Whether you are preparing for a family gathering or trying to make your weeknights simpler, cooking is something that doesn’t necessarily have to involve you slaving over a stove for hours on end. Sometimes it pays to cook smarter rather than harder. While you may like to cook, if there isn’t much time, you’ve got to find ways to maximize your effort while still creating a meal that’s worth shouting about. So how can we make things easier?
Apply the “Hands-Off” Method
You don’t have to be checking your meal every minute. One of the best things you can do is to get a crockpot so you can take advantage of having dinner cooking while you are at work. It doesn’t take much to make an amazing meal, and contrary to popular belief, it is not just the humble soup that benefits from a slow cooker treatment. Look at this crockpot meatloaf recipe the whole family will love. It is hearty, and it is half the effort of a traditional meatloaf! Also think about dishes like pot roasts, chiles, spaghetti bolognese, and the list goes on!
Go for Big Batches
Batch cooking is the biggest lifesaver of the modern world. If you want to make meals that are healthy, hearty, but with much less effort, you need to cook more than you need, and freeze anything left over. Because all you need to do then is take it out, Defrost it overnight, and potentially make a couple of sides, and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal with half the effort.
Turn Leftovers Into Appetizers
If you like to go the whole hog and have a three-course meal, you can turn one weeknight family meal into an appetizer for the next night. For example, if you’ve got any leftover beef stew, you can put these in mushrooms, and dust with grated parmesan before baking. Or if you have made spaghetti bolognese, you already have an excellent filling for a lasagna. Just layer it in between lasagna sheets, apply pre-bought cheese sauce, and put it in the oven! To make life even easier, you can have this with salad and some pre-bought potato salad, and it certainly makes short work of a mid-week evening meal!
Pasta and Rice as a Base for Most Things
They’re not just side dishes, but they can very easily turn into the basis for something else. For example, the leftover rice can be fried with spices and some eggs, and you have the makings of a kedgeree. You could also turn it into a biryani, which is a curry-flavored dish without the sauce. And the great thing is that it takes a matter of minutes to fry! Pasta can be put into a pre-cooked and frozen pasta sauce, and you have a hearty and healthy pasta dish.
It is important to win the battle of mealtime, especially when you don’t have time. If you want to cook smarter, there are plenty of ways for you to do it!