Some people enjoy cooking, while others only care about the finished product. While cooking in itself can be very relaxing and provide a creative outlet, most people cook simply because they are hungry and want to eat. In our busy culture, meals are often eaten “on the go” and cooking is all about making quick and easy meals.
If you are in a busy season of life and want to minimize your time in the kitchen but you don’t want to settle for pre-packaged convenience foods, try these tips to make your cooking time as efficient as possible.
- Cook in Bulk. At first, the concept of cooking in bulk may seem like it would require additional work and effort. However, simply doubling or even tripling a recipe is an easy way to cook once and have several meals ready for other days. Just freeze the extras and the next time you are in a hurry, all you have to do is pull out your previously assembled dish. All the perks of convenience food with all the taste of homemade!
- Invest in quality tools. Many people love homemade salsa but don’t have the time or the patience to stand above a cutting board while chopping tomatoes and onions into tiny pieces. To get the same result in a matter of seconds, use a blender or a food processor. These handy kitchen tools make cooking much more enjoyable, and set the table for quick and easy meal preparation.
- Get to know your crock pot. Actually, Meal prep delivery crock pots technically do not make quick meals, but the key is that they do the cooking for you. All you have to do is simply toss in the ingredients in the morning, and by dinner time you have a tasty meal. The crock pot cooks for 6-8 hours, but your time in the kitchen is only about 5 minutes.
- Multi-task. Another great way to improve kitchen efficiency is to multi-task. For example, if you are browning meat or boiling a chicken, use this time to do other meal preparation such as tossing a salad or mixing some cookie dough. By always keeping your hands busy in the kitchen, you will find that you accomplish a lot more and the time also goes by a lot faster.
- Plan ahead. Weekly meal plans are invaluable tools. Not only to they eliminate the time that you spend blankly staring at your kitchen cabinets wondering what is for dinner, but they also help you to combine tasks. For example, if you are chopping onions (hopefully in your food processor) for tonight’s dinner, you can glance at your meal plan and notice that the casserole you plan on making later in the week also calls for chopped onions. While you have the food processor out, just throw in the additional amount and then refrigerate to use later in the week. This also helps cut down on washing dishes since you only used the food processor once instead of two separate times.