Whether it be an endless flood of exams to write, clothes to clean or meetings to attend, there is little time to waste on eating right. The secret is that healthy eating does not have to take a lot of time. Often the simplest recipes can be the healthiest and quickest! Here are a few suggestions as to how to save time when preparing and cooking meals:
1. Taking 20 minutes to write down a few menu ideas for the week can save you time debating in the grocery store. Not only will you save time at the store but also time during the week. Knowing what to do with the ingredients AND getting ingredients with a purpose is a winning tactic.
2. Once armed with an ingredient list, putting it in order of the alleys will help speed along
the buying process. Generally, you will find foods grouped into fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, meats, canned goods, milk products and frozen foods.
3. Go alone to the store so there are fewer distractions that may unknowingly suck time away. Shopping early in the weekend mornings or during the weekdays will save you the hassle of beating the crowds.
4. Keeping key ingredients at home can help to keep the load lighter after each run to the store. Also, by having base ingredients at home, you can avoid having to going out when crunch time hits.
5. Once bought, prepare your ingredients ahead of time (such as on weekends or slow nights); wash, chop and store them. You can also freeze many foods to have them ready to use- such as grated cheese and cooked rice or pasta.
6. When you do take the time to cook, double or triple up on batches of food and freeze individual amounts to make your own frozen dinners.
7. Use fast cooking techniques like the microwave (to steam vegetables) or sauteing. Ever heard of bamboo steamers? It’s an all in one way to cook your entire meal, just stack the baskets on top of one another with the bigger pieces on the bottom where the most steam is found.
8.Quick menu ideas are always a sure-fire way to avoid wasting too much time preparing and eating. Quick ideas include:
A meal in a sandwich (example: a tuna tortilla with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes and sliced cheese); A pita pizza (garnish a pita with some tomato sauce, sliced vegetables, leftover chicken and grated cheese); An all in one salad (cold pasta salad, Boconcinni cheese and grilled vegetables); Why not drink your meal (try making a smoothie with milk, frozen fruit, rolled oats and peanut butter or sliced almonds); Or even snack it up rather than a traditional meal (a boiled egg, baby carrots, a cheese stick and a juice box).