It seems like more people are eating out rather than cooking at home. Sure, it’s tasty, you can choose from a variety of food, and you can leave the dirty dishes to the restaurant staff. One drawback of eating out is that the portions are so big, and it’s tempting to eat the whole thing in one sitting. Don’t forget the extra sugar and salt that is used in preparing your favorite dishes.
Eating at home lets you keep an eye on portion size, and cook with healthier ingredients. I have some tips that will help you cut down meal prep time so you can continue to eat healthy foods but not spend hours in the kitchen.
Prep Vegetables Ahead
This is where your food processor can be your best friend. Use different cup sizes as needed. Chop vegetables for salads, soups, or sauces. There is a small one cup size that is perfect for quick jobs such as chopped nuts or yogurt topping.
Pre-Cook Beans and Rice
When your family is starving and you’re trying to get dinner on the table, there’s not going to be enough time to cook a pot of beans, or rice. Get ahead of the game by pre-cooking and then putting exact portion sizes in Ziploc bags and storing in the freezer. When you’re ready to use, thaw and add to your favorite dishes.
I love hard-boiled eggs, and there are so many things you can do with them. My favorite is to just peel, add a little pepper, and I have a good protein breakfast. Boiling ahead of time and cooling in the refrigerator saves time when you want to add eggs to your chicken, tuna, or egg salad. For that weekend picnic, deviled eggs are always a favorite. Eggs can be stored up to one week.
Create Different Dishes from Same Ingredients
This is where you can let your creative streak go crazy. If you had a bowl of beans for lunch, roll into burritos for dinner. Thaw sauce for spaghetti and all you’ll have to do is simmer, boil the noodles, put out some delicious garlic bread and you’re ready to eat.
Do you like Asian food? Instead of ordering takeout, try this delicious Chicken Fried Rice. This is a good way to use up that frozen rice, and the chicken adds extra protein. If you like a spicy kick to your rice, this Mexican Rice Casserole may become a new family favorite.