5 Strategies to Keeping Cooking Simple

family dinnerStressed?  Tired?  Too busy to cook?  I know, I am too sometimes.  Here are some strategies that you can use to help you during these times so you can still make simple, delicious meals for your family.

Strategy #1 – Keep frozen veggies on hand ~ Frozen vegetables can be added to many different types of dishes and are quick to heat.  Frozen vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh, especially if you can invest in organic.  You can also freeze your own when your favorite vegetables are in season and have them on hand throughout the year.

Strategy #2 – One focus during the week ~ On busy evenings, if one part of the meal is time-consuming, make sure the other elements require minimum effort.  Lettuce with cucumbers, drizzled with some balsamic and olive oil, is often a side dish at our house.  Sometimes even just the cucumbers topped with some sea salt will do!

Strategy #3 – Make it simple ~ Keep a variety of simple meals on your menu planner. Baked chicken and fish take only minutes to prepare — just serve them with a steamed vegetable. One pot meals are also great time savers!

Strategy #4 – Keep ingredients on hand ~ Stock your pantry with the ingredients you’d need to prepare a quick meal. When plans change at the last minute, it’s good to know you have whole-grain or gluten-free pasta and no-sugar-added spaghetti sauce in the pantry. Those ingredients will pair deliciously with frozen vegetables and cheese!

Strategy #5 – Keep leftovers interesting ~ Recycle/reinvent leftovers into something that does not resemble the original dish. Leftover chicken can be remade into chicken fajitas, for example,
or cubed and tossed with plain Greek yogurt and chopped carrots and celery to make chicken salad.

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