Does dinnertime feel like a total scramble? Are you left grasping for straws, wondering what you’ll cook? What if I told you that there is an easier way? Dinner doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious and healthy. Check out these five dinnertime shortcuts to simplify your life, and prepare healthy meals for your family.
- Be Brilliant And Double Batch – Since you are cooking anyway, go ahead and make a double batch. It won’t take much longer, and you will be left with an extra meal to serve another day. Most recipes will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Others can be frozen and used at a much later date. There are many resources online to help you get started with freezer meals. Click here for a post to get you started.
- Become A Meal Planning Master – I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Menu planning is the key to less stress at dinnertime, more money in your pocket, and more health in your diet. Click here for posts to help you get started and to keep you motivated. MyPlate also offers great menu planning resources. You can find them here.
- Quick Dinner With A Slow Cooker – With a little prep in the morning, dinner will be ready for you when you get home. If your mornings are to chaotic, prep the recipe the night before. In the morning all you will have to do is put the ingredients in the slow cooker and turn it on. With a few quick changes, many family favorite recipes can be easily converted to a slow cooker recipe. Click here to find out how.
- Cook Once, Eat Twice…or more! – Nobody likes to eat the same thing over and over again. You can turn leftovers in to planned overs with the cook once, eat twice method of food preparation. Putting a meal together when part of it is already cooked makes dinner a lot less complicated. If you make baked potatoes for dinner, make extra to shred for hash browns later in the week. Cook a pot roast in the slow cooker. Shred the leftover meat and use it for roast beef sandwiches. Make extra taco filling. Use it to make tacos the first night and use it for taco salad later in the week.
- One Pot Wonder – One pot meals make for less mess. Less mess is always a great thing at dinnertime! The idea is that you grab one pot, skillet, pan, etc., throw all the ingredients in, and with a little time you have a meal. The Family Dinner Project shares great One Pot Wonder recipes. Click here to view them.
I put a few shortcuts into play this week with a recipe for Spring Vegetable Soup.
I made a double batch so we can have planned overs later this week. I made bread sticks to go along with it.
We had enough left over to use for lunch tomorrow. While I was at it, I made and extra batch of dough to stick in the freezer to use later. A few extra minutes and I’m already ahead of the game for future meals. Which shortcut will you use this week?