"Work smarter, not harder" -- Professor from my Master's in Literacy Program
While in the kitchen, I often think to myself, "how can I complete this task faster or more efficiently?" or "how can I get the most use out of my time I am going to spend here."
Below are a few of my tried and true tips for saving time in the kitchen when it comes to cooking or meal prep.
- Multi-Task while Cooking - Cook or PREP other Items OR Clean as you go!
This one sounds simple, and like common sense, but too many people will leave the kitchen while waiting for something to cook, use cooking time as an OPPORTUNITY to cook/prep something else OR to clean up! I literally will have the oven, stovetop, and microwave all going at once while cutting up my cucumbers for the week and making my lunches!
--> Using the oven to roast meats? Use the stovetop to cook your grains such as quinoa or rice.
--> While waiting for oven/stovetop items to cook CHOP/CUT/PEEL vegetables or fruits
--> Use cooking time to prep your lunches for the week or breakfasts such as overnight oats
- Use Frozen Vegetables
Frozen Vegetables are GREAT! They save you time AND money by eliminating the need clean or cut - simply dump them into a bowl, microwave according to the package directions, let cool, and store away to be used through out the week! EASY! Remember, buy frozen vegetables PLAIN as opposed to the butter or overly seasoned packages, then you can season as you please.
- Cook Once, Eat Twice (or maybe three or four times...)
My mother taught me the beauty of bulk cooking from a young age. NEVER cook an entire meal for just one sitting, always make enough for left overs with ANYTHING you make (meats, vegetables and grains). It will save you time in the future since then you can simply reheat the food as leftovers another night. If you're looking to save even MORE time - bulk cook your meats with a recipe like my meal prep crockpot chicken method to have shredded chicken to be used a variety of ways through out the week!
- Line Pans with Aluminum Foil when Cooking/Baking
With cooking, comes clean up. Decrease clean up time by lining baking sheets or roasting pans with aluminum foil. Majority of the time, this will eradicate the need to even clean the pan! Score! Sometimes, when using oil, the oil will seep onto the pan and will still need to be cleaned BUT it won't be stuck or caked on, so it's a simple soap and swipe of a sponge job.
- Be Prepared with Ingredients & Have a Plan to follow
When driving somewhere, it helps to know your route before getting into the car so you don't waste time getting lost (of if you're like me, you use your GPS no matter what). Cooking and prepping is similar, having a plan when you enter the kitchen to cook or meal prep means you waste your time searching for ingredients or recipes. Make a plan or schedule of what you'll be preparing, lay out the ingredients BEFORE you get started, and have the recipe printed or right on your phone so you're not scrambling mid prep wondering "where the heck is the oregano?".
NOW, GO COOK/PREP WITH THESE TIME SAVING TIPS AND ENJOY YOUR SUNDAY
ALSO - I am REALLY truly trying to start being consistent with the blog, so comments and shares are much appreciated :)
- Quotes at the beginning of my posts, yay or nay? Something new I think I MIGHT start doing
- Do you have any other time saving tricks in the kitchen
- NEXT POST IDEA - 5 Tips to Save Money with Meal Prep - would you read it?