If you’ve had a bad day all day long and traffic coming home was a disaster too, when you finally do get home the first thing you hear is “What’s for dinner?” You’re drained from your day and that’s the last thing you want to hear. These days’ funds are tight and calling for a pizza may simply not be possible. Now you’ve got a hungry husband and clamoring kids to feed, and quick!
You go to the kitchen and while you want to just cry, you search the cabinets for something easy to fix and that can be on the table fast. Here’s where a little creativity is a very handy thing to have. A little meat of practically any kind, pasta and some kind of sauce is all you need. A little fruit is a kicker. With this in mind, the next time you go to the grocery store you can pick up a few simple things to keep in the back of the cabinet for next time.
Quick cooking flavored rice is something you should always have in your kitchen; coupled with hamburger, it makes an easy meal. Boxes of pasta side dishes are also very useful; heat one up and serve with a couple of pieces of chicken. Adding a couple of cans of drained tuna to ready-to-serve macaroni-and-cheese will give you a tasty casserole supper in a few short minutes. If you keep supplies of your family’s favorite pasta and pasta sauce in your kitchen, you’ll always have a fast dinner option available.
The quick meal ideas described above are great for emergencies, but they could be more nutritious. Adding vegetables or fruit, especially fresh produce, is the simplest and quickest way to enhance a meal’s nutritional value. Try to make sure your kitchen cabinets always contain canned fruits and vegetables and keep frozen packets of vegetables in your freezer as well.
The key to quick meal preparation is to be prepared, so keep all the above in mind the next time you go to the grocery store, and take the time to stock up on your family’s favorite time-saving food items. Making sure there is always something very simple to prepare in your kitchen will allow you to relegate meal preparation to teenagers or husbands on the days when you really are too exhausted to do anything yourself.
To spend less time cleaning up your kitchen, train yourself to multi-task; clean dishes as you wait for a pot to boil, set the table as the casserole warms in the oven – and ask children to help you out. Consider using a crock pot to make casserole dishes; this will reduce the number of pots and pans you will have to clean after supper. Slow cooker recipes are great time savers as well.
So try to be prepared for a last minute meal by keeping something in the back of the cabinet just for that purpose. Encourage your family to help when ever possible, and make the very best of the time you spend in the kitchen by multi-tasking to get it all over with as quickly as possible. Sticking to this plan will allow you enough time to soak in a nice warm bubble bath before you hit the bed!
Michelle is definitely an expert author whose specialty is writing about simple and easy, but yummy, home cooking. Her articles or reviews generally stress the many advantages of crock pot meals like crock pot recipes, which is certainly one of her favorites.