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I wanted to wrap up saving time in the kitchen week with something a little more fun than a relentless push for efficiency, so here’s a great way to make more elaborate meals while getting to spend time with friends:

The book I mentioned is called The Millennium Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine [affiliate link], which is actually a vegan cookbook, but it’s not one I’d recommend for your first vegan cookbook ever, since it’s a little fancy pants, but that brunch was pretty darned tasty.

By the way, the concept I’m introducing in this video is called “stacking” and it’s an alternative to multitasking.  Multitasking has been shown to suck majorly for humans, mostly in business environments but also pretty much everywhere else.  We’re just not as good as computers at it, and even though the “it lowers your IQ more than marijuana” study has been discounted, the productivity experts I’ve studied seem to advocate one thing at a time.  Of course, a kitchen environment usually means a lot of bouncing between tasks that are all happening at the same time (you chop the celery while the onions cook and somehow you’re also mopping up a spill, etc) but bringing in friends can at least reduce some of that.

Where stacking comes in is the layering of complementary tasks together, so one doesn’t take away from the ability to do the other – think going for a walk while listening to an audio book, versus checking your email while having dinner with your family. In this case, you’re cooking a great meal and spending more time with friends (although the two are separate if you’re bringing the food to someone else’s house, the actual meal is a combination of your efforts.)

What else, in the kitchen and in your life, can you do at the same time without sacrificing the results of each activity?


As part of saving time in the kitchen week, here’s the second example I promised you that demonstrates the concept that if you do one action to accomplish a specific goal (saving time in this case) it often means stopping another action, which might be something you actually enjoy doing.

Which brings me to today’s example – and the internet’s got to be big enough that I’m not the only one with this particular value system!  Even if you think I’m a freak after watching this, realize that you’ve probably got some unique quirks of your own that you’re not going to see identified in any book, video, or guide on saving time.  That’s why I’m working on the principles this week – how you enact them is going to be up to you and your situation.

Oh, and someone’s going to mention it if I don’t – yes, I’ve actually looked into water use by dishwasher and hand washing, and I haven’t been able to find any credible comparisons yet, but it seems to be fairly close from some reports I’ve seen (plus I’m not the most efficient hand washer.)  I’m not trying to play the “vegans use less water in food production so this is OK” card but this is certainly a case where I’m taking advantage of a modern convenience (much like indoor plumbing) to meet my goals, and I’m aware that there’s a footprint, but I suspect that my choices of how many dishes to use in a meal has more impact on resource use than my cleaning technique.  If anyone has any actual info though, I’d love to learn more!


Saving time in the kitchen, part 3

January 26, 2011

It’s time management week here at SV where we talk about saving time while preparing delicious meals, and today I’ve got the first of 2 real life examples of what I talked about yesterday: doing something for the purpose of saving time often means not doing something else, and you might enjoy that other activity, […]

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Saving time in the kitchen, part 2

January 25, 2011

It’s time-saving week here at Staying Vegan, and today we’re digging a little deeper into saving time preparing your delicious vegan meals.  As I said yesterday, there are some simple tricks you can do to save time (and there are some great ideas in the comments) but I want to take this a different way […]

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Saving time in the kitchen, part 1

January 24, 2011

This week we’re going to be talking about saving time in the kitchen – both because it’s the number one thing people ask about when they subscribe to the newsletter, and also because it’s been on my mind a lot! Between running a company and raising a baby, it’s been a real challenge to find […]

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Utensil Redemption: the grater

November 26, 2010

This is a new series we’re going to visit from time to time – you know how when you went vegan, you had to learn some new kitchen techniques?  What about the old stuff you knew from your animal-product days, and specifically, the equipment? Don’t throw it all out yet, because it turns out there […]

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Here’s how (and why!) I do big salads

November 4, 2010

From the comments in yesterday’s post about giving salad another chance, it looks like not everyone in the vegan community is anti-salad, which is cool, and for the rest of you, what are you waiting for? An idea?  OK, here’s one: here’s why I started eating salad again.  By the quart: Pro tip: sometimes I’ll […]

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Vegan Kitchen Essentials

October 22, 2010

Here’s a pop quiz for you, as inspired by The Happy Herbivore: what one kitchen gadget, tool, accessory or appliance would you hate to do without? And more importantly, why? Here’s mine: Let me know yours in the comments – I want to read this in a few days and have at least one “oooh, […]

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Saving time in the kitchen by cooking more

October 12, 2010

No, this isn’t the “make twice as much and keep half for leftovers” tip for saving time that you always hear – that never works for me, unless the goal was secretly to get me to each twice as much.  Instead, here’s how we made an amazing lunch that only took, oh, a week or […]

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Did you throw out all your meats and cheeses when you went vegan?

September 15, 2010

Inspired by a comment by James on our “good for you/bad for you binary diet” post, I want to take a quick survey – it’s quicker if you skip the 4:30 video below, but then I’ll be sad: When you went vegan, did you throw out the animal-based foods in your kitchen, or did you […]

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