7 Sane Tips for Getting Dinner On The Table Quicker
Cooking from scratch is “the single most important thing we could do as a family to improve our health and general well-being” ~ Michael Pollan
Are you strapped for time but still want to eat healthy meals and have dinner on the table most nights? In this hurry-hurry world we live in, the one thing that we need the most seems to be pushed aside the most – Family Dinner Hour!
Wouldn’t you just love to “twitch” your nose and a healthy & delicious meal would appear on the table?
Well of course you would!
Well here are some sane tips to follow so you can get your dinner on the table much quicker and move on to spending quality time with your family.
1. Clean Your Kitchen Before You Start Cooking
We posted a great article explaining the benefits of cleaning up (redding up if you are from Pittsburgh) your kitchen before you even get started cooking. Mise en Place for less Kitchen Stress. Nothing is worse than trying to cook dinner in a messy and hectic kitchen. Having things out of place just slows us way down. This doesn’t mean “clean” your kitchen from top to bottom, this means put things away and clear enough space so you feel better about beginning to cook.
Wipe up any spills or messes, put any dirty dishes in the dishwasher and wipe out the kitchen sink. You will notice that you’ll start cooking with a clearer & calmer mind and things will go much faster.
2. Cook Smarter
Cooking smarter means taking as many shortcuts as possible and still having a delicious and healthy dinner.
Having a meal plan for the entire week is the smartest way to do dinner. Read over your meal plan for the upcoming week and see what vegetables can be pre chopped and bagged for later use. You can sign-up here for our dinner planner free weekly menu planner!
Chop about 3-4 onions and store them in a resealable bag. These will last all week and saves tons of time.
Precook your tasty chicken to use later in the week. See tips here on how to cook your boneless chicken breasts to use in dinner recipes.
When browning ground beef for a recipe, always brown extra and freeze it in a plastic freezer bag.
When cooking your weekly carbs such as rice, pasta, potatoes; always cook enough for 2 nights. Eating boiled red potatoes on Monday night instantly turns into a delicious potato salad for Thursday night if you think ahead.
Cook some hard-boiled eggs and leave them in a bowl in the fridge. Don’t peel the eggs until you are ready to use them.
3. Try some new 30 minute meals that promise to have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.
There are so many great recipes that you can cook that will have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less from start to finish. Keeping dinners super-simple a few nights a week will give you encouragement to cook more at home. When it seems like a less daunting chore, we are more likely to be successful at getting started.
Try a few of our 30 minute meals!
4. Never Underestimate the Power of Tiny Hands
Have some little people running around your house? Let them help as much as possible with dinnner. Store easy-to-grab things on lower shelves like weekday plates and napkins. This will make setting the table easy enough for even a young child.
5. Use your Slow Cooker Often
A slow cooker can be your best friend when it comes to getting dinner on the table quickly. One tip is to leave your slow cooker in plain sight. Sometimes when we put away our crockpot it collects dust and we forget to use it. Crockpots are great for cooking larger and cheaper cuts of meat and then using the cooked meat for two meals.
Make your side dish in a slow cooker. Baked potatoes or brown rice cook nicely in a crockpot or slowcooker. Here is a great recipe for brown rice and broccoli.
6. Organize Your Kitchen for Speed
Place everything that you use often in arms reach. Lay out your kitchen for maximum efficiency and it will pay off when it comes time to getting dinner on the table quicker. Store spatulas and wooden spoons in a pretty container on your kitchen counter that is easy to reach. Always, always use clear containers to store as much as possible. Who knows what’s lurking in the forgotten plastic bowl in the back of the fridge!
After you have cleaned up your kitchen, read over the dinner recipe and take out everything you will need to make the meal. Pots, pans, spices, and measuring spoons to name a few.
7. Invest in Good Equipment
Invest a little bit of money to buy some quality kitchen necessities and it will pay off in saved time. You wouldn’t start to build a house with an old hammer and some rusty nails. If you can’t invest in a quality set of cookware yet then just buy a few quality pieces. A good kitchen knife will last forever and save tons of time in prep work.
– READ MORE – Want better faster food? Buy a better faster knife.