The busy holiday season is upon us, and, along with shopping, decorating, baking cookies, and entertaining, we still need to fix something for dinner most nights. Of course, we can always stop on our way home for fast food. But fast food is expensive, not to mention bursting with preservatives, fat, and calories. So how do we safeguard our budget and find the time to prepare nutritious and quick meals? Here are a few suggestions:
Modules: Modules are huge timesavers. They are based on the premise that a large batch of a food such as shredded pork, chicken cutlets, meatballs, etc. can be prepared in close to the same amount of time it takes to make a small amount for a single meal. The large batch can then be divided up in recipe size portions, frozen, and used as the base in dozens of meals that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. Many of the modules on this site are quick to prepare or are cooked in the slow cooker with a minimum of hands-on time.
Casseroles (or if youre from the Midwest, Hot Dishes): Casseroles are not only comfort food, they are usually quick and easy to prepare. Since most casseroles are a complete dinner in one dish, accompaniments such as salad and bread are optional depending on time constraints. Many of the casseroles on the Quick Cooking Site can even be made the night before or several days ahead.
Basic Cream Soup Mix: This soup mix can be made in a matter of minutes, then stored on the pantry shelf to be used in dozens of soups, sauces, casseroles, and even company dishes. It serves as a shortcut to dozens of great meals in 30 minutes or less.
Slow Cooker Recipes: Everyone should own at least one slow cooker. The Quick Cooking site at BellaOnline features dozens of quick dishes that can be prepared in the slow cooker with a minimum of prep.
- Stock up on canned goods and other ingredients needed for favorite dishes to minimize the time spent in the grocery store.
- Utilize timesaving appliances such as pressure cookers, slow cookers, automatic bread machines, food processors and blenders.
- High-quality convenience products such as bottled marinara sauce, packaged salad, prepped vegetables, canned frosting, etc. save precious time when preparing meals.