6 Ways To Make Cooking Home Dinners More Convenient
- Parents Only
Preparing healthy, home-cooked meals on a routine basis is one of the best ways to live a healthier lifestyle. Research has shown time and time again that people who eat-out less and cook their meals at home have a better-quality diet as well as having a more connected family and happier home life – and this kind of easy self-care is something that everyone could use a bit more of.
However, preparing healthy, home-cooked meals requires you to take a great deal of responsibility in choosing the right ingredients and cooking them adequately. The awesome HelloFresh decision detox is a great way to reduce the stress of making important food decisions on a daily basis.
Making the choice to start cooking at home more represents a large change in your daily routine and can prove to be one of those endeavours that’s easy to start with but hard to maintain as a habit. Let’s take a look at 6 strategies you can use to reduce your dependency on eating out and get motivated to cook in your kitchen on a daily basis.
1: Plan your meals
Before you start heading to the supermarket, plan out a week’s worth of dinners in advance. It’s likely that you won’t stick exactly to the schedule and may even cheat by ordering takeaway one night, but the point is that once you make a plan to do something you are more likely to do it.
2: Embrace the power of leftovers
A great philosophy to take into your kitchen is “cook once, eat twice”, because stocking up on food you have cooked to eat later throughout the week is an excellent strategy to prevent you from ordering takeaway. This is especially true when you’re in a crunch for time and can’t start cooking something but don’t want to resort to ordering food or going out to eat.
The trick to doing this is to deliberately double up your recipes so that you are always left with leftovers. While it may technically take more time to double up the ingredients, the total cooking time shouldn’t be much longer and you’ll save all the time you would have otherwise spent making tomorrow night’s dinner.
Plus, there are plenty of freezer-friendly foods that you can make when you have more free time on weekend so that you don’t end up feeling rushed. It’s super convenient to be able to help yourself to a nutritious home-cooked meal by simply throwing some leftovers in the microwave.
3: Cook with the kids
Your kids will one day move out and need to be able to cook for themselves, so finding some fun recipes that you can cook together is a great way to start teaching them how. Teaching the kids how to cook can pay off for you as well, especially around Mother’s Day.
4: Keep your sides simple
If you’re spending a huge amount of time preparing the perfect entrée then you should cut yourself some slack and perhaps keep your side dishes more straightforward. Easy entrée options include baked potatoes, brown rice, baby spinach or even just a simple salad with carrots and cucumber.
5: Use a slow cooker
Slow cookers or crockpots are making a comeback and there are an endless amount of delicious recipes designed specifically for them. Simply prepare your ingredients, throw them in the pot and head out to work, you’ll be greeted by warm, hearty food as soon as you get home.
If you don’t own one, crockpots are relatively inexpensive. It’s a good ideal to make a meal plan specifically for your crockpot so that cooking with one takes even less time.
6: Get inspired by cook books, food blogs and other people
Having a large collection of recipes you know and love is the best way to guarantee that you’re cooking at home and not eating out most nights of the week. It’s much less of a chore to start cooking when you already know all of the steps off by heart and love what the end results is going to be.
Studying cook books, reading food blogs and engaging with friends and family about their favourite recipes is a great way to expand your cooking knowledge. You never know what game-changing tip you might read online or get from a friend that totally changes a recipe for you.
Another great resource for cooking inspiration is your close relatives like parents and grandparents. They can even teach you the recipes you loved as a child so that you can keep the family tradition going.
It’s important to keep yourself motivated to cook and to not get bogged down making the same staples over and over. It can be hard to get inspired without some outside help, and this is especially true if you’re a busy parent who has several other hungry mouths to feed each night.
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