Time Saving Tips? Fancy Sharing?

19 08 2008

I’m often asked how I find time to cook.

My little sis is famous for saying that she refused to indulge in meals that took longer to cook than to eat.

And I can see her point.

Sweetcorn & Spinach Tortilla

Sweetcorn & Spinach Tortilla

With two little ones and a business to run, I rarely have time for 3 course meals and a la carte menus. But somehow (most of the time) I do manage to make sure we’re eating fresh food that tastes good and is fairly healthy, too.

It got me wondering. What am I doing different?

Well, firstly, believe me, I’m not perfect! There are nights when our evening meal is porridge! But it’s usually got added ground seeds, raisins and grated apple, which is a cheat’s way of turning it into a balanced meal.

But for the times when I do cook “proper food”, what are the time saving tricks I’m using?

I’m going to share a couple of them here, but I’d also love to hear your thoughts – so please get ready to post in the comments box!

I guess the main thing I do is plan ahead.

If I know the day is going to be full-on, then I get dinner ready straight after breakfast, so it’s done.

The other thing I do is really make the most of my freezer. If I go to the effort of making lasagne, I freeze 4 or 5 portions.

Other freezer essentials include what made up my dinner tonight – frozen spinach (just wash it, wilt it, chop it, freeze in ice cube trays and it’ll keep for 3 months in freezer bags) and frozen sweetcorn or peas. They lose their flavour and nutrients so soon after picking that having them in the freezer is kind of allowed…

So tonight I munched my way through an organic tortilla (avoids the risk of hydrogenated fat that so many brands contain), plus some sweetcorn cooked with some frozen spinach, then stir in a dollop of mayo and a little grated cheese. Add a bit of black pepper. Spoon onto the tortilla and roll up like a pancake. 8 minutes from start to finish and it was scrummy.

Time saving tips are a topic we’ll be returning to regularly – so how about sharing? I’d love to hear from you.