Working 12-Hr Days? Here Are 5 Cooking Tips To Help You Eat Right

by Bernadette Machard de Garmont

 

Let’s face it. Everyone is busy these days. Between work, kids, social engagements, and all the little things we need to get done, eating right can easily slip to last place on our priority list. Ordering takeout seems like an easy solution, but often times isn’t the healthiest of choices (we see you, pizza), and who has time to cook an entire meal during the week? It can be tricky, but not impossible. In fact, the Thermomix® can help alleviate some of the pressure of weeknight cooking with its many multitasking capabilities, helping you to save time and energy, while creating nutritious meals for your family.

Read on for our five simple tips on how to get a balanced, delicious dinner on the table without breaking a sweat. And download our Thermomix® Meal Prep Guide for three tasty recipes that are perfect for fitting into a busy schedule! 

Get organized. Preparedness is everything. Draft a dinner menu for the week, and be realistic about your time constraints. Working extra late one evening? Plan a meal you can simply reheat and serve. Consider how many portions you will prepare, and research a few solid recipes to get an idea of what ingredients to buy. And don’t forget to ensure you’ve got storage containers to house prepped ingredients and leftovers. If you’re short on ideas, check out our Thermomix® recipes to help you plan every meal from breakfast to dessert. Having a game plan in place will make it easier to schedule your meals, and even give you a little more free time!

Next, do some tactical shopping. Once you’ve figured out your week’s menu, buy enough produce and proteins, so you won’t have to make any additional trips to the market. Stock up on items like dried pasta, canned tomatoes, frozen peas, eggs, and canned fish, which are versatile pantry staples. A sprinkling of herbs (either dry or fresh) and flavorful condiments can easily add depth, and zest to an otherwise plain dish. Think soy sauce, vinegars, hot sauce and Dijon mustard, all of which can be kept on hand to whip up a quick marinade or transform leftovers into something completely different.  Don’t forget a big tub of salad greens and an array of vegetables, as a simple side salad is a great way to get more vegetables into your diet, while filling your plate. Prefer your vegetables cooked? Steam your fresh produce for optimal flavor and nutrition in the Varoma dish of the Thermomix®, while your salmon or chicken cooks above the veggies in the Varoma tray.  

Keep it simple. Skip elaborate preparations, lengthy ingredient lists, or anything that requires a lot of attention. Sheet pan meals and one-pot dishes are excellent time savers (and require a minimal amount of clean up). Consider using the puree option on the Thermomix® to make a filling soup, which is easy to make, and can serve as a main dish with a side of vegetables, rice, or chunk of toasted bread. The last thing you want to do on a weeknight is spend time learning how to make a port wine reduction or tackling a pile of pots and pans!

Master the art of batch prepping.  Cooking up larger amounts of ingredients that can be used all week is a huge time saver. Rice, quinoa, farro, beans, and lentils are just a few items to cook in bulk, and can go alongside your favorite protein or as an addition to salads and stews. Roast a tray of seasoned vegetables, chicken, or salmon for use later, or prepare meatballs or  hamburgers that can be eaten on the bun or atop a salad. Carrots, celery, radishes, bell peppers, and the like can be sliced and chopped in advance, and stored uncooked in the fridge for a few days for use in cooking or to dress up a bed of greens.

Double up on your favorite dishes. A surefire way to always have food ready to go is to make enough for leftovers. Dishes that keep really well in both the refrigerator and freezer include lasagna and creamy tomato soup. Recipes like turkey chili can double up as a pasta sauce. You can repurpose pulled pork into sliders, tacos, or as a pizza topping. To keep it interesting, switch up your sides and carb components: Israeli couscous instead of rice, spiralized zucchini noodles instead of spaghetti, steamed broccoli instead of carrots.

Sounds doable, right? With just a little prep and planning, weeknight dinners can come together in less time than you can get takeout delivered to your doorstep. 

Check back on Wednesday for tips, tricks and recipes to master the art of one bowl cooking!

Want to see first-hand how Thermomix® can save you time, and help you prepare delicious meals? Book a Thermomix® Cooking Experience today!