Whether you’re a weekly meal prepper or a budding home chef, there are so many ways you can make cooking at home more efficient and easy for yourself. Busy work weeks, not enough time to think about what to eat, and a lack of inspiration can leave us stuck eating and cooking in the same way over and over again.
But instead of giving up and reaching for that ready-made meal, consider these 5 things the next time you cook at home, and the process will be easy and enjoyable.
Whether you’re meal prepping or cooking a recipe every night, it’s a good idea to think about how much time you will actually have to cook. This will stop you from getting carried away trying to pull off complex recipes and also give you an idea of what you should be grabbing from the shops.
If you’re pressed from time, you might opt for a salad mix instead of buying separate greens and mixing them yourself.
You might choose to use canned beans instead of cooking them yourself, or a frozen bag of cooked vegetables if you’re really pressed for time.
Knowing how much time you have to cook, and respecting that time stops you from feeling stressed out in the kitchen which will come out in your food. Keeping an eye on the clock can also make sure you avoid any careless emergencies, like a fire in the kitchen.
Nothing says rookie like heading to the supermarket without a shopping list. Even if you’re just grabbing three or four items, write them down to stop yourself from getting sucked in by all the products along the aisles.
Not having a shopping list is an easy way to forget that one thing you specifically set out to the supermarket for.
Even if you think you have everything in your kitchen, if you’re following a recipe, then go through each ingredient and double-check you have it before heading out to the shops. This way, you’ll avoid that sudden realization that you’re out of onions when you go to start cooking.
If you’re planning to cook for the week ahead, check your fridge and pantry and restock any items that may run out during the week.
If you’re taking the time to prepare a meal, then you want that meal to nourish your body. When cooking at home, try to choose ingredients that are whole, natural, and as little processed as possible.
Check the ingredients of all the products you buy and avoid lengthy ingredient lists or long, hard-to-pronounce chemical names and numbers. At the same time, try to choose fruit and vegetables that are in season and grown locally to feed your body the food it needs.
Many people love meal prepping, but sometimes there is an excessive waste by throwing away all the plastic containers after a meal. If you’ll be in the kitchen cooking quite a bit, it’s a good idea to think about reducing your waste or even going zero waste completely.
Cooking is so much more fun when you know it’s being done responsibly, with minimal impact on the environment. Some ways you can reduce your waste in the kitchen is by:
Sometimes you simply don’t have the time to cook wholesome, nourishing meals, and that’s where a slow cooker or a pressure cooker can come in. Slow cookers are a dream come true for anyone who doesn’t have the time to prepare dinner after work.
Simply pop in your ingredients in the morning, let them simmer slowly throughout the day, and come home to mouth-watering aromas and a meal that’s ready to eat. There are so many slow cooker recipes available that you won’t have to think about what you want to eat for months.
Pressure cookers are also fantastic when cooking at home as they allow you to quickly cook nutritious beans and lentils from scratch, so you don’t have to rely on canned products. This not only saves the amount of waste you throw away but is also healthier for your body.