Even though many of us love eating, not all of us necessarily love cooking. Meal time can often be a headache, particularly if you have multiple people to prepare for. For some people, there’s nothing they look forward to more than one day living in an assisted living facility and having all of their meals cooked for them.
The good news is, until that day comes, you can transform stressful cooking into an enjoyable experience. All it takes are a few strategic approaches. Here are some of the best-kept secrets for stress-free cooking.
One of the most stressful aspects of cooking is having to think about recipes on the fly. If you’ve had a long day at work, or the kids are screaming in the background, it’s hard to look at a kitchen full of ingredients and come up with a concrete idea. Meal planning at the beginning of each week can simplify the meal prep process and speed up meal time.
Instead of scrambling for ingredients, you know you have a plan and therefore all of the ingredients you need to throw together a meal. It also simplifies your shopping experience. When you have a list of exactly the meals you need to create, you can shop for your ingredients ahead of time and avoid last-minute improvisations.
Keep it Simple
When you’re planning out your meals you may feel motivated to create complex dishes that require a considerable amount of ingredients. And while this may sound good at the moment, it’s important that you anticipate how you’ll feel when it’s time to cook. Are you really going to make roast duck with mandarin sauce at 7:00 PM on a Tuesday night?
Do yourself a favor and keep your recipes simple. Forget intricate techniques or overwhelming instructions. Think one-pot meals, salads, and stir fries. Choose meals that are easy to throw together in less than 30 minutes, and will still come out just as delicious.
Batch cooking has been around for a long time, yet it’s gotten more popular on a wider scale in recent years. Choosing one day a week cooking larger quantities of your favorite dishes and then refrigerating or freezing them into smaller portions can be a lifesaver during your work week. Not only will it save you time, but it can also help you lose weight. When you have hearty cooked meals ready to go, you’re less likely to graze on unhealthy snacks or choose a convenient meal rather than a healthy one. It’s as simple as reheating and you have a meal ready to go.
Organize Your Kitchen Strategically
The key to making cooking enjoyable is creating an enjoyable cooking environment. Organize your kitchen so that everything is in its right place and easy to find. Clean off your countertops, buy yourself a few kitchen gadgets that make cooking easier, and create a Zen cooking space that streamlines meal preparation.