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Last Updated on January 15, 2022
Your slow cooker is an invaluable kitchen tool. However, in some cases, you want to prepare a quick meal. This may be because you have limited time or because you are tired and want to rest. Regardless of the reason, there are a few tips to help make this happen.
Buy in Bulk
You can buy your meat in bulk. Doing this makes it more affordable, and you can divide it into the right portion sizes. Once divided, add your favorite marinade or spices in a bag with the meat and freeze it.
When you need to make dinner in a hurry one night, just grab your portioned, marinated meal and defrost it while you are at work. When you get home, you can quickly cook it and be ready to eat in no time.
Make Bigger Batches
Along with freezing meals, you should consider making extra of everything you cook. Once it’s done, freeze it in single-serve portions to eat later. This is especially effective for stews, breads, casseroles, soups, stock, and tomato sauce.
Repurpose Your Leftovers
If you want to have homemade meals all week without the hassle, consider cooking on the weekend. However, you can also save your larger batches for later. If you make a large pot of chili, try using it in different ways in the coming week. You can have it with pasta or rice, with crackers, or make chili dogs. This is a great way to cook once while having several meals. You can find several ideas online about how to use leftovers, including this 15-minute chicken and rice dinner recipe from minuterice.com.
Keep Your Pantry Well Stocked
If you keep your pantry stocked, you can easily and quickly whip up a meal. Make sure to always keep some basic items on-hand, including onions, potatoes, garlic, herbs, dried spices, canned tomatoes, tuna, vinegars, oils, nuts, dried fruits, rice, pasta, broth, and beans. These items will last and are great for use with many meals. You should also view your freezer as an extension of your pantry. You can store broth, chopped herbs, pesto, and sauces here.
Make All-in-One Meals
Try out recipes that require you to cook the meat and sides all in one pot or a single roasting tray. When you use fewer dishes, it also speeds up clean-up time.
Along the same lines, consider foil pack or parchment cooking. With these, you can fold up protein, vegetables, and spices in the pack and then use steam to cook your meal. This is another cooking option that is fast and easy to clean up.
Pan Size Matters
Rather than using smaller roasting pans and saucepans, use ones with a bigger surface area. This will let you spread the food out and keep it from sitting on top of each other.
Making Quick Meals During the Week
Use these tips to help simplify your life and help you cook quick, delicious meals during the week.