If you are anything like me, sometimes weeknights can slip by so quickly that you look at the clock and realize it’s 9pm before you even start dinner. Unfortunately, this usually means I will eat a bowl of cereal or call in a pizza which will leave me feeling gross and still hungry. Yes, even though I am a chef I still order pizza and eat cereal! Creating nutritious, delicious and fast weeknight dinners can be done, it just takes a little preparation and working smarter not harder! Below are 5 tips to ensure you create healthy and fast weeknight meals!
Seriously, it doesn’t have to be creating a gourmet menu for the week! Just grab a pencil and paper and jot down “tacos on Monday, cabbage soup on Tuesday” . Knowing what your week of food looks like will help you shop appropriately and save you precious mental energy. To help you out with your first week, I have compiled some of my favorite fast and healthy weeknight dinner recipes, sign up below.
2.) Chop Chop!
Now that you have your plan in place, in the morning before you dash out the door, take 10 minutes to chop up your veggies for that nights dinner. When you get home at night, you will be able to throw together your dinner in a snap! Also this helps keep you honest, if you know you have half of your dinner already prepared, you are less likely to stop in the drive through.
3.) Slow It Down
My slow cooker is my best friend. You can use it for so many things! I love to throw all of my soup, roast or stew ingredients in the slow cooker bowl the night before and store it in my fridge. The next day I simply remove the bowl from the fridge and hit start. Then when you get home it feels like someone else cooked dinner! That’s a win in my book!
This is my favorite tip as it has really helped my efficiency in the kitchen. Spend thirty minutes to an hour on a Sunday chopping up some delicious fresh veggies. Make a couple of blends. For example, red peppers, onions and peas for a stir-fry or carrots, celery and onion for a soup starter. Put your blend in a ziplock bag and store in your freezer. Then the night before you make your meal, simply place the bag in the fridge and it’s ready to go for dinner the following night! If I have a little extra time on the weekend I will also make a batch of my turkey meatballs and freeze them for quick weeknight dinners!
5.) Double Up
This tip has really revolutionized my weekly meal plan and saved my grocery budget. Instead of making dinners that only last for one night, double your recipe and then save the leftovers to eat on another night! That way instead of having to think of a new dinner idea for every night you only need to think of a new dinner idea every other night! So easy?
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I hope this helps you make healthy dinner choices and eases some of the stress of weeknight dinners. Check out my blog freshandbalanced.com for healthy recipes and connect with me on Instagram @katmarris for more healthy cooking tips!