Work, school, carpools, soccer practice, dance class, laundry, homework, and now dinner.
“What should I make? Do I have all the ingredients? Do I have time to cook before the kids go to bed? Ugh, can we just order out?”
If your life is jam-packed, you feel the daily struggle of making dinner. Who has the time to go to the grocery store every single day after work and then spend hours cooking? Plot twist: weeknight meals CAN be fast, easy, and healthy. Here are 10 tips that will help you get off the dinner struggle bus.
Top 10 Tips
- Cook grains in large batches.
It’s just as easy to make four cups of rice as it is one, and you’ll be thankful Tuesday night when you see dinner is halfway done just by pulling Tupperware out of the fridge. And while white rice is quick and easy, remember that brown rice is even better for you and other grains like farro, quinoa, or barley are just as easy to make. Check out these tasty ways to add grains to your meals!
- Buy a couple bunches of herbs
(cilantro, mint, parsley, basil) and prep them (rinse, stem, and bag) all at once. During the week they’ll be ready and waiting for you to quickly chop for those premade grains, salads, or leftovers in a flash. Not only do herbs add tons of flavor, but they also offer specific health benefits too.
- Make a big batch of sauce
you love at the beginning of the week. Keep it in the fridge and put it on everything. While marinara is a no-brainer, pesto or homemade vinaigrette have tons of uses for pasta or simple proteins all week long. Looking for recipes? We got you.
- Keep your kitchen clean
and your chances of actually making dinner when get home at night will be exponentially higher. Having to clean before you cook can be seriously draining, and these little things that make a huge difference. Check out these DIY cleaning solutions!
- Make an easy, but substantive meal
that stays tasty in the fridge for a few days. A big pot of soup works great, but even chicken or tuna salad can be spooned over greens or placed between bread for a fast meal. If you love meal prep, you’ll definitely want to try these recipes.
- Keep sliced bread in the freezer
in a large, resealable freezer bag. On those nights where you’re drained, come home, pry off a couple of slices and stick them in the toaster. Alongside scrambled eggs, that’s dinner. Click here for a few easy steps to freeze and thaw bread.
- Stock your pantry.
Your pantry is sitting there just waiting to be filled with easy dinner goodness. Canned beans, tuna, jarred peppers, broth, pasta. There are lots of canned or jarred options that can be turned into easy and fast meals. Here’s a quick guide on how to choose healthy canned food.
- Your freezer is your best friend.
Keep building blocks such as frozen veggies, tomato sauce, frozen fruit, and ground meat in there. You’ll always have healthy ingredients to toss into pastas, stir fries, etc. And we won’t mention the frozen pizzas and ice cream we know you’ve got in there too. Just be sure to thaw that frozen food safely!
- Roast up some root veggies
(carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips) on a couple of baking sheets. You can add them to salads or grain bowls, use them as a side dish with a protein, or blend them into soup. Ready to try some root veggies that aren’t so common? Take a look at this!
- Have fun!
Remember, it’s just dinner, it’s not rocket science. Don’t stress about trying to make an Insta-worthy meal or gourmet experience like you see online or on tv. Most people are not coming home at the end of the day and preparing multi-course masterpieces, so give yourself a break and a pat on the back for rolling up your sleeves and making dinner at home. Believe it or not, making a simple, healthy dinner in just 10 minutes is totally possible!
We hope these tips are a game changer for your weeknight dinners. Spending less time making dinner means you can kick up your feet and relax a bit before the craziness begins again the next day.
Got any tips of your own? Share em’ below! We’re all in this together.