Enjoy Fresh Family Meals From Scratch - With A Few Shortcuts
We know we should eat fresh and eat clean, but it’s not always easy to do that when you’re busy. Who feels like cooking after a busy day at work and fighting through traffic to get home? Sometimes it’s easier to pop in a ‘ping’ meal or order takeout. Fortunately, with a little planning and few in-the-know tips you can create healthy and delicious dishes for the whole family in record time.
Make The Most Of The Freezer
The next time you prepare a family meal, make twice as much. It will only take you a little extra time to chop and cook the additional ingredients. Serve half of the food and place the rest in the freezer. Ensure it is labeled and stored correctly. The next time you don’t feel like cooking, you’ll have a healthy, made-from-scratch ready meal to defrost and cook. Get into the habit of doing this to build up a store of delicious meals.
Invest In Appliances
It’s surprising how much easier cooking and baking are when you have the right tools at your disposal. Even the right kitchen knife can speed up the process and make the job much easier and more enjoyable. There are lots of gimmicky kitchen accessories out there that, once purchased, will sit on the top shelf gathering dust, never to be used again. But it’s worth investing in some staples such as a good mixer and food processor. Owning a good set of kitchen knives is also worth every penny. And those silicone scrapers make life a lot easier. Sometimes it’s the little things.
Another great investment is a break maker. Shop-bought bread is full of additives. There’s nothing better than the smell of homemade bread wafting through the house. But who has time to do all that kneading and waiting for it to prove? A great shortcut is to use a breadmaker. You’ll know exactly what goes into it and all you have to do is pour in the ingredients. The machine will do the rest. To find the best fit for you, visit breadmachinemom.com and other sites for comparisons.
Marinades bring your meat to life. They add flavor and texture. But shop-bought marinades often have hidden nasties like sugar. Make your own instead, and use the trick mentioned above. Make twice as much and freeze half of it. The best way to do this is to add your meat, for example a chicken breast, and your marinade to a freezer bag. Remove any excess air, seal, and then freeze. Take it out of the freezer the morning you want to use it and allow it to defrost. As it thaws, the meat will marinate in the sauce. By the time you get home from work, it will be ready to cook.
If you have a little extra time in the morning, prepare a simple stew or hot pot and leave it in the slow cooker. You can do your chopping the night before so all you have to do in the morning is place everything in the pan and switch it on. By the time you get home, your one pot stew will be cooked and ready to eat. Meats will be tasty and tender. There are lots of simple recipes that take no time at all.
You can adopt the same principles when you’re at home at the weekend. But switch it up a little and use a tagine instead. You’ll find lots of spicy, exotic recipes for slow cookers and tagines online at sites like realsimple.com.
It is possible to prepare healthy family meals, even when you’re pushed for time. You just need to know the shortcuts.