Now that the kids are back at school, the house seems both busier and quieter. They might be gone for most of the day, but school means that the whole family is busy. Finding the time to eat well can be difficult, especially when you don't have much time during the week. You might have to juggle getting home from work, taking the kids to and from after-school activities, and getting ready for the next day. It can be hard to squeeze in cooking or even getting everyone around the dinner table. When you're exhausted on a weeknight, make sure you're using these techniques to make things easier.
One Meal for Everyone
Cooking more than one thing is always going to be a bit more stressful. A lot of parents do separate meals for the kids and adults, and they eat at different times too. But doing one meal for everyone and eating together will save time and make sure you spend part of the day as a family. Of course, there's often one child (or adult) who doesn't want what everyone else is having. What should you do then? You might choose to alter the recipe slightly for one portion. You could also have an easy alternative, even if it's not always the healthiest option. With adults and older kids, they could make their own meal.
Choose Quick Recipes
No one wants to spend two hours cooking on a Wednesday night. If you want to make something fast and fresh, there are many quick recipes you can use. For example, you can find a recipe for Chicken Marbella that only takes 20 minutes. One of the things that can end up taking a lot of time is preparation. If chopping things seems to take you ages, try getting some kitchen gadgets or perhaps buying things pre-prepared. Once you have the prepared ingredients in front of you, many recipes will take under half an hour.
Plan Ahead and Cook in Advance
You don't have to do all your cooking on the night. In fact, you could have all your meals for the week prepared and in the freezer. For example, if you make some homemade pasta sauce and freeze it, all you need to do during the week is boil some pasta. It's so satisfying only to have to defrost something and heat it up. Just remember to take it out of the freezer the night before. The weekend, or whenever you have a day off, is the best time to prepare your food. You can cook two or even three dishes at once. Try using a slow cooker for one meal, the oven for another, and the stove-top for another. Just be careful juggling three things at once! Even if you don't cook in advance, at least plan out your meals.
You don't have to spend your only free time in the evenings cooking. Make weeknights easier by being prepared.