How many times have you come home from work in the evening and really wished that you didn't have to spend over an hour in the kitchen cooking that evening meal? Wouldn't it be nice if it was all prepared and on the table in about 15 minutes leaving you more time to relax and do the other things you want to do?
I would imagine that quite a few people feel the same way including myself so here's a few ideas that can help to get that evening meal on the table fast!
Slow cooker meals - The idea of getting dinner on the table quicker using a slow cooker may sound odd, but when you consider that often the hold up is a joint of meat, a casserole or some other main part of the dish it can be a real time saver if this cooks whilst you are at work. This means that all you may have to do is prepare a few additional vegetables for the side or perhaps some rice or pasta.
Use a pressure cooker - This really does save time. Instead of waiting for up to twenty minutes for your potatoes to cook they're done in a few minutes. A bolognese sauce can be ready well before the pasta and you can also cook some meat joints and stews too. You may also be able to cook a few of the vegetables if your pressure cooker comes with a trivet.
Cooking in bulk - Perhaps one of the best time saving ideas is to cook two or three times the amount you would normally do and freeze a few portions. Save a few Chinese takeaway containers, they're perfect for freezing a portion of chilli, bolognese, curry, shepherd's pie or mac and cheese. You can even make a bit more mashed potato and freeze it for a quick meal!
Healthy microwave meals - If you've cooked in bulk you may well find yourself using the microwave to heat up portions of food. However, there are quite a few time saving meals that can be made with the help of a microwave and the good old jacket spud is one example. You can also save time by using the microwave to quickly cook parts of a meal, for example you can make a really quick cheese sauce this way if you are making a mac and cheese!
The one pot meal - There's lots of ways to do a one pot meal, for example in the oven, a pressure cooker, slow cooker or even just on the hob. By cooking your meat, vegetables and potatoes etc. together you can save time juggling pans on the cooker. A quick Google search of hotpot recipes will bring forth plenty of ideas, but to start with why not try our corned beef hotpot recipe.
Eat out and takeaway - A treat now and then helps keep the levels of happiness up and as long as it's not too often it can be a good quick dinner. Keep an eye open for deals at the local takaway such as buy one get one free and some of the chain pubs such as JD Wetherspoon often have good deals on and can make eating out relatively inexpensive as long as you don't do it too often.