If there is one thing that is absolutely true, it’s that life is busy.
We spend all of our time racing from activity to activity, place to place, person to person.
There is barely time in the day to sit down and eat a decent meal, never mind take time for self-care.
By the time we get out of work and get home, the last thing that we want to do is spend time cooking for over an hour.
As much as you may love the calm of cooking and creating a meal from scratch, the exhaustion of how busy life can get takes away from that pleasure and creates a chore – one that you really just don’t want to indulge in.
There’s nothing wrong with being more efficient in the kitchen.
You plan your appliances and the way you store everything to maximize that efficiency, from the plates in the right space for easy grabbing, to the trays being in the drawers beneath the oven.
Everything is in its place in the kitchen, and all you need to do is learn how to cut down the time that you spend cooking so that you can make it enjoyable once more.
So, let’s dive right into a whole new way of doing things and get that gourmet supper ready in better time!
Helpful hints to cut your cooking time
Make a menu of evening meals for the week and keep it stuck to the fridge.
You don’t have to stick to each meal per day, you can mix it all up if you want to.
Planning your menu for the week allows you to better plan the groceries that you need to buy to get everything ready for your evening meal.
If you have all the ingredients in, you’ve already cut your time down.
Coming home from work exhausted and knowing that all you have to do is make what you’ve planned is a great way to cut down your cooking costs.
Before you actually get to cooking, go through everything you need to do in order to get your meal from ingredients to oven to the table.
Once you have an idea in your head of how things have to go and the timings that you need to put in place, you can make a meal easily, quickly and without burning anything.
As we said above, planning is key and it will make the difference between whether you have a successful result with your meal.
Organize Your Kitchen
You can even plan ahead with your appliances.
If you know you’ll do things faster with an air fryer, then heading to 3csilo.com is a smart idea at the weekend to get ahead of what you’re planning to make.
You can even ensure that you have the right pans and pots in the house to cook what you want to cook.
If you love stir-fry, investing in a good Wok is a smart investment.
Planning ahead is key!
Set the Scene
You’re home from work, you’re ready to cook, so get the oven on and set any water on the stove to get boiling.
This should be done before you grab any chopping boards and knives, as these can be warming up ready for food before you even get started with the ingredients.
Get your cookware lined and ready and make sure that you have two chopping boards on the table ready for you.
This ensures that you’re not scrambling to look for what you need.
Appliances like the food processor and the air-fryer can be at the ready, too.
You could do one better and get all your appliances, boards and knives ready before you leave for work – this shaves even more time!
Load a Board
Grab one of your chopping boards (or the Wok!) and take it to the fridge.
The whole point of this exercise is to be able to get what you need at once.
You can load up your board or pan with everything that you need and bring it all to the fridge at the same time.
It may be tempting to keep your spices and oils in the pantry out of the way, but you’ll save so much more time if you have them out on the counter next to the oven.
Wash Your Produce.
Do you have a salad spinner?
This is an efficient way to wash your salad leaves, and a colander readied in the sink is a good option for washing all of your other veggies before you get going.
You want to cook with clean food, not worry about chomping down on gritty soil!
Trim off the produce and you’ll have much less to wash, and you can combine it all in a colander for easy rinsing.
Write A List.
It doesn’t have to be neat, but write a list in the order that you need to do everything.
You can jot bullet point notes for which ingredients go where and when – the better your list, the more efficient your cooking time.
Prepping all the ingredients first and then putting them in the pans in the right order will make a difference to the rate at which you cook.
Use Your Tools.
Graters are excellent tools for grating cheese, but they’re also excellent for grating veggies and butter, which makes a big difference to the speed in which you can cook.
Use the airfryer if you can for crisping up your veggies, and give your food processor a job in chopping the veggies like onions and leeks much faster than you can. Y
You have a kitchen full of tools and this exercise is all about efficiency.
If you give yourself a chance to be prepared, you can spend more time making flavorful meals than slaving in prep!
Here is a simple dinner that with a little prep work in advance, will be an ideal dinner after a crazy workday.
Asian Meatballs Over Rice
For the Sauce
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp Rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
For the meat
- 1 lbs ground beef or ground raw turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp Worchestershire sauce
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 3 Tbsp milk less if using turkey
- 1/2 Tbsp Olive oil
- Sliced scallions for garnish
For the Rice
- 2 cups Long-grain white rice prepared as per box instructions
- 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
For the Sauce
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
For the Meat
- Combine all the meat ingredients together in a large bowl, until well combined. Form into 1-inch meatballs.
- Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil.
- Once the skillet is hot, add the prepared meatballs, in a single layer.
- Keep turning the meatballs and brown on all sides. No need to cook them all the way through at this point.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the meatballs and gently turn the meatballs to coat all sides with the sauce.
- Continue to cook, bringing the sauce to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the heat to low and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Stirring the meatballs occasionally.
For the Rice
- Prepare white rice according to package instructions.
- In a small bowl, break the two eggs and whisk until combined.
- Heat a small skillet on medium heat till hot. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of butter to the skillet and melt. Once melted, add the whisked eggs and cook until almost done, stirring constantly.
- Once the rice is done, add 1 Tablespoon butter to the rice and add eggs. Stir until combined.
- Serve cooked meatballs over hot rice and garnish with chopped scallions.