There are many ways to help you make it through a week of cooking meals, whether for the family or just for one. Make-Ahead meals are great but sometimes even those need a few hacks to get you through. There are many different ways you can make entire meals ahead of time, or just take care of a couple steps in your recipe the night before. The choice is yours, but make ahead meal planning is your best bet to freeing up time in your day.
These make-ahead meal planning tips will be your best friend in the kitchen.
When making french toast with thick sliced Brioche bread, you can save some time by using the freezer. Use the entire loaf when you originally make it, and then freeze the leftovers. Be sure to wrap each individual slice before setting in the freezer.
A parfait is a great way to have a healthy, portable and delicious breakfast. Make them the night before and place in the refrigerator. Use plastic cups and layer the yogurt first then granola and berries. you or the kids can just grab and go in the morning.
Everyone loves a good pancake or waffle breakfast, but you may not have the time in the morning. Make the batter the night before and place in the refrigerator. Believe it or not, an overnight sit in the fridge could help the batter set better.
Setting The Scene
Do you have a big breakfast planned for the morning? Set the table the night before. That frees your time to do what you need to do in the kitchen. Maybe go a step further and set up your coffee pot as well, we all could use a little boost in the morning.
Cook in Batches
When breading chicken cutlets, bread the whole package. Then wrap and freeze whatever you don’t use. Then, when you want a couple cutlets again, just pull out what you need and cook it. Done.
The Muffin Plan
Muffins can be frozen to make them last longer. Make a whole bunch when you have the time, and then freeze them. Defrost them when you’re ready to enjoy. Similarly, freeze cookie dough and pull out when you want to bake.
At The Grocer
Make sure you plan ahead of time when shopping at the grocery store. Buy for the meals you know you will have time to make and be sure your kitchen is stocked with the basics.
Stock The Basics
Pastas, grains and beans are always good to have on hand. Some other stuff you should always have on hand is fresh veggies, grated cheese, marinara sauce, salad greens and eggs. I like to also make sure I have a bit of each type of meat in case I don’t have time to go to the store on cooking day.
Planning is almost as important as cooking. Make sure you have what you need for the meals you plan to cook that week. Plan on using your slow cooker one day, and having lasagna the next. Something like that will help your week go smoother.
Make-Ahead meals are always a great way to save you time or save you in a pinch. Have unexpected guests? Check the freezer, kids want cookies? Check the freezer, there are so many different situations that these meals could help. The kitchen is one of the best places to take advantage of different hacks and tips to make cooking not only easier but tastier. Though from the above, you could probably tell that the ingredient that’s never on the recipe but is the most important is planning.