Life & Leisure

5 Great Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen

Everybody wants to save time. We all have a lot in our to-do lists and people to attend to.
It’s great if you are passionate about cooking for hours or slaving away in the kitchen. But as for me, frankly I’d rather clean the house or spend time with my little one.

Not Your Kitchen Goddess

Yes, I am not a kitchen goddess. I cook to survive. When I was in our family home, my sisters would take turns cooking.
What was I doing? I was either peeling vegetables or washing the dishes. Cooking isn’t really my cup of tea.
To be perfectly honest, during the rare times that I cooked, I felt like I was having an exam! I’d feel so anxious that I’d lose my appetite or have a heartburn.
When I got married, it was part of my wedding vows that I promised to cook my husband something edible. Yes, not necessarily delicious but definitely edible.
These days though, I am slowly embracing the need to enjoy cooking because my little one is starting to be a picky eater. She loves fish, veggie soups and pasta.For me to give variety to her diet, I decided to be more hands on in the kitchen.
But still, I’d rather spend more time on other stuff, if you catch my drift.
So, if you’d rather do the things you love than spend precious minutes preparing family meals, read on! I have some great tips to help you.
Plan your meals
Before buying dozens of veggies or portions of meat at the supermarket, be sure to know what they’re for. Having ideas for your dishes will not only mean less waste but also less time.
Luckily, I found these interesting templates to help you layout your meal plan. But if you trust your memory, that ought to do. You also don’t  really need to be strict about it. After all, we’re just winging it ( wink wink)
Do some steps in advance

If the recipe requires some marinating, do it the night before. If you need to saute, you could mince onion and garlic even a few hours early. You can put them in a sealed container in the ref. 

You could also start cooking earlier in the day. In my case, when I make  chicken tinola, I make it early, at dawn. Then just add the vegetables about 30 minutes before lunch. That way, I use less time and don’t overcook the veggies.
Make two in one meals.
I just realized this a few days ago. Here’s the thing. I woke up early to make chicken tinola for lunch (my husband usually fixes breakfast). I thought, could I use the base for macaroni soup. Voila! Two in 1 combo! You can also use extra food as ingredients for your next dish.
Use frozen or prepared veggies
It takes a lot of time to peel, cut, chop and dice vegetables so go and grab some that are already done at the supermarket. You can also used frozen veggies like peas and carrots to cook with.
I know what’s on your mind. “ Do frozen veggies retain their nutrient value? Fortunately, research has found out in fact that certain veggies keep their nutrients intact even when frozen. Freezing in vegetables such as beet, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, yellow peppers and green beans did not destroy the antioxidant properties they have.

Make freezer-friendly meals
If you have a weekend or an afternoon to spare, cook a big batch and store them in the freezer. Just remember to label them with the name and food.
Plus, it’s a great idea to put them in small portions so you can get them as you need them. I found some awesome recipes online to try. 
My mother in law does this on Sundays. She would cook a whole pot of menudo, a kind of stew made with diced pork in tomato sauce. She would put it in small containers and freeze them.
This would be for members of the household who are working or in school. It really saves her a lot of time.
How bout you? How do you manage your time in the kitchen? Do you have tips or recipes to share?

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