I don’t know about you but when it comes to getting dinner on the table that can be the most busy time of day. So today’s kitchen tip is to help yourself out by doing some dinner prep before dinner is needing to be cooked.
This can work equally as well for those of you who work outside the home as well as those who are at home workers. If you work outside the home the night before may be the easiest time to do your dinner prep for the next day. For those of you who work at home you may have a more quiet time of the day to get a few things done and dinner prep could be one of them.
Here is an example of how I do my dinner prep
If I am making a meal like stir fry for dinner I will find a time when the kids are occupied with something else and get my vegetables ready. I try to group the vegetable that go into the pan together in a container each. I will chop the onions, slice the celery and carrots and put them into one container. Then the green beans and broccoli will be cleaned and put together in another container. Finally any other vegetables like cabbage or sugar snap peas will go together as they cook really quickly. Then I just put these containers into the refrigerator. Then when I am ready to cook there is no need for washing cutting or slicing the vegetables. I can just dump the containers in the pan and dinner can be ready in less than a half hour.
For my stir fry vegetables it usually only takes me 15 minutes to wash and cut all the vegetables so even if you only have a few minutes you can get half of your dinner prep done.
Other dinners items you can prep ahead of time
Baked potatoes: Wash and prick the potatoes. Then place them in the oven so all you have to do is turn the oven on to get them baking.
Salad: Wash a whole head of lettuce at a time and store in a Ziploc type bag in the refrigerator. Then making a salad only consists of tearing the lettuce into a bowl and adding a few other vegetables. You can even prep the other salad vegetables and have them in a separate bag to make this even easier.
Mashed potatoes: Cube your potatoes ahead of time and place in the pan you will be cooking them in. Then cover with water. I just sit mine on the burner so when I need to start them all I have to do is turn the burner on.
Rice: I measure out the rice in a measuring cup and leave on the counter. I also measure out the right amount of water in my saucepan and place on the burner. Then when I am ready to cook the rice all I have to do is dump the rice in the pan and turn the burner on. If you are using brown rice you can let the rice sit in the water until you are ready to start it cooking. Pre-soaking can shorten the cooking time too.
These are just a few ways I save time by doing some dinner prep at a slow time of my day.
What do you think? Do you do your own dinner prep ahead of time to make cooking dinner go more smoothly?
If you have a dinner prep tip to add please leave it in the comments.