Time-Saving Cooking Tips
Cooking can be time-consuming and though I love to cook and can spend all day in the kitchen, there are times I want something that won't require spending hours on my feet. Luckily, these tips have saved me time on prep and cook time and I believe they will help you as well!
1. Wash, chop and store your veggies and fruits the day you buy them.
Take the time to care for your fresh produce after you return to the grocery store. You'll skip a step in the preparation part of the cooking process and can help your produce last longer. For instance, when I buy strawberries, I rinse them in vinegar, dry them, and store them in a hard plastic container. By doing that, I've washed my strawberries and they remain fresh for at least two weeks. When I buy fresh kale, I chop, wash and run it through the salad spinner and place it in a hard plastic container. So, when I go to make a salad or need kale to sauté, I can simply grab my pre-washed, pre-chopped kale.
2. Cook one-pan or pot meals
One-pan or pot meals are a blessing. It's so easy to throw everything into one pot or on a baking sheet and boom, dinner is ready and you hardly have any clean up. I recommend these types of dinners as weeknight meals because, who has time to spend hours in the kitchen after a busy workday? One of my favorite one-pan meals to make is roasted chicken and vegetables, but you can use anything for your one-pot or pan meal.
Click here to read my one-pan roasted chicken and vegetables recipe.
3. Organize your fridge, cabinets and pantry
You may be asking why does organization of your cabinets matter, but ask yourself this instead, how much time have you spent looking for certain ingredients? You're in the middle of making something you've been dreaming of cooking for quite some time, only to go on a hunt of an ingredient that's lost in one of your cabinets or pantry. It's happened to me dozens of times and has lengthened the amount of time I've spent in the kitchen. Now, I keep my most used herbs, spices, and condiments towards the front of my lazy susan and my refrigerator so I can quickly grab them when I need them.
Also, being organized makes everything easier, in general.
4. Prep your ingredients before you turn on the stove.
This is also called mise en place. Not only does it save you time, but it also minimizes the chances you'll make a mistake on a recipe. For more information on how to practice mise en place and why it's important, read my blog post on it here.
5. Cook in bulk
If you're not a fan of eating the same meal each day, then I recommend cooking certain sides and preparing the main entrees to give you the freedom of making different meals using the same ingredients. For example, I may make a batch of brown rice, a batch of broccoli and roast a whole chicken. I can use those three ingredients in various meals from a simple roasted chicken, rice and broccoli dish to chicken, rice and broccoli soup to chicken salad. It's a way to be creative and prevent boredom in the kitchen. Plus, you're saving time during the cooking process because the majority of your ingredients are already made.