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Basic Cooking Instructions

Several of the Keep the Beat™ recipes use leftover ingredients. Using leftover ingredients (e.g., cooked meat and vegetables) is a great way to save time and reduce your food waste. If you don't have specific ingredients already prepared, you can cook some of these items using the guide below and still enjoy the dish. See the list of recipes in the guide to recipe symbols.

Chicken

Method Best For Instructions
Grill (indoor grill pan, electric grill, or outdoor gas or charcoal grill) All chicken partsSpray nonstick cooking spray on grill pan or grill racks. Preheat grill pan, or start gas or charcoal grill. Place chicken on grill and cook 12 to 15 minutes per 4–5 ounces, flipping once halfway through. Chicken should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.
BroilAll chicken parts Preheat oven broiler on high temperature, with rack about 3 inches from heat source. Place whole, sliced, or cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Broil for 8–15 minutes, depending on cut and thickness (to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F).
Sauté or Lightly Stir Fry Thin strips of boneless, skinnless chicken breastCut boneless, skinless chicken breast into thin strips. Heat nonstick cooking spray or oil (amount indicated in the recipe) in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add chicken strips and sauté, stirring often for 5–10 minutes, to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

Seafood

Method Best For Instructions
Grill Firmer seafood such as tuna, salmon, halibut, grouper, trout, and shrimp on skewersPreheat indoor grill pan or outdoor grill.

For fish fillets, steaks, or kabobs
:  Grill on medium heat for 7 to 9 minutes per ½-inch thickness, until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork (to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F).

For shrimp:
Grill 8–11 minutes until shrimp are opaque (to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F).
BroilSalmon, tunaPreheat oven broiler on high temperature with the rack 3 inches from heat source. Cook on high heat for 4 to 6 minutes per ½-inch thickness, until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork (to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F). If fish is 1 inch or more thick, turn halfway through broiling.
PoachSalmon, red snapper, cod, halibut, flounder, tilapia, troutAdd 1½ cups water, broth, or wine to a large sauté pan. Bring to a boil. Add fish. Return to boiling; reduce heat and simmer covered for about 4–6 minutes per ½-inch thickness (and to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F).

Vegetables

Method Best For Instructions Cooking Times
Grill (indoor grill pan or outdoor gas or charcoal grill)Asparagus, carrots, corn on the cob, eggplant, fennel, leeks, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and squashRinse, trim, cut up, and precook vegetables as needed in simmering water (or microwave) for specified time. See approximate cooking times (at right) for select vegetables.

Use a grill basket or grill indirectly on foil to avoid smaller pieces falling through.
Carrots
Precook: 3–5 minutes
Grill: 3–5 minutes

Corn on the Cob

Grill: 25–30 minutes

Eggplant

Grill: 8 minutes

Potatoes

Grill: 1 to 2 hours

Sweet Peppers

Grill: 8 to 10 minutes

Tomatoes

Grill: 5 minutes

Zucchini/Squash

Grill: 5 to 6 minutes
RoastBeets, carrots, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, butternut or acorn squash, eggplant, red peppers, asparagus, tomatoesPreheat oven to about 450 °F. Rinse, trim, and cut up vegetables as needed. Place cut vegetables on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Place baking sheet in oven, and roast for suggested time. Use a spatula to turn vegetables when halfway through. See approximate cooking times (at right) for select vegetables.Potatoes (white and sweet): 30 minutes until browned and crispy

Broccoli/Cauliflower:
20–25 minutes until crisp-tender with slightly browned edges

Acorn Squash:
45 minutes, cut side down; turn over and cover for another 20–25 minutes until tender

Butternut Squash:
  30 minutes, cut side down; turn over and cover for another 20–25 minutes until tender

Red Peppers:
10 minutes or until the skin is blackened 

Tomatoes:
  25–30 minutes, until tomatoes begin to caramelize
Sauté or Lightly Stir FryMushrooms, scallions, cabbage, bok choy, garlic, ginger, kale, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, leeks, peppers, broccoli, carrots, spinach, potatoes, eggplant

Good for thawed frozen vegetables
Rinse, trim, and cut up vegetables as needed. Heat sauté pan with nonstick cooking spray or amount of oil indicated in the recipe. Place cut up vegetables in the pan. Continually stir vegetables for even cooking and to prevent browning. If vegetables begin to get dry, add a few drops of water to the pan. See approximate cooking times (at right) for select vegetables.

For frozen:  Cook according to recipe instructions.
1–2 minutes: mushrooms, scallions, garlic, ginger, spinach, kale, cabbage, bok choy

3–5 minutes:
zucchini, yellow squash, onions, leeks, peppers

6–10 minutes:
  broccoli, carrots, potatoes, eggplant
Boil or SteamBroccoli, asparagus, green beans, carrots, potatoes (white and sweet), spinach, zucchini, yellow squash

Good for most frozen vegetables
Rinse, trim, and cut up vegetables as needed.

Boil:
Cook, covered, in a small amount of boiling water until vegetable is crisp-tender.

Steam: Add ½ cup of water to the bottom of a saucepan. Place cut up vegetables in a steam basket and place basket in saucepan. Steam until vegetables are crisp-tender. See approximate cooking times (at right) for select vegetables.

For frozen:  Cook according to recipe instructions.
Broccoli:  8–10 minutes (both boil and steam)

Green Beans:
boil 10–15 minutes; steam 18–22 minutes

Carrots:
boil 7–9 minutes; steam 8–10 minutes

Potatoes (white and sweet):
boil 20–25 minutes for quarters (15 minutes for cubes); or steam about 20 minutes

Spinach:
3–5 minutes (both boil and steam)

Zucchini/Yellow Squash:
boil 3–5 minutes; steam 4–6 minutes
MicrowaveBroccoli, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, squash (butternut or acorn), carrots, spinach, potatoes

Good for most frozen vegetables
Rinse, trim, and cut up vegetables as needed.

For fresh:
Place cut vegetables in a microwave safe dish with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook on high (100 percent power). Pause microwave to stir once at midpoint of cooking. See cooking times (at right) for select vegetables.

For frozen: Cook according to recipe instructions.
Broccoli: 5–8 minutes

Green Beans:
8–12 minutes

Zucchini/Yellow Squash:

4–5 minutes

Acorn Squash:
7–10 minutes

Butternut Squash:
9–12 minutes

Carrots:
6–9 minutes

Spinach:
4–6 minutes

Potatoes (white and sweet):
 8–10 minutes

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