No matter how much you love to cook, it can be hard to find the time to put a tasty, healthy meal together every night when you’re busy. If you’re often short of time, here are some easy tricks to help you save time in the kitchen without compromising on the meals you make.
Read The Full Recipe Before You Start
If you’re short on time, it can be tempting to just skim over the recipe and just get on with the cooking. However, if you take time to read through the recipe and check all the steps before you leap into cooking will pay off and actually save you time. If you know you need a diced onion in advance, you can prep this while you’re waiting for water to boil for example. You can get everything prepped and not find you need sweet chilli sauce and have forgotten to buy any. You’ll also save time if you’ve read the recipe and know you need to get the oven to a certain temperature, rather than only realising when you get to the point where should be putting things in the oven. Reading the recipe will save stress and time in the long-run.
All recipes can be split up into active time (such as chopping veggies) and passive time (such as waiting for something to boil). Use the passive time to get ahead on the next active stage.
Pre-Slice Veggies Like A TV Chef
Fresh ingredients like peppers, broccoli, carrots, and squash can take a bit of time to wash, peel, and chop. Doing all this can interrupt the flow of your meal preparation if you didn’t read ahead. Prepare your veg when you have a spare ten minutes or bulk prep on a weekend night ready the week ahead, and store them in a Tupperware. When the time comes, you’ll be like a TV chef with all your ingredients prepared and ready to go.
Most things can be prepped in advance, except lettuce and herbs, as these will wilt if they’re cut too far in advance. You can quickly chop leafy herbs like basil by stacking the leaves in a pile, rolling into a cigar shape, and slicing into the thin ribbons.
Leave The Peel On
Before you spend ages carefully peeling all your veg, remember that a lot of veggies are very tasty with the skin still on. If you wash them properly, you can and should eat the skin of your carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets. Some squashes can also be eaten with the skin on. A lot of nutrients are in the skin of vegetables anyway, so leaving it on is an easy way to make your meal prep quicker and healthier.
If you’re struggling to peel a tough squash like butternut, you can roast or microwave it for a few minutes first. This helps to soften the skin and make it easier to remove.