Thankfully, you don’t have to give up healthy meals or avoid cooking just because you’re busy. Cooking no longer has to be a dreaded chore that sends you to the drive-thru. You can eat well, and cook too, without giving up anything ‒ including time.
1. Feed the Freezer
Whenever you cook, double the recipe and freeze half. This will make a homemade dinner to use when time is short or you simply don’t feel like cooking.
2. Have a Cooking Party
Want to make a bunch of one item? You can organize a cooking party. Everyone brings something to the event; everyone helps cook (and eat), then everyone takes home a portion to put in their freezer for eating later.
3. Make Lunch Salads in a Jar
Put dressing on the very bottom, add cherry tomatoes, then everything else, ending with the lightest ingredient such as lettuce and spinach. Seal jar tightly. It’s suggested to use wide-mouth, quart-size mason jars.
Here’s a helpful video with some great Mason Jar salad ideas:
4. Use Parchment Paper
This is a must-have in your pantry to keep your baking pans cleaner and avoid sticking food. Just line any pan you plan to bake with parchment paper before putting the food on it. Once the food is done, toss.
5. Keep Plastic Wrap Cold
You know how hard it is to get plastic wrap to cooperate, and you end up with a horrible mess. But, you can end that today by storing your wrap in the refrigerator. This will cut down on the static and help it stick only to the dish you’re covering.
6. Stop Overcooking Veggies
Most veggies taste best and are most healthy when lightly steamed or roasted. And if you don’t want to go to the trouble of using an outdoor grill, an portable indoor grill works just as fine.
7. Cook Ahead
Using a crockpot you can start your oatmeal before bed. Or for a real energy pick-me-up, serve fruit smoothies each morning from frozen fruits and veggies. This takes literally minutes and can be enjoyed on the go.
8. Cutting Onions without Tears
Don’t want to cry on your dinner date while cooking? To avoid tears due to onions, cut off the root end of the onion first, and cut near running water. Easier? Chew Gum.
Some great tips on cutting an onion without crying:
9. Make Perfect Rice
Boil rice like noodles for perfect rice every time to impress guests. Boil white rice for 10 minutes, brown for 20 minutes, then drain and put back in the pot, cover for 10 more minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.
10. One Knife
You only need one sharp knife for everything. Choose a chef’s knife. You’ll save on storage and make life easier for yourself.
11. Keep It Hot
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, make the plates and keep warm in the oven for a few minutes. Do make sure your plates are ovenproof, though.
12. No Cooking Wine Needed
Just use the wine you have for cooking. Add white wines to fish, pork or chicken based meals and red wine to tomato, beef, or pork based meals