchen time much less hectic. Similar to a slow cooker, I’m able to put food items that are vacuum sealed (or water displaced) into the water bath and leave it until I’m ready to serve the item.” – KttyKat16

                  9. 45 Second Omelet Maker

                    As the name implies, this clever product enables you to cook an individual omelet within 45 seconds. Handmade in stoneware clay, it also looks stylish in the kitchen.

                    Customer Review: “I bought 2 because of the comments and I’m glad I did. One for me and one for my husband. We both use them at work for quick eggs without hassle that taste great. I’d highly recommend!” – SCGINVA

                    10. Microwave Pasta Cooker

                      This cooker means that you no longer have to wait around as the water for your pasta heats up. Instead, you’ll be able to cook it in the microwave in minutes, thus saving time and mess.

                      Customer Review: “I highly recommend this to any college student or adult who needs a fast microwave pasta cooker!” – Kelsi Murphy

                      More by this author

                      Brian Lee

                      Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                      Last Updated on November 18, 2019

                      How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                      How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                      Everyone of my team members has a bucketload of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creativity tasks or problem solving tasks.

                      Despite having loads of tasks to handle, our team is able to stay creative and work towards our goals consistently.

                      How do we manage that?

                      I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours over the long term. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize:

                      The Scales Method – a productivity method I created several years ago.

                      How to Prioritize with the Scales Method

                        One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.

                        At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days.

                        After she listened to my advice – and I introduced her to the Scales Method – she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:

                        • She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles
                        • She could publish all her articles on time
                        • And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!)

                        Curious to find out how she did it? Read on for the step-by-step guide:

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                        1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning

                        When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.

                        My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning – but keep it short. Ideally, 10 or 15 minutes. This should be adequate to think about your plan.

                        Use this time to:

                        • Look at the big picture.
                        • Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
                        • Lay out all the tasks you need to do.

                        2. Align Your Tasks with Your Goal

                        This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective.

                        It works like this:

                        Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.

                        By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.

                          To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:

                          Low Cost + High Benefit

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                          Do these tasks first because they’re the simple ones to complete, yet help you get closer to your goal.

                          Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.

                          High Cost + High Benefit

                          Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete. And then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.

                          Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new diary-free protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting – aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g., spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).

                          Low Cost + Low Benefit

                          This combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kind of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.

                          These are probably necessary tasks (e.g., routine tasks like checking emails) but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.

                          High Cost + Low Benefit

                          Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.

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                          For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there they can make this process instant and seamless.

                          Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:

                            After listening to my advice, she broke down the High cost+ High benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):

                              And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only – thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.

                              Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks with Deadlines

                              Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of achieving your goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be deadlines set by external parties such as managers and agencies.

                              What to do in these cases?

                              Well, I suggest that after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list with the deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.

                              For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.

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                              Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:

                                Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to order them in lists of priority.

                                The Scales Method Is Different from Anything Else You’ve Tried

                                By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work, and most importantly – boost your productivity by up to 10 times!

                                And unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefits. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefits combinations.

                                Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be super-easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains, is that you kick off your next working day by following your new list.

                                Trust me, once you begin using the Scales Method – you’ll never want to go back to your old ways of working.

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                                Featured photo credit: Vector Stock via vectorstock.com

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