I'm a food whizz – the essentials you need for a fuss-free dinner & how a single box grater will save you loads of time | The Sun

COOKING dinner every night is quite easily one of the most dreaded household chores.

Not only is it tough deciding what to make every night, but the cleanup is often horrendous.

Thankfully, there are ways to streamline the cooking process and whip up a tasty dinner for your family. And often it comes down to having the right tools and equipment.

Rebecca Wilson, the author of Fast Family Food, reveals to Fabulous which kitchen essentials all homes should have. They'll not only speed up cooking but they'll make it easier too.

Aside from the obvious kitchen knives, chopping boards and pans all homes must have, she swears by a spider strainer and a single box grater.

Speaking of the spider strainer, she says: "I love it! It’s great for scooping out your cooked pasta from the water pot into your sauce, ensuring you keep some of that precious starchy cooking water…plus it saves on washing the washing up a little.

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"But I also use this tool as a fab cookie stamp as it makes the prettiest design, and saying that so does the base of a fancy drinking glass or even your potato masher can give you some cool designs. "

The ultimate kitchen tool, in her opinion, has to be a box grater because it's far more versatile than people think, and it's not just for cheese.

"How many times have you flipped it and used all those other smaller sides?" Rebecca questions.

It's a lifesaver when it comes to speeding up the process, and is the ideal tool to help with food prep.

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She explains: "They are perfect for grating garlic into a quick purée, I don’t even bother peeling the skin, it’ll come away in your hands as you grate. Or grate fresh tomatoes into a purée quickly to add to sauces.

"You can also grate a whole onion into a purée which can be quicker than chopping one into tiny pieces, and also it’s fab for picky eaters who aren’t keen on large pieces of onion in their food."

This is a great way to include more veggies in your food without the kids knowing. And even better for prepping freezer-ready portions ahead of cooking.

You can also thread the stem of your herbs through the hole of the grater and the leaves will pop off easily, Rebecca says.

A box grater is such a time saver when prepping dinner quickly.

"It's such a time saver when prepping dinner quickly," she adds.

"You can also grate chocolate for fancy toppings on your cakes or porridge, but here’s my ultimate box grater hack. Got butter too cold to spread? Well finely grate the butter over your toast like cheese, it will soften much quicker making it easier to spread."

Another kitchen basic that'll change your life is a toaster – and not just for bread.

"Batch cooking can save us time and money in the kitchen, but sometimes the reheating can be sped up too," Rebecca explains.

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"Pop batch-cooked frozen pancakes, thin wraps and flatbreads into the toaster, they will defrost and reheat in minutes.

"You can also warm up a croissant by laying over the top of your toaster, the rising heat will warm up the inside for fluffy steamy croissant, just make sure you rotate it after a minute so it doesn’t burn."

Rebecca Wilson is the author of Fast Family Food published by DK, 15 September. £18.99. dk.com.

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