Our society has forced alot of us to eat on the run or have very little time to prepare meals. Whether your in the corporate world, busy parents with kids or just plain busy – having tips to prepare healthy quick meals is a big help. I put together a few simple ways to be effective and cost efficient that you can try when preparing your next meal.
1. Prepare Food Immediately from the Grocery Store
Whether your chopping green peppers for stir fry or seeding and slicing a cantalope – Doing this right way and storing in ziploc bags can save you valuable time during meal preparation and also allows you to make healhier choices when you have a huge munch on.
2. Make a weekly meal plan
Check family members’ schedules before deciding which nights to cook. To increase family involvement, ask everyone to pick and schedule one family meal a week. Having a plan also makes writing shopping and “to do” lists easier.
3. Cook once, eat twice
Double favorite recipes, freezing extra servings in easy-to-thaw portions. Freeze extra cooked chicken breasts for quick salads, quesadillas, enchiladas, and soup.
4. Streamline shopping
Keep a running grocery list of items needed by category, such as breads, meats, and produce to reduce “emergency” trips for missing ingredients.
5. Get children involved in making dinner
Besides benefiting from the obvious creative aspects of cooking and the boost to their self-esteem, there are the more practical bonuses of developing math skills and learning how to eat well. Also if they are helping you with meal time – then you are not being distracted and things will move quicker.
6. Time is money
Take help where you can get it. “Sometimes it’s worth the added cents to choose raw deveined shrimp over shrimp you have to clean, or chicken cutlets over the breasts you would have to trim and split,” I also uses canned foods, such as beans, tomatoes and stocks, because of the time savings in certain situations.
7. Plug in the Slow Cooker
Although it might seem like a contradiction, slow cookers actually make quick work of getting a meal on the table. Just toss the ingredients in the cooker in the morning, and dinner is ready when you get home.
8. Keep your pantry stocked
The pantry being the building blocks of fast meals: basics such as pastas, rice, broths, stocks, canned tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and canned beans.