After a long day, coming home to cook a tasty, nutritious meal can be difficult even at the best of times. But there are a few simple things you can do to make it go faster and easier.
Do you get frustrated scouring your kitchen cupboards and drawers for items like the peeler, grater or colander? One of the easiest things that you can do to save time in the kitchen is to ensure that everything has its place and is easily accessible when you need it. Organise your kitchen storage space so that your most frequently used tools are in a section close to your stove or preparation bench. You can make room for these items by moving items you use less often – like baking items – to your peripheral storage areas.
Buy Packaged Items
Packaged and frozen items have come a long way since the TV dinners of the 20th century. Frozen vegetables save you preparation time and are often as high in nutrients as fresh produce. Just add water to rice and pasta pre-mixed packets for a quick and easy side dish. Or try adding your own fresh ingredients to one of the many to the sauce and soup bases available for a tasty meal in a fraction of the time.
Try Slow Cooking
Crock-pots or slow-cookers are an excellent investment. Just place your ingredients in the cooker before you leave home in the morning and turn the unit on. Over the course of the day, the appliance will slowly cook your meal to tender, juicy perfection. For less than ten minutes effort, you can return home at the end of the day to a beautiful dinner.
Cook Bulk Meals
Save money and time by cooking large batches of your favourite meals and freezing them for later use. Stews and casseroles are among the many meals that are great to cook in bulk. Not only does this idea eliminate wastage, it also means that after a hard day’s work, you can enjoy a delicious homemade meal buy simply taking it out of the freezer and popping it in the microwave.
Before you do your weekly shop, plan what you will cook for dinner each night and ensure you stock up on the necessary ingredients. By planning your weekly menu, you won’t need to muster what little imagination and creativity you have left in the tank at the end of the day. Just go into the kitchen and put your meal together, knowing you’ll have everything you need ready to go.
Stock Up on Basics
If you aren’t one to plan out your meals for the entire week, ensure you’re your fridge and pantry always contain the essential items that can provide the basis for a great meal, such as:
• Non-perishable items: flour, sugar, oil, rice, pasta, herbs and spices
• Perishable ingredients: milk, butter, potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, seasonal green.