Multitask Your Cooking: Get Wise With Your Kitchen Time
Jun 02, 2011
These days, it seems like we are juggling work, family, chores and errands 24/7. For this East Coast gal, during the summer, I don’t want to spend any more time indoors in the kitchen than I have to. So, here are my tips to deliver healthy and tasty meals to the table faster and easier. (I definitely need to practice what I preach more often – i.e. planning!)
Consider the biggest time saver of all: creating a monthly menu plan. It seems daunting but by dedicating a few hours, you can save yourself an entire month of wondering, “What’s for dinner?”
- Using an online menu template.
- Relying on recipe favorites and repeating some throughout the month. Check out this month’s Chicken Fiesta Rice + more CANvenient recipes here.
- Making batch dishes on weekends and freezing extras.
- Scheduling a few nights for leftovers, “breakfast for dinner” or ordering take-out.
Smart Staples – By keeping some basic food items at hand, you can whip up a last minute meal for those days you don’t have time to plan ahead. My typical freezer and pantry stockers are ground meat and chicken, frozen shrimp, broth, pasta, rice, canned vegetables & fruit, peanut butter, canned tuna, canned tomatoes, olive oil and cereals.
Cooking Techniques that Simplify – My favorite hot weather tool, the grill, is also a fantastic multi-tasker. We often cook an entire meal outside while keeping the kitchen cool and clean (I’ll post more on grilling next month!) I use my microwave daily for speed – for defrosting or steaming foods. Also “no cook” meals such as cereal, salads and sandwiches are always easy yet nutritious time-saving options. We probably do cereal night almost every week!
Slow Cooker to the Rescue – Nowadays, there’s a gadget for every possible kitchen task, but the trusted Crock Pot® or slow cooker is a true time saver. Besides cooking a variety of meals ahead of time, you can use to reheat leftovers, cook oatmeal or even bake bread.
Here’s to summer and less stress in the kitchen!