Moms who want more hours in the day, raise your hands. Unsurprisingly, most of you are raising your hands! Moms, whether they stay at home, work from home or outside the home, have lots of responsibilities. One of the most important one is to ensure that our family has healthy, nutritious meals throughout the day. That is not to say that this isn’t applicable to Dads – our modern Dads are very involved!
With all the awareness about healthy eating, we don’t want to eat out on a regular basis, but at the same time, we don’t want to slave all day in the kitchen. We want to have more fulfilling lives, pursue our interests, spend valuable time with our family and sometimes just chill out. Even if you love cooking, there are things you can do to take the drudgery out of the kitchen and make it a positive, happy place you actually want to be in. Here are some cooking tips to cut down the time spent in the kitchen, so that you save a few hours every week.
8 Time Saving Kitchen Tips
Many of us have help to do the cleaning but prefer to do our own cooking. But don’t hesitate to outsource mundane tasks like dish washing and cleaning the fridge and oven. You can even ask your help to prep veggies and meat for you, especially if you find these tasks unpleasant. Which brings us to the next tip:
2. Keep veggies and meat prepped
A good part of cooking time is spent peeling, chopping and clearing up the associated mess. Once a week, get your grocery shopping done and sit down in front of your favorite TV show and attack the vegetables one by one. Peel, chop and store in separate air tight containers. At least peel onions, shallots, garlic and ginger as these are staples and take the most time to prep. You can brown the onions and keep them frozen if the smell of onions is an issue. Same with meat and poultry – buy in bulk, clean and freeze in meal sized portions.
3. Stock on some frozen meals
I agree, frozen meals contain loads of preservatives and aren’t really the healthiest option out there. But having a pack of frozen parathas or frozen chicken kheema can come in really handy when you are running short of time or can’t really be bothered to cook up an entire meal. Also great for unexpected guests or when you want to finish up leftovers but need a little more to suffice for the whole family. Speaking of leftovers…
4. Cook double and use leftovers judiciously
It is always a good idea to cook for two meals, and you can freeze one portion if you want to keep it for later in the week. You can even use it up on the same day; for example here are some time saving tips; the sambhar you cooked for the morning’s idlis can be used for lunch with rice. Leftover sabzi can become Paratha/sandwich fillings or cutlets. Add some sauce, spring onions and veggies or prawns to convert leftover plain rice to fried rice.
5. Plan a detailed menu
This is a life saving tip, but many people don’t employ it thinking it won’t work for them. Planning every meal for the next seven days may sound daunting, but it can really save you a lot of time every day. You can also prep your veggies and cook extra according to your menu. This also helps you make intelligent choices and include all food groups ensuring a balanced diet through the week.
6. Clean as you go
Everyone who’s done it knows the pain of trying to scrub out a stuck on, dried out food stain. It’s easy to avoid this, just keep cleaning as you progress through your cooking, both dishes and the countertop. Wipe up spills immediately and at least soak soiled dishes. This kitchen cleaning tip also helps in keeping your kitchen always spic and span, contributing to making it an uncluttered, positive space. Another way to be uncluttered is to…
7. Be organized
Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place. Scurrying around hunting for that hidden spice or for the right lid for that saucepan can eat up valuable time and might even result in a burnt dish! Check out some cool must have products for Kitchen organization and a very popular post on how to organize and store spices.
8. Use shortcuts
You don’t have to make every single thing from scratch, after all this isn’t Masterchef!! It’s okay to make life easier by using readymade ingredients like ginger garlic paste, tamarind paste, instant coconut milk, curry masalas, dosa batter etc. It can make a huge difference in time savings and you won’t even feel overwhelmed by having to make every small thing from scratch.
If just thinking about cooking your next meal is tiring you out, fret no more – just follow these tips!! And you can thank us the next time you finish cooking a meal in half the time you usually take!
Do you have any tip which can help cut down time spent in the kitchen? Please share!!