By Mariam Nihal
Yes, we get it. There just isn’t much time. But this should never get in the way of your meals, especially if you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The biggest mistake is postponing our meals and then hogging whatever comes our way because we weren’t prepared. This is absolutely normal and very common when don’t have the tools to create a healthy choice, so you resort to poor and often unhealthy choices.
We have collected seven very important meal hacks you can use to save time in the kitchen on a permanent basis. If you are the only one looking after your whole family’s needs then it is best to start this as soon as possible. If possible get your partner and children involved so they can adopt these methods in your absence too.
1. Do the bulk cooking once a week. Get it over with. This could involve marinating or even chopping vegetables for the upcoming week. Definitely saves time and you can just use them anytime you want to make a meal without wasting another 15-20 minutes.
2. Freeze it. You know you have run out of prepped food in your fridge and this is either because of its expiry date or your busy schedule. So keep it simple. Freeze meat, which can last for weeks, pack them in different serving boxes so you can take out and use what you need at that point.
3. Don’t be scared to repeat meals. So what if you had salmon on the weekend? If it is something you enjoy then go ahead and keep it in the freezer as a safe choice that is both healthy and delicious. This of course allows you to stress less and store more of the same product so you have it more often during the week.
4. Make a favorite, but make lots of it. Of course we are talking about something healthy, like hummus. Make a pot full of hummus that children can pull out and eat with wheat toast or healthy crackers. You can even take it to work with baby carrots or kale chips. Make sure it is something everyone loves and is available to everyone at all times. Sometimes people just want to snack instead of eating a whole meal, this option allows them to do both and that too without guilt. The key here it to make sure you have the key ingredients ready or else you will be relying on last minute decisions.
5. Snack, snack, snack. Admit it, this is as important as a meal and perhaps the most dangerous one. Don’t forget to keep healthy snacks at bay. Be it dry fruits, chopped fresh fruits or berries, make sure you have them stocked in snack size servings so you can grab them on your way out or whenever you crave munchies.
6. Use the same ingredients in different meals. Use the avocados for breakfast, in salads for lunch and dinner. Chop up a good amount that will help you with other meals during the day. You don’t have to create a stellar, brand new meal three times a day, take a break.
7. Cook in stages. Organize your cooking. There is no need to pull out everything from the fridge and then running around like a headless chicken all day around the kitchen. If you organize the way you cook, not only will your kitchen be cleaner but you can actually prep meals for the whole week faster. Assign yourself tasks in order. It could be chopping vegetables, marinating, baking, juicing or in any order you prefer. This way you make sure you get it all done and categorize your groceries for the future too.