With the whirlwind of parties, gatherings, errands to run, gifts to buy, and decorating duties this holiday season leaves little time for meal planning!
But don’t fret!
I am giving you the gift of kitchen cooking shortcuts that is sure to ease the overwhelming dinner dilemma that plagues us when we get home after a day of running around.
So put your feet up, relax and read on how to hack your way through dinner and keep that cheery holiday grin on your face!
Get Semi-Prepped Foods from the Store
Don’t be afraid of some store-bought food. It can give you a total kitchen win that will result in a quality meal without all the additives you might find in a typical take out meal. Here are some ideas.
Get Pre-Cooked Proteins
That rotisserie chicken can be a lifesaver when you have no idea what to eat. Use it to make soup, chili.
Shred the chicken and take the leftovers to make a tasty taco lunch.
Frozen Veggies Can Make A Meal In Minutes
Really strapped for time? Just add some frozen veggies and eat! This is the best way to get a good protein source without wasting time cooking.
Get a frozen cauliflower crust or gluten-free pizza crust to make a quick pizza. Add a cup of Pomi Tomato Sauce with a teaspoon of Simply Organics Italian and Garlic seasonings then sprinkle with your favorite cheese and veggies for a filling meal.
Decrease Prep Time with Ready-to-Go Veggies
Buy pre-chopped produce, especially those hard-to-manage vegetables (ahem, squash) that are more time-intensive to prepare. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and roast for a side dish or add to salads during the week.
Batch Baby, Batch
Having a healthy, home-cooked meal every night is something that can be feasible. Enter batch cooking!
For those of you not familiar with this term batch cooking is when you make a large portion of food in one period of time then freeze or refrigerate to have on hand the rest of the week.
It is a great time saver if you hate cooking dinner every night, but still want to eat well during the week. It is a really efficient way of cooking so you get the most out of your food.
You may be thinking, “but I don’t like leftovers.”
No worries! Batch cooking is actually something entirely different. It actually consists of cooking more food then you need and then repurposing it for another dish later on.
Batch Grains for Weekly Meals
If you want to have a Meatless Monday instead of just the needed amount of quinoa for that recipe make a large batch so you can take the rest and make a hot breakfast bowl, add it to your salad, or give your soup a little sustenance later in the week
Eggs Can Be Batched Into Many Meals
Like eggs? You can take a bunch and cook them in different ways. One recipe I like to have for the week is Egg in Avocado.
Want to keep it simple? Just boil a few of them at a time. Keep them in the fridge for up to a week to use.
They will be ready when you need to make a meal. Add them to salads or just devil them with a little mustard for a quick snack that takes no time at all.
So Many Ways to Batch Veggies
Veggies are my favorite things to batch out. The best is a squash and sweet potatoes.
I will cook a big spaghetti squash then let it cool and have it ready to be seasoned with my favorite spices.
Once you batch this squash you can reheat it or top it on your salads.
Sweet Potatoes and butternut squash are two other veggies that I like to batch cook.
Bake up a bunch at a time so you have them on hand for whatever type of recipe you want to make. Here are some ideas:
- A mini breakfast pancake
- Sweet & spicy snack bites,
- A southwestern salad
- Mix them with another veggie in a soup
- Eat them simply baked
Make Clean-Up Easy To Save Time
For me, the worst part of cooking is the cleanup. One way I save time is by making one-pot dish meals.
You will be smiling when see the lack of dishes that need to be washed. Not sure what to make? Try these recipes on for size.
Jonzing for some Asian take out? Unfortunately, these foods are often laced with preservatives, too much sodium, and hidden sugars. Instead, make this one-pot Asian stir fry recipe that utilizes frozen veggies to save time leaving you with a healthier meal that will hit the spot.
Sheet pan dinners are an easy way to make a whole meal with one pan.