Ready to spend less time in the kitchen?
The spring is here, the days are nice and warm, and the very last thing you want is to spend all your afternoons stuck in your kitchen – but on the other hand, you and your family have to eat something, right? Well, true, but you can simply prepare your meals faster and still have plenty of time to enjoy the lovely spring weather. We’ll show you how in 6 easy steps!
Use the time you don’t need
Most of us cook in the afternoon, when we get home from work – but that’s usually pretty much the only free time we get during the week. Wasting it on cooking doesn’t really sound like a very good idea, does it?
Find the time you don’t really need and cook then. Perhaps you’ve got a free Sunday afternoon, perhaps Tuesday is a slow day at work and you can afford to go home early, perhaps you’ve got a rainy weekend coming up or perhaps you just woke up 2 hours earlier than you needed to. Whenever you find the time, prepare your meals in advance and save those sunny spring afternoons for something better.
Keep a good supply of groceries
Cooking can be time-consuming, but shopping for ingredients is an even bigger hassle. If you have to go to the store and buy your groceries every time before you start cooking, this can take loads of precious time, which could be better spent outdoors. That’s why it’s wise to always keep your fridge, pantry and freezer well-stocked.
Don’t feel like doing huge shopping trips? You can simply order your groceries online and have them delivered to your home – it’ll save you even more valuable time.
Forget about chopping, peeling and cubing
Sure, some foods demand fine chopping and careful peeling – but most don’t. And yes, it’s important to practise your chopping skills, but you can do that when you have some extra time on your hands, like when you finally retire.
For now, focus on limiting your time in the kitchen as much as possible, which also means cutting your food into large chunks instead of small pieces and brushing and washing vegetables and fruits instead of peeling them. It’ll take some getting used to, especially if your kids are picky eaters, but in the long run, it’ll save you loads of time.
Always cook double
Cooking just for yourself? Prepare a meal for two! Making a meal for a family of four? Why not make it a large pot for 8 people? This way, you can simply use the leftovers for a base for tomorrow’s dinner or lunch – smart, isn’t it?
Keep in mind that meals can taste completely different if you use different ingredients. For example, you can prepare grilled chicken breasts on the first day, then chop up the meat into medium-sized pieces, add a creamy sauce and serve it with pasta. Delicious and so easy to make – and it’ll give you an extra hour to spend doing whatever you like.
Be a creative cook
Using recipes is a great way to prepare tasty meals, true, but it also takes loads of time. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a recipe the first time you’re making a dish, especially if you’ve got enough time, but when you’re cooking in a hurry, it’s better to use your imagination.
Throw together things that look like they would go well together and see what you come up with. Start conservatively (you don’t want to have to start from scratch because the meal you made the first time around is simply inedible), then become more daring with time as you develop a sixth sense for combinations. You’ll probably discover quite a few of your new favourite dishes – and you’ll suddenly have a lot more time to spend in the fresh spring air!
Use your freezer
Not doing anything special this weekend? Great, then you can cook a couple of large pots of chicken stew, pasta sauce and risotto, and freeze them for times when you simply don’t have the time or energy to cook. It’ll still be delicious home-made meals, but they will be done in no time.
And when all else fails: always keep a frozen pizza in your freezer. It may not be the healthiest of choices, but sometimes you just have to forget about eating right and instead enjoy everything else spring has to offer!