Not sure what’s for dinner tonight? You’re not alone. After weeks on lockdown and exhausting your favorite go-to meals you’re probably working extra hard to be creative in the kitchen. Even if you’re stuck at home your meals don’t have to be boring, with a little meal planning your family can enjoy healthy, flavorful meals during the coronavirus quarantine.
More cooking can also mean more time spent preparing meals so innovation and technology can make meal prep easier, and kitchen hacks like turning to ready-to-heat meals that take just minutes can enhance your productivity. Consider these simple ways to rethink your dinner routine in an effort to create more moments with loved ones:
- Look for recipes with as few ingredients as possible. Dishes that include longer ingredient lists typically require more legwork in the kitchen, which usually involves additional prep steps and sometimes longer cook times. Plus, you’re more likely to already have the necessities on-hand for recipes that call for 5-10 ingredients rather than lengthy lists.
- Buy pre-cut vegetables to trim time spent on prep work. One of the processes that can surprisingly consume more time than you realize is cutting, chopping and dicing veggies prior to even really diving into a recipe’s instructions. If you’d still prefer prepping your own fresh produce, try completing your work the night before when it doesn’t interfere with quality time spent with family.
- Meal kits certainly save time in the store, but be careful to avoid options that still include a lot of prep and cleanup. Focus on frozen kits that contain pre-chopped and measured ingredients that are ready to go.
- Stock your pantry with the basics to make cooking quicker and easier. From condiments and canned goods to seasonings and spices, keeping the essentials on-hand means less time scrambling for a quick run to the store and more moments spent at home.
- For one of the ultimate comfort foods that’s simple to make, try this
cheesy baked potato casserole.
Stock Up on Pantry Essentials
Running to the store every other day isn’t an option when you’re on lock down, so try to keep your pantry stocked with non-perishables that are often necessary in a variety of meals.
- Seasonings and spices (salt, pepper, dried herbs, cumin, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, etc.)
- Canned goods (tomatoes, beans, corn, broth, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, etc.)
- Grains (flour, pastas, breadcrumbs, rolled oats, instant rice, etc.)
- Condiments and oils (olive oil, canola oil, ketchup, mustard, vinegars, barbecue sauce, butter, cooking wines, etc.)