Do you struggle to get dinner on the table and feeling stressed about doing it? Try some of our favourite healthy kitchen hacks to help transform mealtimes into a wonderful way to relax and unwind at the end of the day.
These tips are simple to implement, some of them take some advance planning, but the results are well worth the effort.
- Double the recipe and freeze half for another meal every time you cook
It doesn’t get much easier than pulling out a tasty, homemade meal from your freezer and popping it in the oven to reheat. When you cook make double batches or it you have some spare time on the weekend, try making a batch of freezer meal. Soups, casseroles, parmigiana, fish cakes, lasagne, chilli, enchiladas, shepherd’s pie and veggie burgers are all easily freezable and can be made in large batches. It takes a little bit of extra work up front, but your future self will thank you!
2. Dust your slow cooker off and use it
Slow cookers are one of the best lifesaving kitchen hacks in a busy household. All you need is a few minutes of prep and chopping, and then six to eight hours later you’re gifted with a healthy and delicious meal.
3. Master one pot meals
Dinners that involve a main dish and sides are more work than one-pot wonders. Protein-rich soups, stews and chilis are wonderfully filling options and can be easily adjusted based on seasonal offerings and the spices you have on hand. They’re also a great way to use up any produce left in the fridge!
4. Use high quality seasonal vegetables
Buy the best quality seasonal ingredients that you can afford, your ingredients are amazing you won’t need to do as much cooking and transformation to make them taste delicious.
5. DIY Dinners:
Transform dinner into a ‘choose your own adventure’ situation and everyone assembles their own plate from an array of prepped ingredients. For example:
: A build-your-own taco bar with fresh veggies, beans, salsa and other toppings.
: Buddha bowls that combine protein, grains, greens, healthy fats and seasonal veggies
: A build-your-own pho bar with fresh veggies, tempeh, herbs and lime
: A ‘make your own pizza’ night with individual corn tortillas for a thin crust and top with sauce and veggie toppings
6. Build a well-stocked cupboard store
The secret to creating quick and easy meals is building a well-stocked pantry that you can draw upon when you need dinner, stat. Begin to stock your cupboard, fridge and freezer with basic ingredients such as:
- Gluten-free grains (brown rice, millet, sorghum, quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, red rice)
- Dried beans and legumes (chickpeas, lentils, split peas, black beans, kidney beans, etc.)
- Dried spices
- Healthy Oils
- Tinned oily fish in olive oil – sardines, mackerel, anchovies
- Frozen veggies (peas, greens, carrots, spinach, broccoli etc.)
- BPA-free canned goods
With these basic pantry ingredients, you can easily throw together a meal of beans and rice, and pair it with whatever veggies happen to be around, or create a deliciously satisfying soup, risotto, paella, bean mash or hummus, or bean salad in 10 minutes – Yum!
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