I love cooking. The kitchen is the place I relax, I create and I have fun. However when you are juggling too much, busy busy busy and have small people cooking the family meal can become a chore, even for me.
I run 2 businesses around 2 small ones, my days start early, end late and are a mix of pilates, dietitian work and being a mummy. Which means I don’t tend to have the luxury of spending hours cooking each day.
My top tips:
- Meal Planning really does work. We have a whiteboard in our kitchen and I plan out our evening meals and some of our lunches too.
- Keep a recipe book or file with the recipes you and your family love. This makes it easy to plan and quick to find that recipe that suddenly springs to mind.
- Use your meal plan to shop and prepare in advance. When you have a quieter day chop up some veggies in advance for example, or boil a pile of eggs for lunches, make hummus or cook a meal to get ahead.
- Cook in bulk when you can. If you are doing a casserole, chilli, bolognaise, soup or freezable meal cook double and freeze it. This saves me on a regular basis on days things go wrong and I realise I’ve no time to cook!
- You don’t have to wait until dinner time to cook. I often end up cooking our evening meal in the morning, as that’s when I have a gap in my day. It can be quite satisfying knowing dinner is already cooked!
- Embrace the slow cooker love. The beauty of this is you can prep it the night before and keep it in the fridge, then switch it on in the morning and by evening you have a cooked meal, often with leftovers to freeze. See my slow cooker recipes or my pinterest board with over 50 ideas.
- Have a day a week you use up the leftovers. Put them on a pizza, add to pasta, put veggies in a frittata or stir fry… it may not be a standard recipe but it can save you time, money and is inventive! See Love Food, Hate Waste for top tips and recipes.
- Have some emergency meals in your stores. Baked potatoes can be cooked in the microwave in 10 minutes, add tuna and sweetcorn with some chopped veggies and you have a meal. We always have a jar of pesto ready for that emergency pasta dish and frozen veggies!
- Get the kids involved and make it an activity. Miss K loves cooking and will try to peel veggies, chops them and stirs things, as long as she can nibble on bits as she goes.
- Relax. I find if I’m stressed over it, things go wrong. There is always beans on toast for those days you need it 😉
Please share any other top tips you have.