Holiday Hacks: 3 Time-Saving Kitchen Tips

For the majority of us, the holidays this year look very different than during Covid times: Christmas parties, school concerts, family get-togethers, shopping, and vacations will be filling up our calendars. Since no one wants a scrooge in the kitchen, give yourself the gift of using some holiday shortcuts and tricks to relieve some of the pressure, save you time and help you ring in the new year with some yummy (and healthy) meals.

Go Semi-Homemade

Obviously, we are big fans of cooking around here, but occasionally, cutting corners may transform a night that could otherwise involve takeout into a complete culinary triumph.

For instance:

● Grab a rotisserie chicken and add it to soups or chilis to get high-quality protein without having to spend extra time preparing it. For lunch, pack lettuce leaves with shredded chicken and a splash of lime.

● Start with your preferred frozen pizza crust, then cover it with your preferred canned sauce, vegetables, and a sprinkling of delicious cheese to turn it into a feast!

● Purchase pre-chopped veggies, especially for time-consuming, difficult-to-handle vegetables like squash. Add to salads or roast with a spoonful of olive oil as a side dish.

Cook Once, Eat Twice

Image by Freepik

Batch cooking is a practical approach to stick to your healthy eating objectives. It basically entails cooking more food than you actually need so you can utilize the many cooking utensils and gadgets you have available (read: it’s much more efficient!). Batch cooking, which should not be confused with leftovers, usually refers to one ingredient so you can use it again later. For example:

● Need some quinoa or rice for your Monday night dinner? Make a big quantity so you can simply add it to grain bowls and salads all week.

● How do you cook eggs? Making six and two both require the same amount of time. Snack on as a treat, add to salads as crumbles, or mash with some avocado.

● Do you bake sweet potatoes? Make a couple extra so you have the foundation for a quick, adaptable meal ready to go. Additionally, you may mash or purée the flesh and substitute it for pumpkin in a recipe to make baked dishes.

Sheet Pan and One Pot Meals

If cleaning up afterward is your least favorite aspect of cooking, raise your hand. I totally sympathize! Search for one-dish dinners to significantly reduce the time spent doing the dishes. Make life simpler on yourself. To get you going, consider these:

● Create baking pockets by lining foil with parchment then crimping for perfectly roasted fish that stays juicy, never dry.
● Roasting your favorite protein with seasonal produce is a tasty no-fuss way to incorporate a few servings of vegetables into a meal
● You still don’t know how to operate your Instant Pot, do you? A good time would be right now! With this secure and straightforward pressure cooker, frozen meats may be prepared quickly. For a delicious cacciatore that will have everyone rushing to the table for dinner, combine frozen protein (such chicken thighs) with preferred bottled tomato sauce and a jar of olives in a 12-minute dish. When using plant-based protein, such as dried chickpeas, just soak the dried beans over night and make sure they are completely submerged in liquid (jarred sauce plus some broth) before cooking in the Instant Pot.

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About Ishbel

For the last twenty years, I have helped people take charge of their health and feel better. I have been in your shoes - sick, tired, and overwhelmed by how to actionably care for myself. If you want to feel better, but don't know where to start, you've come to the right place. Learn More >


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