In the past year, millions of Canadians have spent more time in their kitchens than they have in years. When it feels like the stove is always dirty and every time you turn around it’s time to make another meal, you’re probably wondering how to make cooking and meal prep easier.
Here are our top 5 tips to help you save time in the kitchen and make meal prep a breeze:
- Plan ahead
Meal planning is a guaranteed way to save time and keep you from staring in the fridge wondering what to make for dinner. Get started by creating a list of recipes to make for the week. Set aside time to go grocery shopping or order your ingredient delivery, and plan who in your house will do the prep for each meal. Having a game plan going into the week allows everyone in your house to know how to contribute to meals. It will also reduce your grocery trips to one or two per week.
- Write a grocery list
It’s much easier when you’ve already completed step 1 and have a plan. Write down all the things you need to buy before going to the store. That way, you can make best use of your time when you’re there and you won’t have to wander the aisles worrying that you forgot something. A real time saver is ordering delivery from truLOCAL because you choose your ingredients online and they’re delivered to your doorstep. (Save on your truLOCAL orders by signing up for a free Movecamp.ca membership). The biggest advantage here is that all ingredients from truLOCAL are sourced from farmers markets, making them a healthier and more sustainable choice.
- Have the right kitchen equipment
Something as simple as having a quality knife set can save you hours of cooking time. Other handy kitchen tools are food processors (they come in mini!), peelers for carrots or potatoes, a garlic press, or different sized pots and mixing bowls. These humble tools are worth all the time you save when cooking, and more.
- Use technology to its fullest
There are so many high-tech kitchen gadgets on the market today that can save you hours of cooking time. Have you heard of the Instant Pot? Now there’s a wifi-enabled model that you can turn on from your phone. Other options like rice cookers, bread makers, and slow cookers can save you time when making meals from scratch. If you find yourself in the kitchen a lot, keep on the lookout for these kinds of appliances. They’re sure to save you time.
- Understand what you’re cooking
Reading the recipe is just the beginning. You need to think through the entire process so you know the ins and outs of what you’re making. Take note of things like special tools you need, cooking time, and cooking temperature. In most cases, the ideal temperature of your meat isn’t explicitly stated on the recipe. You’ll need to know that you have to defrost the meat first before cooking. You can’t put frozen meat on a hot pan right away because it won’t cook properly or evenly which could lead to foodborne illness. Ideally, let your frozen meat thaw in the fridge or in cold tap water. Being aware of details like these in your cooking process will not only help you save time, but avoid waste.