Top 5 Kitchen Timesavers
Preparing and cooking healthy, delicious meals can feel like a huge task at times. With these simple kitchen timesavers, you can cut down on the time you spend in the kitchen.
1. Pre-Cook Meat
One of the longest tasks in cooking is waiting for hamburger or chicken to be cooked through. If you are browning ground beef or cooking chicken for one recipe, put double the amount of meat in the pan. Fry until cooked. Drain the beef and put half in a freezer bag. Chop the chicken into slices or cubes and put it in a freezer bag. Next time you need a quick meal, simply pull out the cooked meat, pop in the pan to reheat, and then serve or add other ingredients to create a casserole or soup.
2. Use a Crock-Pot
Do you have late afternoon appointments booked or work until 5 pm and then come home too tired to cook a big meal? Use a crock pot. Many crock pot recipes take ten minutes or less to throw together; turn on the crock pot and let it cook all afternoon or all day, and come home to a hot, tasty meal. Crock pots are great for soups and one-dish casseroles and allow you to do all of the prep ahead of time.
3. Cook Once and Eat Twice
When preparing a meal, double the recipe and then freeze it or put it in the fridge for later that week. Many soups and casseroles are easy to freeze. To freeze casseroles, line a baking pan with aluminum foil before baking; freeze the casserole in the dish and then remove the contents to store in the freezer . You can also make a roast chicken or roast beef one day, then use the leftover meat to create a quick pasta dish the second day.
4. Use Canned and Frozen Foods
Know what ingredients you frequently use in your kitchen and keep your freezer and pantry stocked with frozen and canned foods. For example, I always have frozen corn and frozen peas in my freezer and cans of beans, tomato sauce, mushrooms, and creamed soups in my pantry; from these ingredients, plus pasta or rice, I can quickly throw together a meal for my family. These also eliminate the prep time of fresh foods. Watch for these items to go on sale at the grocery store and stock up.
5. Grocery List
Keep a notepad and pen on the refrigerator (or somewhere convenient in your kitchen). When you (or another family member) uses up something in the kitchen, write it down on the grocery list. Next time you go shopping, grab the list and run—this will save you time at home because you don’t have to prepare the list and at the grocery store because you already know what you need to buy. It should also mean that if someone in your houses uses all the ketchup, you’ll know about it because it will be on the list, so you won’t start making a dish and then find out that you’re out of a key ingredient.
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