It’s 6 p.m. You put in a full workday, carted your school-age kids to and fro, and now everyone is calling out for dinner.
You’re tired, you’re hungry, and your fingers can barely summon the strength to turn on the oven and start dicing veggies.
Fear not! With these time-saving tips to add to your kitchen arsenal, you’ll never again be left wondering, “What’s for dinner?”
Let the grocer do it. Grab a store-bought rotisserie chicken, a bag of prewashed salad greens, and avocados on nights when you’re too tired or busy to cook. With these ingredients, it only takes a few minutes to put together an enjoyable meal.
Locate your recipe. Don’t waste precious time searching for a recipe before you can start cooking. Save recipes you’d like to try in a dedicated cooking organization app for your tablet or smartphone, or print them out and tuck them into a folder.
Save time with gadgets. Try an egg slicer for recipes that call for sliced fruit. It slices everything from strawberries to bananas to avocados in one swift motion. Of course, it’s also great for eggs.
Work in advance. When you cook, prepare enough for two or three meals at once. For instance, buy twice the hamburger meat you need and brown it with sautéed onions, peppers, and spices. Toss the extra in the freezer. This will save you time when you need to make something fast — like tacos or chili. Items such as cooked hamburger and casseroles can be frozen for up to three months; chicken and turkey can be frozen for even longer.
Dust off your slow cooker. Add chicken breast, pork chops, or thick cuts of beef to a slow cooker along with roughly chopped root vegetables and some broth or water before you head off to work in the morning. When you return in the evening, you’ll have a warm, hearty meal that’s ready to serve.
Pay for convenience. Many recipes call for chopped onions, peppers, or celery. Buy a bag or two of these basics, either frozen or fresh, and keep them on hand in your kitchen. It’s a definite pre-chopped time-saver.
Master these quick and easy shortcuts for weeknight home cooking and you’ll be a household hero.