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Cooking tips for busy moms

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

After a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the hot kitchen. Instead of resorting to picking up fast food or ordering a pizza, with just a little preparation you can prepare healthy homemade meals for your family even when you are short on time and energy. These simple cooking tips will make your life a whole lot easier.

You must buy a crockpot! A crockpot is a busy mom's dream. With a crockpot, you can put the meat in the cooker in the morning, set it on low, and come home to delicious meal. Another fabulous thing about the crockpot is that it tenderizes food through its slow cook process. Therefore, you can actually buy more affordable (tougher) cuts of meat and they will turn out juicy and tender in the crockpot.

Freeze meals ahead of time. On the weekend, cook a large quantity of lasagna or your family's favorite meal. Then, separate it in smaller portions and freeze it for meals throughout the week. This also works great for sauces. For example, you can make a big batch of marinara sauce and freeze it in several plastic containers or freezer bags. Throughout the week, just defrost the sauce and pour over spaghetti, macaroni or even chicken.

Cooking tips for busy moms

Use a wok for a quick meal. Stir-fry is a simple, nutritious way to cook. Chop skinless, boneless chicken breasts into chunks or strips. Use the wok to stir-fry the chicken with mixed frozen vegetables and soy sauce. Pour over instant rice (5-10 minutes in the microwave!) and you will have a fabulous, easy meal in no time.

Forget baking - just serve fruit! Instead of baking cookies, cakes and pies, you can provide your family with a nutritious, sweet dessert with fresh fruit. Buy berries, peaches, apples or whatever is in season. Let your kids pick and choose their favorites. You can serve them whole on their own, or chop and serve with cream or chocolate.

Buy pre-packaged salad. It's definitely more expensive than buying a head of lettuce, but the extra cost is well worth it when you are pressed for time. It's important that your family eats plenty of leafy greens. By purchasing pre-packaged lettuce or spinach at the grocery store, all you need to do is rinse it and put it in a bowl.

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