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Keep These 10 Items on Hand
(You’ll see how to use these to make instant meals later)
Netflix and Cook
Set aside 2 hours on the weekend to cook 2 or 3 family recipes. Start a movie on Netflix or listen to your favorite podcast while you cook. (You can even throw a load of laundry in and have that going in the background!!)
Rely on commercial items for “semi-homemade”
Precooked rice (sold in the freezer section) and jarred sauces like enchilada sauce or pasta sauce are excellent shortcuts. In an ideal world, you’d grow your own chickpeas and turn them into hummus but in this world? Give yourself a break and buy the hummus.
Buy pre-prepped or frozen vegetables
Utilize frozen vegetables! They’re already prepped and cook much quicker. Pre-trimmed green beans, pre-cubed butternut squash, sliced bell peppers… all great shortcut options
Plus these items will make cooking less daunting and cut down on prep and cleanup.
Order groceries for delivery
Use Instacart, Peapod, or another delivery service to shop and deliver your groceries. You still have to cook, but now you have 45 minutes to do it instead of using that time to shop.
Use a meal plan
Download your free 7-day meal plan right here. Don’t waste time hunting around for recipes and writing a shopping list. Print and go.
Eat “Minimalist” Meals
For example, heat a bag of stir-fry frozen veggies, toss with teriyaki sauce (or mix equal parts soy sauce and sugar) and serve over rice (microwave from the freezer) or with noodles if you have 10 minutes to cook them.
Microwave a spaghetti squash (10 minutes) and toss it with pasta sauce from a jar, salsa, BBQ sauce, or some other sauce you have on hand. Add beans or vegetables if you have them.
Cook pasta and mix it with peanut butter or hummus. Use a little of the cooking water to help the hummus or peanut butter spread around. Toss in any vegetables you have available.
Open a can of beans and serve it with rice (microwave from the freezer) or greens like spinach (also frozen from the microwave) and serve with salsa, lemon juice, or lemon juice with soy sauce, or lime juice and hot sauce. Hell, I’ve even used mustard.
A potato is also a great meal and you can put anything on it—salsa, hummus, BBQ, mustard, pasta sauce, sauerkraut, go crazy!
There are always burritos or burrito bowls: open a can of refried beans, jar of salsa, corn (from the freezer or a can), and wraps (store in the freezer). You can also add vegetables like broccoli or whatever else you have.