If you are a working mum and your other half doesn’t do any cooking, you might find yourself getting into the habit of buying convenience foods to cut down on your workload, especially in the hot weather when no one wants to be slaving over a hot stove. However, even though kids love junk food, it is really bad for their health and yours too, so how can you get healthy meals without spending every night cooking?
It is easy to cut your cooking time in half with a little organisation.
- For a start, having salads means you don’t have to cook at all, unless you love to make your own potato salad from scratch. That’s okay; it’s easy to cube the potatoes and shove them in the microwave, then throw some mayonnaise over them. It hardly counts as cooking. Besides, you don’t actually have to have potato salad.
- You can alternate a cooked meal with a salad; that’s one option. There is another one though. Cook twice as much and have the leftovers the next night. These can be either the same meal or made up into another kind of meal. For instance, if you have three cupfuls of cooked, diced vegetables left over, you can beat some eggs, add the veggies and make vegetable fritters to go with some salad. Even though you still have to cook the fritters, it is not as much effort as cooking meat and vegetables for a full meal.
- The third way of reducing your preparation and cooking time is to involve the children/ hubby in peeling and cutting vegetables and make things such as hotpots, stews, main-meal soups and even quiches that can be all cooked on one weekend day and frozen to have during the week. Somehow, the time will go much quicker when everyone is involved and you can often fit two or three dishes in the oven at once. This works out well for winter meals.
- If hubby likes using the barbie, use that for your meats – with him cooking – and add a few corn cobs or potatoes wrapped in foil and a pile of sliced onion. Since he’s standing there holding the barbeque utensil in one hand he may as well flip those as well.
- If you know it’s going to be a hot week temperature wise, get in and cook a chicken and some corned meat beforehand, then you can have salads and cold meat all week. Tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot, corn and lettuce don’t need to be cooked or can be bought in tins. Vary it by adding pineapple rings or other simple raw ingredients. Even raw green beans and grated carrot are tasty.