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South Williamsport, PA
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Easy Dinner Making Tips

Now that I’m a mom of two, I’ve had to figure out how to make healthy and yummy dinners with way less time than I use to. So here are some tips I’ve picked up to make cooking dinner at home during the week a little less stressful. Cooking several meals on Sunday has been

Now that I’m a mom of two, I’ve had to figure out how to make healthy and yummy dinners with way less time than I use to. So here are some tips I’ve picked up to make cooking dinner at home during the week a little less stressful.

Cooking several meals on Sunday has been a huge time saver on weeknights. And if you do your grocery shopping at the end of the week, like I do, it’s easy to keep the ball rolling and turn those ingredients into meals right when you get home. Depending on what, and how much you prepare you can either refrigerate or freeze your meals for the upcoming week(s). For dishes that are best cooked day of, consider doing your prep on Sunday, i.e. the chopping, mincing, dicing. Having the onion and peppers chopped up and ready to go can be a lifesaver come Wednesday.

For times when cooking on Sundays doesn’t last the whole week I have a few fallback dishes that are quick and easy. I buy the ingredients for these meals in bulk so that they are always in supply. My go-to dishes are pesto broccoli pasta and dirty rice with brussel sprouts. These dinners aren’t going to win any awards, but they are quick and a much healthier option then hitting the drive-thru on the way home from work.

Multitasking ingredients is not only a great way to use your time wisely in the kitchen, it can also be budget-friendly. Buying items like chicken breasts, salad greens, rice, and beans are versatile enough to be utilized for more than one meal a week, and can make your meal planning more focused, hence quicker. Leave the more frivolous fixings for the weekend when you have the time to be more creative. Also, save experimentation for days off work. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you attempt a brand new recipe that requires a lot of prep for a weeknight. Stick to your tried and true classics on working days.

I personally don’t cook every night. Once, or twice a week my husband takes over the dinner making duties. And some nights we share in the cooking, with one of us taking point, while the other assists. Not having to face the burden of making dinner solo every night is a big help. Not married? Then partner up with a roommate, or even a good friend and cook together, be sure to make enough so you both get leftovers to use later.

Speaking of leftovers, cooking in batches is an easy trick that not only provide dinners for other nights, but also lunches for the day. Usually, I make enough for dinner, and two lunches. This way we’re not spending money out on lunch and I’m not rushing in the morning trying to put together PB&Js.

With a baby to wake me up bright and early at 5:30 every morning I’ve been able to utilize my crockpot more than ever before. If you’re an early riser, a crockpot meal is a great go-to for weekday dinner. The best part is it’ll be ready to serve by the time you get home in the evening, and it’s definitely a savory source for leftovers. I like to do a whole chicken in the pot with red potatoes (if they are on the smaller side no need to peel and slice, just clean them) garlic and onions (that if I’m super organized have already been cut up as mentioned above) and a bottle of dry white wine as opposed to water. When we get home I open up a bagged salad and voila dinner, and lunches for the next day!

When all else fails I resort to one, of two options: Breakfast for Dinner, or Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese. Granted, these aren’t the healthiest choices, but they’re great in a pinch and can be very satisfying after a long day at work. Now, with breakfast I’m not talking cereal, but instead eggs with bacon and/or busting out some Bisquick for pancakes. French toast also works. For tomato soup and grilled cheese you can add bacon, or lunch meat to the sandwich for some protein and it’s easy to tack on a salad to this meal for some veggies.

Of course, all of these tricks can go right out the window on Fridays, when anything goes. And now that we’re in the midst of Lent we’re all about fish sandwiches, so there’s no cooking on that night for the time being. Bon Appetit!

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