Coming home every night to the prospect of hours of cooking is no way to live. Fortunately you can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend in the kitchen preparing your evening meal with the help of these simple tips.
Get out your slow cooker
Did you once upon a time buy a slow cooker or receive one as a gift that has since been gathering dust in your cupboard? If so, it’s time to change that. A slow cooker makes it incredibly easy to toss a few ingredients together in the morning, which will cook slowly throughout the day, and make a convenient and comforting dish come mealtime. You won’t have to spend an hour standing by the stove, stirring and waiting for everything to come together. Instead you can come home, serve and eat up. A Crock-Pot beef stew or chili chicken soup will be welcome dinners the whole family will enjoy.
Use your food processor
Have you been chopping, dicing and shredding all your ingredients by hand? Then you’re spending a lot more time on your meal prep than you need to. A food processor can be an absolute godsend if you have the right one and know how to use it correctly. Appliances such as Cuisinart’s food processor come with removable accessories that make it easy to slice, shred, chop and mix all your ingredients in moments. It can be used on vegetables for a salad, cheese for a pasta dish or dough for a quiche or dessert. So if you have one tucked away or have been considering investing in one, it’s time to start using your food processor!
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Prepare your grains in larger quantities
Whole grains, such as quinoa, wild rice and millet, make a nutritious side or base for a variety of dishes. Unfortunately cooking grains every evening can take close to a half-hour every time. To save yourself some time, simply whip up two or three evenings’ worth in a large pot all at once. You can keep the leftovers in the fridge and warm them up in the microwave throughout the week as needed.
The microwave comes through in a pinch
Undeniably a meal baked in the oven has a certain home-cooked feel to it that can’t be beat. But if you simply don’t have the time or energy to go the old-fashioned route, don’t forget about the convenient option that is the microwave. Figuring out the right times and practices for cooking in the microwave can take a little getting used to, but it can be a big time saver down the road. Check out the USDA’s guide for microwave oven and food safety to ensure you’re preparing all your favourite recipes in a safe and efficient way.
What are your favourite ways to save time in the kitchen? Let us know in the comment section below!