There’s nothing worse then spending hours in the kitchen not knowing where to start, what to do and how to do it. Over the years I've developed a routine that has helped me to speed up the process without losing the fun and quality of meals. I promise you that you can prepare delicious meals in a short time.
1. Plan your meals.
Schedule a day and time to go over the upcoming week and plan your meals around meetings, dinner parties, restaurant visits, etc.
Some questions to consider before you start planning your meals: What days do you struggle the most and what do you need to sustain yourself throughout the day? What are you re-heating options at work, home or surroundings? Do you have appropriate equipment and utensils?
I promise you it will save you so much time and stress.
Here are some websites and meal planner apps you can use, but I love scrolling through Pinterest and pick old or new inspirations.
Websites and Blogs:
Meal planner apps:
2. Create a grocery list.
The grocery store seems horrifying to some folks, but I believe only because most people are not prepared and struggle to find what they are looking for. And to be honest, if you are already "hangry" its even worse as your blood sugar might be dropping and you become indecisive. You really want to avoid grabbing the back of chips or sugar loaded granola bar to satisfy the hungry lion.
Categorizing all items will make your shopping experience easy and efficient. No need to walk through the aisles back and forth because you forgot an item. Even creating an 'asian' or 'ethical' category might save you time.
Try to get to know your grocery store. Remember where to find items and ask right away instead of trying to go on a gold hunt.
There are several apps you can download
I personally use Evernote with all my clients. All parties have access to the notes and can check off all ingredients they already have at home. So if your partner is supposed to do the shopping (share the load!) then they can access the note on the app and check off while they are out shopping.
And you can always go the old school way with a piece of paper and a pen, but I don't recommend this because you might lose it, get it wet, rip it, and its not really environmental friendly.
3. Get organized before you start cooking
Organize all items into groups according to your recipes. I've forgotten or mixed up items in the past and that doesn't need to happen. Depending on your space, you can lay them out on the counter or kitchen table. Otherwise organize them into bags.
4. Cooking run-down
If you're cooking from scratch, start with grains and beans. Cooking them first will give you the time and space to cut veggies and prepare all other ingredients.
Preheat the oven if necessary and have all needed spices at hand.
Look at recipe times and choose the longest first. It would make sense to prepare casseroles and roasted veggies first as they can go in the oven while you cook soups, stews, stir fries, etc. In my experience I prepare soups after casseroles and stir fries last.
Another tip is to cut all veggies first as well and arrange them into bowls according to recipes. That way you can get on the actual cooking part and won't be cutting in between. You can sneak in cookies, muffins, energy bites and other baked goods before the last dish or as last, unless they require more than an hour. They should be done by the time you finished clean up.
1. Grains and beans
2. Casseroles and roasted veggies
4. Stir fry
5. Muffins, cookies, other baked goods.
Please educate yourself about proper knife skills. I don't want you to cut your fingers during the process!
and remember to put on your favorite music and a fun apron! Singing and dancing is allowed :)