Cut Cooking Time in Half
Guest Post by Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, The Healthy Voyager
It’s cold outside, you have a busy schedule and you have to get a meal on the table for you and your family. How do you stretch 1 grocery store trip per week along with what’s in your wallet and on the clock to get healthy, nutritious meals made every day? It’s time to make the most of all of those things we don’t have much of (time and money) by incorporating some of these easy tricks and tips!:
Plan & Stick to it
Basic menu planning is useful in every season. Especially when money is tight and everyone is home, it’s smart to organize your cooking schedule. Remember, it doesn’t have to be gourmet-a-day. A great way to make the most of your money and time is to plan your meals around events, what ingredients you have in the house and your supermarket’s weekly specials. Use the week’s specials, match simple entrees with busy days, and save more elaborate meals with special occassion evenings.
Note your weekly schedule and post it somewhere you, and your house mates, can be sure to keep on track ; )
Give your oven some time off
Take a break from baking as well as from foods that need to be watched on the stove. Take advantage of your crock pot and get creative with salads and meals that can be served at room temperature or cold.
Also, think about some indoor grilling with an electric grill pan and bring summer to winter!
Pump up the produce
Choosing ingredients from vegetable gardens or farmer’s markets can be a fun family activity. A colorful table filled with fruits and veggies, either raw or grilled, makes for a fabulous, quick meal.
Cook once, eat thrice (at least)
If you are going to spend time in the kitchen, make it count. Create meals that can be turned into several different dishes throughout the week or at the very least, make double portions so that foods can be quickly re-heated. Ex. Pasta, rice, quinoa, etc can all be made warm the for the first meal and served cold as salads or sides later on! This bodes well for big batches of lasagna and other casseroles that can be frozen and re-heated later.
When making soups, sauces or stocks, make enough for your meal as well as to freeze a few servings, Be sure to store each serving in a separate container so all you have to do is thaw and use as opposed to thawing the whole batch and re-freezing. Also, stocks work great stored in ice cube trays as each cube equals 1 tablespoon and perfect for recipes!
Involve the household
Since time is tight what with school, soccer and work, why not get some kitchen assistants to share the load? Bringing kids in the kitchen is great as a time saver but also teaches them to appreciate what goes in to preparing a meal. Delegating tasks, even up through the dish washing, will not only help cut down cooking time but also build a team like feel at every meal ; )
No matter which tips you use, healthy meals can be whipped up in a flash with just a few simple tricks. Enjoy your food and your family!
For more information, visit www.HealthyVoyager.com