Get Your Meal on the Table Quickly

Time-Saving Kitchen Shortcuts

Cooking Shortcuts

As the main cook in my family I'm often caught between making nutritious meals from scratch for my family and just getting any kind of meal on the table for them in between our various activities. With these time-saving shortcuts, you'll be spending less time in the kitchen but still putting great meals on the table.

* Make extra meals and freeze them for another night when you're too busy to cook.  I mentioned this already in (name the article).  For example, make two pans of lasagna the next time you make it and put one in the freezer.  Double your recipe for chili and put half in the freezer.  If you don't have time to make an extra meal when you cook, you can always just prepare enough of one ingredient for multiple meals.  For example, if your recipe calls for a pound of ground beef but you defrosted two pounds, cook all of it and freeze or refrigerate the extra meat for burritos tomorrow (or whatever you want to put it in).

* Use cut frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones.  You don't have to worry about frozen veggies going bad before you can use them and you don't have to cut and wash them before serving.  Although you do have to defrost them but I think you already knew that.

* Purchase and use broth in pourable containers.  These are easier to open than cans and are a time saver when all you have to do is open and pour.

* Use uncooked lasagna noodles to make lasagna.  You will have to add extra water or sauce to the recipe and cook the dish a little longer but it is a serious shortcut when you don't have to boil lasagna noodles.

* Use precooked sausages in your recipes since they don't require extra cooking.

* Try using bottled sauces or rubs for (nearly) instant seasoning in your dishes.

* If you don't want to use frozen cut veggies or you want to mix up the kinds of vegetables you serve, look for pre-cut veggies in the produce area of your local market.  They are usually pre-washed as well so that all you have to do is open the package and use the vegetables.

* Use instant rice.  It is so easy to prepare and can be ready to put on the table in a matter of minutes.  There is even a brown variety of instant rice!

* Use frozen fruit in smoothies.  They are pre-washed and pre-cut so that you just add the fruit to your blender with your other ingredients, blend, and you're ready to go with a nutritious, filling meal.

* If you use egg whites in breakfasts or in recipes, buy egg whites separately.  They are in the dairy section of your market.  This will save time because you don't have to separate the whites and the yolks during the cooking process.

    To help you get meals on your family table quickly and easily, these ten tips can help you save time in the kitchen.  Use some or all of them the next time you're strapped for time while trying to get a meal together.