Time-Saving Tips in the Kitchen
Home cooking and sitting down for a delicious homemade meal can be a great way to de-stress and unwind after a busy day, and it is healthier than dining out or eating takeaways.
However, cooking from scratch every single day or even thinking constantly about what to eat next can be stressful and time-consuming, and you might end up not enjoying this activity as much as you used to. This article will give you some time-saving tips to help you make the most of your time in the kitchen.
Make a Weekly Meal Plan
Set aside time once a week to sit down and make a weekly meal plan. Take into account any ingredients you already have in stock in your cupboards or freezer, and use cookbooks for inspiration or look up recipes online. If you live with a housemate, partner or kids, get them involved too.
Knowing what you’re going to be eating for dinner every night takes the pressure off coming up with ideas on the day and means you’ll have plenty of time to pick up any special ingredients you need. Planning ahead also means you can see what you’re eating across the entire week and make sure it’s a well-balanced diet.
Invest in Time Saving Equipment
Using time-saving tools like pressure cookers can significantly reduce the time you need to spend standing in your kitchen, tending to pans on the hob, meaning not only will you save time but can also save you money on your energy bills too. Pressure cookers are perfect for dishes that taste best when cooked slowly, such as rich heart stews, for example, and they also help preserve the flavor and nutrients of your ingredients.
In this regard, microwaves, too, are at the top of the equipment you need to use more often to save time. Packaged food like vegetables and leftovers will be ready to be served in no time, and of course, microwaves can also be used to defrost food in a short amount of time while preserving the flavor.
Try Batch Cooking
Cooking more of your meals in advance and storing them in the fridge or freezer is another way to save time and money. You could set aside one afternoon or evening per week to batch-cook your favorite meals or just double-up on ingredients whenever you’re cooking so that you’ll have twice as much and can then freeze or refrigerate half to eat as leftovers.
There are many ideal recipes for batch cooking that will taste amazing even after being stored away in the freezer for a couple of days. From lasagne to lamb stew, from fish pie to spinach and ricotta cannelloni, the options you have available are almost endless to the keen cook.
Keep a List
Keep an updated shopping list near your cooking area so you can write down ingredients as you use them before you forget. This will save you time later and mean you’re not caught in the kitchen part-way through cooking a meal only to find you’re missing a vital ingredient! It will also help save you time when you’re shopping too.
Save your future-self time by pre-chopping vegetables when you get home with your shopping. This will save you time when it comes to meal preparation and means that any slicing, dicing, or chopping is already done. Just bear in mind that this won’t work for all types of vegetables. For example, avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green leafy veggies should only be chopped and prepared right before eating them to ensure that they stay fresh.