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1. Get Organized
Sometimes to speed up we have to slow down. If your kitchen feels chaotic, I encourage you to order out tonight and use the time you would have spent cooking on getting organized! Clean out your pantry, refrigerator and cupboards. Wash all of your dishes and take out the trash. Feelings of chaos and stress will not help you reach your goals of spending less time in the kitchen and eating healthier but getting a handle on things absolutely will.
Make a plan (& a backup plan)
Now you’re organized and fully aware of all the ingredients you have on hand! Excellent work. Decide what you’re going to eat for the next week and make a grocery list. Be sure to include a couple of SUPER easy meal options as a backup plan. Occasionally life will get in the way, so prepare by purchasing one or two high quality frozen meals to have on hand. We’re looking for progress here, not perfection!
Make time for prep
When you have a day off, plan for 1-2 hours of prep. My favorite ingredient to prep is shredded chicken. Poach it on the stove top or throw it in a slow cooker. Shred all of your cooked chicken and freeze or refrigerate it. Now when you’re cooking during the week you can use your shredded chicken in countless recipes! Another easy way to prep: peel and dice any fruits or veggies that you plan to use during the week and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Any small task you can complete ahead of time will make your weeknight cooking so much easier!
Replace old tools & keep your knives sharp
Have you ever found yourself using old or dull kitchen tools for way too long? A knife sharpener, high quality vegetable peeler or new manual can opener can really speed up your prep time. Even better, these items can typically be purchased for $10.00-$15.00 (or less)! Why allow the additional time consumption and stress caused by dull tools? Time to sharpen up!
Get strategic about dishes
Don’t waste your time washing dishes by hand. Clean up is a snap when you can throw everything in the dishwasher, and walk away! It can be tempting to buy cute kitchen tools and dishes that aren’t dishwasher safe, I’ve made this mistake too many times. Focus on buying only dishwasher safe items and high quality dishwasher detergent so you don’t have to rinse and scrape your dishes as much before loading them. Also, consider purchasing a kitchen scale so you can measure ingredients by weight rather than volume. No more dirty measuring cups and spoons!
You can do this!
In no time at all you’ll be cooking healthy food for yourself and your family without spending crazy amounts of time in the kitchen. I believe in you, friend!