If you're in need of quick meals the trick lies in planning but even that can be hard to execute, too, if other things need to be done the moment you get into your house from work. Sparing a few moments to plan for easy and quick meals will eliminate the need to rush for everything. Planning doesnâ€™t mean every tiny detail must be elaborated. Choose what meals to prepare and leave some room for last-minute fixes. Have all the ingredients ready by making sure that the pantry is stocked with the essentials.
How to plan your meals
Go through your schedule and review the activities you need to accomplish in the future. Even if your schedule is full, strive to make time for planning, shopping, and most importantly, cooking. Take note of the people who are going to eat the meal. Are your friends coming over? Or, is it going to be just the whole family? Planning for quick meals is easier by knowing the foods these people like to eat. Arm yourself with cooking tools such as cookbooks, recipes that are cut out from newspapers or magazines, and a comprehensive shopping list.
Planning can be a stressful task and when youâ€™re stressed out, thereâ€™s a tendency that you cannot think straight. Give yourself a break by enjoying a cup of tea in between planning. This way, you will be able to think more clearly and create an easier to execute plan. You can also ask the rest of the family to pitch in. A collaborative effort will make it easier for you to include everybodyâ€™s favorite and make every meal a more enjoyable family affair. Remember that quick meals can be healthy and delicious, too, even if they are prepared in a hurry. There are plenty of recipes you can copy or improvise that only need a short time to prepare.
Tips for faster meal preparation
There are many ways in which you can prepare any meal more quickly than usual. If you know that thereâ€™s not going to be enough time to cook a recipe from scratch, double the amount of the food that you are going to cook the night before. If you were not able to precook anything, prepare your guests or family something easy like curried eggs. This recipe can be made quickly by cooking the eggs while doing other chores. If you have more time in your hands while getting ready for work, you can squeeze in to cook the sauce. Minutes before mealtime, all you are required to do is mix the sauce and eggs and prepare some quick side dishes.
Your main dish can also be accompanied with prepared salad that you can purchase straight from your local grocery store or deli. Prepared salad greens save you from cleaning, washing, and wrestling with fresh greens. You can also prepare large amount of foods the day before and save the leftovers in the refrigerator. Include a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, meat, and rice. You can prepare more fresh green beans than usual and the leftover can be turned into a side dish the next day.
Do not hesitate to use prepared foods in the market that can help you reduce preparation time. For instance, instead of making your own pizza crust, use the one that is readily available in the grocery. You can also use prepared pasta and frozen stir-fry meals as ingredients to cook an easy-to-prepare meal. For meals involving chicken, buy the boneless and skinless variety as they are easier to cook and prepare. You can just coat them with breading mix or sprinkle a little pepper and salt to sautÃ© or stir-fry the chicken. Another option would be to cook a whole skinless and boneless chicken in your favorite marinade sauce.
Food packages sometime feature easy-to-prepare recipes. You might want to note them for emergency purposes. These recipes are especially created for busy creatures like you. Not many people know this but a slow cooker is actually a good investment for someone who maintains a busy schedule. If you barely have time to prepare dinner and the whole family relies on you to feed them, throwing all the necessary ingredients in the slow cooker before leaving for work will provide you with a ready to eat dinner when you get home.