You may be well on your way to being a time-saving kitchen ninja. But there is still a chance that you are reading this a little nonplussed. You might be saying to yourself: ‘Boring! I already meal plan! I have all the kitchen kit. I don’t even have high expectations, but I still resent cooking dinner every night.’
It’s time to take your mind off the task at hand. If you are an extrovert, make cooking social. If you an introvert make it into a practice that gives you alone time. Here is my list of this that you can do to lift the burden of cooking and turn it into something fun:
- Blast really loud music and dance (but not while handling knives or hot stuff)
- Listen to an audio book (Reading and cooking together? Priceless)
- Tune into a podcast
- Invite a friend over. Not to impress them with your skills, but to learn together and share the load
- Ask your kids to help you – Doing something side by side is a way to develop camaraderie and inspire conversation especially in older kids
- Set a challenge for yourself (cook through an entire book in a year, even the recipes you wouldn’t normally want to face)
- Chat with someone – in person, over the phone or on Facetime
- Use it a meditation – decide to be really present in the rituals of cooking dinner
Gain your kitchen confidence
When it comes to the nightly slog you can also gain extra minutes if you have confidence to freestyle in the kitchen. This involves knowing how to substitute one ingredient for another if you find you don’t have something in the fridge. The best way to learn these skills is through your own experimentation. Be fearless in the way you approach this. You might have a few disasters but you’ll learn very quickly when things don’t turn out!
To you start out as a kitchen freestyler, swap like for like. Swap a leafy green vegetable like kale for another leafy green like spinach. Or swap one root vegetable (like carrot) for another one (like parsnip). Sure, you’ll make some mistakes, but you’ll learn as you go.
If all else fails, commit to memory some of these really easy recipes and just get really fast at cooking them. 🙂