The balance between working and home life can often be a juggle and the thoughts of having to cook a meal for a family after a long day at work can often be enough to tip you over the edge and have you reaching for the local takeaway menu. We have put together a few tips on how to save some time here and there when it comes to cooking for the family, so you can still have a delicious and nutritious meal, minus all the time and effort:

1. Invest in a Slow Cooker

If you have more time (and energy!) in the morning, it may be worth preparing the evening meal before heading off to work. The meal will be ready to serve on your return home, with only the accompaniment needing to be prepared. Slow cookers are perfect for preparing a number of dishes, saving you time in the evening to relax!

 

2. Batch Cook

If you are cooking a meal, why not double the portion size and freeze the additional batch. This can then be defrosted on the days where you are too tired to cook.

 

3. Get the Kids Involved

There are often a number of things to be done to prepare the dinner, and having the kids help will save you time and also introduce them to responsibilities and helping out. This could be setting the table, cutting veg or preparing a salad, and in addition to this you get to spend some quality time together discussing the day!

 

4. You Don’t Always Have to Cook!

Make a hearty soup and freeze it, this will come in handy when you don’t want to cook. Instead, serve the soup with warm crusty bread and salad. This is a nutritious and filling meal for the family, without all the fuss in the kitchen.

 

5. One Pot Recipes

Will help save time cleaning up after! There are a number of delicious dishes where all the ingredients go in to the one pot to create a scrumptious dish.

 

6. KISS! (Keep It Super Simple!)

You don’t need to create elaborate meals every day, the main thing is that the dish is nutritious, filling and tastes good, but sometimes a simple and plain dish is all that’s needed.

 

7. Make Extra Rice

All you need to do the following day is throw in a few tasty ingredients and voila, you have yourself a dinner! Leftover rice is perfect for stir-frying and saves you a lot of time. You could even prep the ingredients that morning so it will only take you a few minutes in the evening to put the meal together. Our Pork Fried Rice is the perfect dish for this.

 

keepitsimpletoo8. Use Frozen Veg

Frozen vegetables are often frozen not long after the veg has been picked and at the height of their ripeness, so they often hold more nutrients than veg that has not been frozen. You save on prep time and the veg can be added straight from the bag in to the pan, done!

 

9. Love Tins!

Tinned products, particularly when it comes to pulses, can save you so much time in the kitchen. It can be very time consuming cooking dried beans and lentils, thankfully the tinned varieties are ready to eat straight from the tin. Tinned bean varieties are also great for filling out a dinner and getting extra fibre in to a meal!

 

10. Clean As You Go!

Because let’s face it, the last things you want to do after finishing a meal is to get up and start cleaning. Try to clean the pots and utensils as soon as you have dished out the meal as they will clean a lot faster than if they were left sitting out. You can then relax and put your feet up after you have eaten, you’ve earned it after all!

 

 

September 2015

2015 Rudd’s, Syngefield, Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland. Designed and developed at Greenhouse