Quick Meals for Ill-Conceived Itineraries: Quicker Cooking Tips and 5 Go-to Quick Meals
When mid-week comes along, the question of what to make for dinner can be as daunting as the idea of having to wait until its finished cooking before you can eat it. Sometimes you may have only 20 minutes or so before the breaking point of hunger-induced anger hits (see also: hanger).
If it’s one of those days, you can still enjoy a nutritious meal that’s made in a pinch. Here are my quick some cooking tips and meal ideas for when you only have a few minutes to put food on the table.
Weekend Prep List:
The best way to make a quick meal is to plan ahead. Take an hour on the weekend (or whatever day you have off) to plan out your dinners for a busy week, make a grocery list, and pick up everything you need. Spend some time to prepare your ingredients for the week to make for easy assembling before meals.
- Pre-cook grains and legumes. Store in single-serving containers in the fridge.
- Rinse and pre-cut vegetables and fruit.
- Prep any casseroles or slow cooker meals or soups.
- Wash produce faster by chopping off the ends of root vegetables and washing everything in a colander together.
- Pre-chop lettuce before washing.
Quicker Prep and Cooking Tips
Once you have everything prepped, you’ve set yourself up for success all week long. Now you’ll be able to speed through making dinner when you only have a few minutes to get it on the table.
- Walk through what you need to do before you start anything and read the recipes. Having a plan will make you more efficient while you’re cooking.
- Turn on the oven or get your water boiling as soon as you start prepping.
- Heat pans before adding ingredients. Grab everything you need to avoid wasting time going back and forth between different areas of your kitchen and pantry.
- Cut veggies into smaller pieces so they cook faster.
- Clean up as you go. Use a garbage/compost bowl to collect waste as you cook to make for easy clean-up.
5 Go-to Quick Meals
- This bibimbap bowl can be 100% prepped ahead of time and placed on the table in minutes.
- With the veggies cut in advance this spicy peanut noodle recipe will be super quick to put on the table. If you don’t have time to prep your vegetables on the weekend, buy a broccoli coleslaw mix and substitute it for the vegetables.
- When you literally have five minutes to make a quick dinner, grab some rice cakes, slather them with your favorite hummus (already prepped or store bought) and top with sliced tempeh and any veg you have laying around. Pair with a smoothie and you are good to go.
- Prep lots of slow-cooker freezer meals for your freezer and then on days you have nothing planned, no time, and nothing in your fridge you can just throw one of these in your slow cooker in the morning and you have a full meal ready when you come home.
- When all else fails, throw everything you have on the grill. This vegan barbecue recipe can be used as a guide and you can substitute with what you have in your fridge.
What are your go-to quick meals?