Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dinner in a Hurry

I often get requests for quick and easy dinners. And today seems like a great time to post about that. No real reason, I'm just in the mood and inspired to do so.

Probably because I have two exams and three group projects to deal with this week that I should be  preparing for. I often feel the most inspired about cooking or blogging when I have pressing homework that needs my attention.

Okay, so - tips to shortcut dinner without sacrificing quality or flavor. Sorry, no ramen noodle posts today. I know, you're so disappointed.

Double It
On weekends, when I make dinner (or if I'm making a super tasty lunch), I will often double the recipe and then after we've eaten, I break out the freezer bags or foil pans and place the extra food in there. Once sealed and labeled, it spends some quality time in the freezer. Then, all I have to do to make dinner at some point later that week or a month down the road, is thaw the food and heat it up. I do this with just about
anything from manicotti to brisket:

Low and Slow
This is one of my favorite options. If you don't own a slow cooker/crock pot - get one. When I know I have to be out all day, I'll get my slow cooker set up before I leave and then when I return home, not only does the house smell amazing but dinner is done too. Win-win. If you're mornings are complete madness (they are here too!) then try putting everything together in your crockpot the night before and placing it in the fridge until you're ready to get it going in the morning.

Also, Better Homes and Gardens has a fantastic slow cooker recipe section on their website. Go check it out.   

Go Meatless
I love making meatless meals because because it rarely takes more than twenty minutes to get one on the table.

Grilled Pizza - shortcut with fresh pizza dough from your grocery's deli.

Cheaters Never Sometimes Prosper
Don't tell my mom that I said that. Okay?
When reading a recipe, consider how it would work in a slow cooker. 99% of soups and chilis work just as well in a slow cooker. Experiment a bit. Chances are that dish you love to make that takes two hours in the oven will be just fine in the slow cooker (it just might look a bit different). If not, you can come back here with a pitchfork...  Or just be nice and leave a comment or e-mail asking for some pointers on how to make it work.

Also consider how you could utilize prepared  items from your grocery store. If you're going to make this:

Buy a roasted chicken breast and pizza dough from your grocery store a day or two in advance. And cheat further by using minced roasted garlic that so you don't have to roast any up.   

Or consider picking up your entree from the deli and then come home and whip up some garlic bread and a nice salad to go with it. It won't seem like take out and will be done in 10 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. i think i'm going to have to try that artichoke pizza. i'm drooling just looking at the photo.


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