In today’s world, finding time to cook and spend in the kitchen can be challenging. Over the years, I have found some time savers that I think would be useful, so I wanted to share them with you!
Always read the full recipe before starting to cook. There’s nothing worse than thinking you have all of the ingredients, getting halfway through the cooking process, and realizing you’re missing a key ingredient. Do yourself a huge favor and read the details first!
Plan ahead for cooking times. This has happened to me a few times – I was really looking forward to something specific for dinner, and when I went to begin cooking, realized that there was a critical marinating step that took several hours, or something was supposed to be in the crock pot for longer than I was anticipating. Often times, it’s too late for that and you have to end up going to Plan B (if you have one)!
Menu planning for the week. Most people don’t have time to plan breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire week, especially if you’re having to do it on a whim. You can save a lot of time by coming up with a menu for the week on Saturday or Sunday. This way, you can go the grocery store and buy what you need for the week, and prep things ahead of that time that you can. (Shameless Plug: Handy Eats offers these services!)
Prepared Foods. I’m a huge fan of buying things fresh as often as possible. However, sometimes there are prepared foods that can really come in handy and save you a lot of time. Most grocery stores now offer pre-spiraled (is that a word?) zucchini/carrot/squash noodles. You’ll pay more for them, but it will save you time if you’re in a crunch! Stores such as Whole Foods also have great prepared side dishes that I often buy for my vegetables. I look for the ones that have been prepared that day and are served by weight and not prepackaged.
Shredded chicken goes a long way. Unless you’re vegetarian/vegan, shredded chicken can be a huge time saver for meals throughout the week. I generally boil or roast a few chicken breasts and then shred them to use in different recipes throughout the week. It’s versatile and you can put the chicken on top of salads, on a sandwich, or even in a taco! The chicken should last 3-5 days and also freezes well.
The crock pot is your best friend. Who doesn’t love a great crock pot meal? Especially in the Fall and Winter seasons! Crock pot recipes vary in terms of cooking times, so make sure you pay attention to this, but a great crock pot meal can be thrown together before you head to work and ready for serving when you walk in the door. It’s also makes your house smell amazing!
Stay tuned for more Time Savers!