5 Time-saving cooking hacks
By the time 7pm comes around, you probably have one thought on your mind – winding down on the couch. But the sound of your grumbling stomach reminds you that you still need to cook dinner for the family.
Whether you love to cook or not, it’s likely that you don’t get much time to whip up a gourmet meal very often. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t give your family tasty, healthy meals during the busy week. All you need to know is some cooking shortcuts and you’ll be making delicious weeknight meals that will have your family demanding seconds. With these five time-saving cooking hacks, making dinner will be as easy as getting insurance quotes online from us.
1. Prep the ingredients
In French, preparing the ingredients beforehand is called mise en place, which means ‘together in place,’ or ‘putting in place.’
Think of this: your onions are frying away on the stove and you’re frantically chopping the chicken to add next. If you’re not quick enough, the onions will turn brown and bitter, and you might carelessly cut your finger. But if everything is prepped beforehand, you can deal with cooking disasters as they come along. This also gives you time in between stirring and frying to clean up as you go along. If you do this, cooking won’t seem like so much of a chore after a long day.
2. Cook extra
A great way to save time and still avoid store-bought convenience meals is to make extra and freeze some for another meal. This way, you know exactly what’s going into your family’s food, and it takes just minutes to defrost and reheat.
3. Hone your chopping skills
Cutting, chopping, slicing, and dicing are the fundamentals of any meal. By mastering these basics, you’ll save heaps of time by preparing your ingredients quicker, and you’ll be less likely to stop to put a plaster on your finger. Here is a great video showing you how to get these basics right.
4. Make a meal plan
It’s not hard to do; many of us simply forget to sit down one day a week and decide what we’re going to cook for that week. But remembering to make a meal plan has a host of benefits. First, you’ll no longer need to worry about that pesky question that pops up at around 3pm every day: “What am I going to cook for dinner tonight?” It means no more taking a detour on the way home to run into the shops after work every day; you can get back an extra 15 minutes every day.
You can also save money by planning your meals around the ingredients you already have, and you can do the week’s shopping in one go, and if you’re not at the convenience store every day, there is no temptation to buy things you don’t actually need.
5. Get the kids involved
For many of us, moments with our children are the most precious time we have, so we make every second with them count. By getting them involved in the cooking process, you’ll not only be teaching them a valuable life lesson, you’re getting quality time together. And there is a kitchen task for just about any age – older children can help to chop veggies, while you can supervise the younger ones to stir the pot, season the food, and dump the ingredients in the pot. It may be a little messier, but if everything is prepared, you’ll have the time in between to wipe up spills.