Healthy Kitchen Hacks #32

*Cook Pasta In Red Wine Instead of Water * Trick To Make Ground Meat Healthier * Clever Way to Pack Apples In Lunchboxes * 3-Ingredient Coffee Rub *Trick For Pouring Cooking Oil*

Healthy Kitchen Hacks: Cook Pasta in Red Wine, Clever Way to Pack Apple In Lunch, 3-Ingredient Coffee Spice Run, Trick to Make Ground Meat Healthier, Hack for Non-Spill Cooking Oil @tspbasil

It’s been just over a year since we started this Healthy Kitchen Hacks series – I can’t believe we’re on #32 already. It’s been a lot of fun to discover new tricks and also feature some of our favorite bloggers in the process. Here are this week’s top 5 kitchen tricks that worked for me:

1) How to Cook Pasta in Red Wine
@QKatie for FWx Labs

Healthy Kitchen Hacks: Cooking Pasta In Red Wine @tspbasil

After watching this viral cooking video from the #KeepItQuirky vlogger QKatie, I felt a bit like a failed Italian-American in that I had never heard of the technique of cooking spaghetti in red wine.

So, I went to it (adding sautéed mushrooms instead of walnuts) and holy bellissimo! I’m loving this hack not just for the flavorful meatless pasta sauce but because it uses less cooking liquid, too.

Bonus tip: Freeze the leftover pasta wine water from the pot in ice cube trays and then use as “wine bouillon cubes” as a flavor enhancer in future sauces for pasta, chicken or meat dishes.

2) Easy Trick to Make Ground Meat Healthier
Ellie @Food Network

Healthy Kitchen Hacks: Easy way to make ground meat healthier for tacos, nachos and sloppy joes @tspbasil

Add instant nutrition to your ground beef or ground turkey with a can of beans (drained and rinsed if not a low sodium version.)

I started doing this last year when I adapted this Tomato Soup Sloppy Joes recipe after seeing that Ellie Krieger added beans to her Sloppy Joes. I went a step further and mashed most of the beans right into my ground turkey in the pan with the sauce after it was cooked through. This makes the beans less apparent in the ground meat – subtle enough that my picky eater husband even eats it. #Score.

Use this trick when making tacos or nachos, too!

Does cooking pasta in red wine really work? Find out + 4 more useful #healthykitchenhacks @tspbasil Click To Tweet

3) Delicious Apple Packing Trick for Lunch Boxes
Sally @Real Mom Nutrition

Healthy Kitchen Hacks - Clever Way to Pack Apple in Lunches @tspbasil

Sally featured this clever trick for packing a cut apple that a) helps prevents browning by lunchtime and b) adds a flavor boost. I haven’t tried this yet with my daughter (she buys her lunch everyday) but now I’m regularly munching on cinnamon apple slices (often with some peanut butter, too) for adult snack time.

4) 3-Ingredient Coffee Rub (For Meat, Chicken, Fish, Seafood or Tofu)
via @EatingWell

Healthy Kitchen Hacks - Easy 3-ingredient coffee spice rub to use on pork, beef, chicken, tofu, salmon or scallops! @tspbasil

Coffee doesn’t have to be limited to your morning cup. It makes sense that ground coffee or espresso makes for a super flavorful seasoning.

I love this Easy Coffee Rub Recipe because if you are a coffee drinker, you’ll always have these ingredients on hand (ground coffee, black pepper and salt) for a last minute recipe. Eating Well also gives you marinating and cooking times for using this coffee rub on chicken, pork, beef, salmon, tofu and more.

I tried it on scallops sautéed in a little bit of butter – talk about a flavor bomb – delicious!

Bonus Recipe: Coffee Spice Roast Chicken from Carolyn @All Day I Dream About Food for A Sweet Life: Diabetes Magazine.

5) Trick for Pouring Cooking Oil
via @BottomLinePersonal

Healthy Kitchen Hacks - Trick to Non-Spill Cooking Oil @tspbasil

This was one of those “aha” hacks for me on how to spill-proof your bottle of cooking oil. This works for any oil that has the foil cover on it when you first open it. It’s a great hack for preventing spills AND controlling how much oil you drizzle into your cooking pan/pot, too.

Would you try any of these hacks? Do you have healthy kitchen or healthy living shortcuts to share? Shoot us an email ( or ) or share below in comments and we’ll try them out.


We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

We're also moms and business owners who share our family recipes, healthy kitchen hacks and nutrition adventures while keeping it real in the kitchen with you.

We’re so glad you’ve stopped by!

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