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The art of making any quick fire meal starts with having the basics in your pantry and fridge. If you stock the right ingredients, you can create many dishes in under 30 minutes.
ANSWER: Life only allows a couple hours a day to design how you will plan to handle the necessary daily activity of eating meals. Our busy lives can make it hard to find time to create homemade meals. But there are ways to incorporate easy recipes for dinner. Here are just a few suggestions we have come to live by at Foxy Cuisine.
1. Stock your fridge and pantry with essentials.
Have the necessary bulk ingredients around all the time. To me this is the number one most important thing you can do. It's worth the investment and saves you money on your food budget in the long run.
This will make creating a meal easier every night. In the Foxy Cuisine household, you will always find a wide variety of spices and herbs. There will also be rice, potatoes, beans and pastas along with cooking oils, vinegars, marinades and chicken stock in the pantry. Dry ingredients like flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, and sugars are needed to make recipes on the fly as well.
In the freezer, you'll find various types of frozen vegetables. The frozen veggies keep for weeks. They are also prepped and only take a matter of minutes to add into a meal. The fridge is typically stocked with eggs, dairy, fresh fruits, onion, garlic, and salad mixes. There is also an assortment of condiments such as mustard, ketchup, olives, mayonnaise, and pickles.
Once these items are around each week becomes just shopping for meats, breads and replacing the bulk ingredients as they run low.
2. Choice a protein or two and cook it in bulk to use for the week.
The reason we mention this is because you can create several different dishes from a batch of chicken breasts, ground beef or a pork roast for example. Not only will you save time; you'll save money because you're buying it in bulk. In addition it will be easier to quickly incorporate the cooked meat with all the other bulk ingredients in your fridge and pantry.
3. Go Fish!
Seafood in general only takes a matter of minutes to make in comparison to most beef, chicken and pork recipes. Not to mention fish is high in protein and low in fat. Fish also provides a range of health benefits. The oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, frequently referred to as "good" fats. While the white fleshed fish are lower in fat than any other source of animal protein.
4. Learn the joys of set it and forget it.
Slow cookers and crock pots are another way to prep a meal in minutes that will take hours to cook. But you can set them in the morning and come home to a warm meal waiting for you at night. These types of meals typically tend to be something you can serve over more than one day and in more than one way.
5. Make semi-homemade meals.
It's also wonderful to start with ready made sauces and meals where you simply heat those items up and add other fresh ingredients to complete and round out the meal. Even we don't have time to make ravioli from starch most days yet, there are several wonderful varieties to choose from these days. I have a tendency to watch and see which of the ready made meals are on sale while I'm at the grocery store. When they are on sale, I buy a few and freeze them for when I know I am going to be unable to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.