In many households, good cooking is a lost art. When people go grocery shopping they grab frozen and boxed dinners, bringing home meals packed with preservatives and processed ingredients. It doesn’t have to be that way. Anyone who follows these tips can learn to make great meals at home in less than 30 minutes a day.
No one can deny that the best cuisine is made “from scratch” – using whole, fresh ingredients. yet many people instinctively grab the instant and frozen dinner options from the grocery aisles without giving much thought about what they’re missing.
You may not believe that you have enough time or even the ability to produce some great-tasting and healthy home-cooked meals. But when planned well, cooking doesn’t require more than 30 minutes a day.
By following a few basic guidelines, you can turn your entire diet around.
- Plan ahead. You won’t be able to throw together a great meal from the half-empty boxes in your pantry. Plan menus and take ingredient list to the grocery store with you.
- Do a little at a time. Try to make one or two new recipes a week. Otherwise, you may become overwhelmed and discouraged, especially if you don’t have much cooking experience.
- Stick to the recipes. Unless you’re a very experienced chef, you probably won’t be able to improvise very successfully a few times, you may be able to tweak it.
- Laugh at yourself and be patient. Some of the recipes will work and some won’t. You may want to have some backup meals in the freezer just in case you create a disaster.
- Make enough food for leftovers. This is a great time-saving technique. Frozen leftovers can be reused weeks or even months later.
- Overlap recipes. For example, if you have two recipes that require chicken stock, make enough stock for both recipes at one time. Sauces and stocks are very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways.
- Do prep work ahead of time. For example, if you’re making a soup with chopped vegetables, chop up the vegetables the night before you make it. This is especially helpful if you don’t have much time to cook after you come home from work.
- Use slow-cooker recipes. Sometimes all you need to do is throw together a few ingredients in the morning. Let them simmer all day and come home to a hot meal.
- Make it a team effort. If you have family members or roommates, cooking together is a great way to bond and build memories.
- Have fun. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to keep it up. Save the recipes you like and savor the great meals you create.