Wouldn't it be handy if you come from work and have the food on the table within 20 minutes? This is certainly possible by following three simple steps:planning, preparation and participation. With a little planning, advance preparation, and family participation, it's as easy to make a healthy, satisfying dinner as it is to get a pizza, not to mention faster and cheaper. Here are some tips to make meal preparation easier.
With the right supplies and a detailed plan for the week, you can make your life easier.
Buy large packs of meat or chicken that can form the basis for various meals. Pick up simple foods, such as canned beans and frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, which retain much of their nutritional value thanks to rapid processing. Having a wide selection of spices and herbs can make it easy to make things like fried chicken on Saturday night and chicken fajitas during the week, two completely different meals from the same bird. And don't forget good quality pasta, it has so many uses for quick meals. Be sure to read the label and choose a sauce with less sugar and salt.
The key to the 20 minute meal is preparation. That starts when the groceries are at home. Cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce and other vegetables should be washed and separated. Carrots, celery and cucumbers can be washed, sliced and stored in clear plastic bags. Melons become ready-to-eat fruits when sliced and stored in containers in the refrigerator. Open a can, rinse the beans and store them in a plastic container for a quick addition to salads.
Meat, poultry and fish packages can be divided into small-sized, easy-to-cook portions for freezing. It's a good idea to cut chicken breasts and other thick cuts of meat into less than an inch thick for easy thawing and quick cooking. With a small grill, chicken or meat can be grilled while the salad is being assembled and the "rice" is reheated. For dessert, you can mix some fruit – “fresh, canned or frozen” – and top it up with ice cream or yogurt.
One of the great advantages of planning is that whoever gets home first can start eating. Even kids can get things out of the closet like fresh vegetables and dicing them. Kids can also get involved in washing vegetables and choosing which fruits to have for dessert.