Making a healthy meal at the end of a packed day can be a challenge (no, more like an Olympic feat some nights), but what if we told you there was a tool that could make dinner prep easier, faster… and safe enough for kids to use? The essential kitchen tool we swear by is Shun Kitchen Shears ($50). These razor-sharp, ergonomic scissors aren’t just for opening packaging or twine; they also slice up foods in a cinch.

Whether you’re too lazy to bust out your chef’s knife and cutting board or don’t feel confident about your knife skills, scissors can help you accomplish most meat, veggie, and fruit prep. Plus, the Shun pair has a bottle opener and can crack nuts, snap open lids, and quickly come apart for easy cleaning and sharpening. Talk about a multitasker! If you’re looking for ways to make use of your kitchen shears on the regular, here’s how you can prepare two whole meals using just shears and a good cast iron pan.

garlicky kale and sausage over noodles

To start, use the shears to cut the stems off of one bunch of kale leaves. Either discard (or compost) the stems or cut them into fine medallions and set aside in a bowl. Tightly wrap all the kale leaves together in a large roll, then cut the kale into 1/4-inch-thick ribbons. Next, slice a few garlic cloves with the shears.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat with a splash of olive oil. Add the kale and garlic and cook until the kale has wilted and crisped up some. After, slice a few sausages (we prefer chicken apple or vegetarian apple sage) right into the pan. Meanwhile, cook up a package of noodles of your choice (we like gluten-free lentil noodles), drain, and toss everything together. Divvy out the pasta and garnish with pre-grated Asiago cheese. If you really want to get your mileage out of the shears, snip off some parsley as a garnish.

chicken and mushroom tacos

Grab a package of tortillas, a jar of ready-made salsa (try Trader Joe’s Tomatillo Salsa), a few green scallions, one stalk of celery, a head of cabbage, and a rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken. The shears have a built in jar opener, so opening jar of salsa no longer requires brute strength. All the taco fixings (scallions, celery, and cabbage) can be quickly chopped with the scissors into separate bowls for toppings. Use the bone notch on the side of the scissor blade to help pull the chicken off the bone without getting your hands greasy. Then chop up the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Assemble the tacos for a dinner that can be served in under 30 minutes.

What recipes will you make with kitchen shears? Share with us@BritandCo on Instagram.

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Photo via Sur La Table