How much time do you think it takes to prepare a family meal? How much time do you actually have to spend?
It’s hard – balancing all the demands and still creating something important – family meal time. Here are some ideas to cut down your time in the kitchen, and avoid costly trips through the drive up.
Make a plan. When you plan your meals and your grocery list ahead, you’ll ensure peace of mind that you have everything you need plus save time by avoiding extra trips to the store.
Keep meals simple. My rule of thumb is one thing from each food group: protein, milk, bread, vegetables and fruit. This could include items as easy as cut up fruit, raw vegetables, whole wheat bread, and a glass of milk to go along with your protein.
Cook once, eat twice.
A roast cooked on the weekend can provide many options for additional meals: mix with vegetables, potatoes and/or rice for a casserole, make beef and noodles, beef sandwiches, or fried rice with beef.
§ Ground beef cooked ahead can turn up as sloppy Joes, a pizza topping, in chili, or to “beef up” spaghetti sauce.
§ Cooked chicken is great in quesadillas, chicken noodle or rice soup, stir fry with vegetables and rice, on top of salads, or spiced up on nachos.
§ Extra pasta has endless possibilities and with jarred sauces, you can have almost a gourmet meal in minutes. Add your extra chicken or beef and you have nearly all the makings of a soup or a casserole for another day.
And on that other day, you can enjoy time preparing fruit, getting drinks and laughing with your kids while the soup warms or casserole bakes.