Quick & Healthy Dinner tips

Four years and no kids ago, I was really inspired by Rachael Ray’s 30 minute meals.  Gourmet in that short of time?  Sign me up!  Now that I have a preschooler, a toddler, and a baby due in a few months, 30 minutes of active prep is just too much most nights – especially if I have to use more than one pot to clean up!

This year one of my goals is to cut prep time down to 10-20 minutes most evenings, and there a few things that I have found work and don’t work.

First what doesn’t work for me if I’m in a hurry:

  • last-minute decisions about what to eat that night
  • multi-tasking, especially talking on the phone
  • teaching kids about kitchen safety, food prep, etc while I’m trying to get dinner together in a hurry
  • experimenting with new recipes

What does work:

  • frozen, pre-cut veggies (particularly onions and green peppers)
  • familiar recipes with fewer than 5 ingredients
  • a meal plan for the week so I’m not trying to make last-minute substitutions or shopping trips
  • microwaveable leftovers – my all-time favorite trick for cutting prep and clean-up time in half
  • prepping during naptime or a Veggie Tales
  • 0ne child in the kitchen, watching and talking but not touching/helping

How do you handle the pre-dinner crazy time?  I’d love to hear other people’s advice and experiences!

 

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One thought on “Quick & Healthy Dinner tips

  1. great tips! the planning gets me every time….. having one is CRUCIAL. 🙂

    (Fun seeing you last Sunday–congrats on the new baby!) 🙂

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