Get out of the kitchen...…and get on with life. Let’s just say what it is – we’re busy gals! I personally don’t have time, or the desire, to slave over a hot stove all day trying to create the latest gourmet recipes posted on Pinterest! Don’t get me wrong, I love me my “pinning” but most sessions end in an I’m-not-a-good-mom-unless-I-bake-that kinda’ mood…ugh!
Here are some quick and easy ways I make sure my family is fed, while minimizing my time in the kitchen:
1. Plan ahead. It can be easier than it sounds. List your family’s favorite dishes and rotate them regularly – use a calendar, if it’s easier. When you plan your meals in advance, you can schedule easy dishes for busy nights.
2. Keep your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer organized and well stocked with a variety of healthy “convenience” foods, such as canned beans, quick cooking grains, pasta, frozen veggies, chicken breast, ground turkey, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, etc.
3. Give leftovers a makeover. Make a double recipe, serving it one way the first time, then transforming it into something else for a future meal. For instance, you can turn leftover roasted vegetables into a soup, stew, or potpie or combine them with beans and pasta or rice.
4. Once a week, have a cooking marathon, where you prepare several dishes for the week. Once you put on a pot of chili and a hearty soup, they cook themselves. While they simmer, put together a casserole, stuffed peppers, or maybe a chicken and rice dish.
5. Cook double recipes of beans, grains, and other dishes and freeze half for later use.
6. Double up your oven time. If you’re baking a casserole, also bake a few potatoes or long-cooking vegetables such as winter squash, carrots, and onions to use the next day.