We’d all like to claw back a little time, wouldn’t we? Particularly during the week when there’s enough to prepare for work as it is! So, how about making a few extra minutes in the evening by ensuring your midweek meals are as easy as can be?
It’s as if we’ve read your mind, then, as today we’re bringing you some convenient cooking cheats everyone should know. You’re welcome!
Frozen Veg – Often, frozen veg is frowned upon by diehard cooks, but did you know it still stacks up pretty well in terms of nutrients? The pre-chopped variety will save you loads of time, too; it won’t go off and tastes just as good, as well.
According to this piece on the LiveStrong site, “the nutritional profiles of frozen and fresh vegetables are essentially the same, but the freezing process may cause slight changes in their vitamin content. The way you prepare vegetables at home can also affect the nutrients in these foods. When your favourite vegetables are out of season or you can’t find locally grown fresh equivalents, frozen vegetables are a healthy way to meet your requirements for these nutritious foods.”
Prepare the Base of Your Favourite Dishes – This NetMums’ forum thread is brimming with great tips from parents who make use of cooking shortcuts day in day out. One of our favourite pieces of advice was this one: “Make a big batch of mincemeat with onions, veg and garlic to freeze. Then when you defrost you have a ready-made base you can turn into chilli, Bolognese or cottage pie.”
Don’t Be Wasteful – This one’s less a cooking cheat and more a convenient tip to ensure absolutely nothing goes to waste. If, say, you’re using egg yolks in a recipe but have to discard the whites, don’t simply pour them down the sink or pop them in the bin. Instead, think of ways you can utilise them in the evening’s meal. Make a pavlova for dessert, for example, which will take just minutes and you’ll probably find that you already have the rest of the ingredients needed to whip one up.
Use Shop-bought Pastry
Don’t worry that this is essentially a big cheat; who has time to faff about making their own pastry? Even the Queen of baking, Mary Berry, buys the shop-bought variety. And you can make a quick and easy pizza for your kids with it – just roll it out, add tomato puree, a little chopped veg and some ham or chicken, and pop it in the oven!
Save money and time by adding a can of soup (in place of a sauce) to your favourite dishes. We’re popping over to NetMums again because we love a tip we just spotted. One user suggests adding oxtail soup to chopped beef in a casserole dish. She says it ‘cuts out the time and hassle of cooking from scratch…easy peasy!”
Like these tips? Maybe you have a cooking cheat of your own? Let us know by commenting on this blog (below).
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Until next time…