Getting take-outs just to avoid cooking and cleaning the mess afterward seems like a legit reason but imagine how fast you can cook with little mess. This sounds like wishful thinking but indeed, it can change our perception of how we view cooking. Preparing a meal is not everyone’s favorite thing but you can make it faster and less tiring. The few tips will come in handy and within no time, you will start enjoying homemade food, which is a lot healthier and more beneficial to your body.
1. Get a Recipe Book
If you do not have any idea on what to cook or where to start, simply buy a recipe book and go through it. This will help you come up with a shopping list of whatever it is that you want to prepare. You can also shop for other ingredients for another day’s meal. It is important that you shop for everything to save you from having to go back to the store in the middle of cooking. Coming up with a menu is a good idea to help you plan for what to cook next.
2. Cook as You Clean
You do not have to pile every utensil in the sink after using it. As the food is being baked or simmering in the cooker, you can be clearing the kitchen table as you wash the bowls and knives used while you were preparing the food. This will give you less workload after eating.
3. Meal Prep
Having to cook every day after work can be a bit tedious especially if you live alone. Here’s an idea. You could prepare four different types of meals on a Saturday and store them in food containers in the fridge. Prepare something like a cake and some ice cream and alternate those as well to act as the desert. This really cuts down the number of times you will have to cook in a week as well as having to clean a tone of utensils afterward.
4. Prepare All the Ingredients First
For ease of work, get all the cooking ingredients that you need and prepare them. This means from chopping to grinding to the grating. The only work you will be left with is tossing each ingredient in the pot and clearing up any mess caused. If you have a family, you could assign your older kids to prepare the salads and the younger ones can be putting garbage in the trashcan.
5. Cook One-Pot Meal
Having to prepare just one pot of meal is a very good idea especially if you don’t have much time to cook. Food like vegetable rice is very convenient compared to spaghetti and meatballs, which you have to prepare the source as well. There is a variety of one-pot meals in our recipe books that you can try out.
6. Prepare Meat Stuff for Later Use
Sunny weekends are perfect for a barbeque or roasted meat. However, you don’t have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning just to make a marinade for afternoon grilling. The best way is to make the marinade two days before. In this scenario, do not put too much spice on the marinade because it will stay for a longer period before being used thereby having the ingredients soaked in the meat perfectly. The marinade can also be made at the beginning of the week for a Wednesday meal.
7. Chop a Big Chunk of Ingredients for Later
Things like onions and coriander are mostly used in preparing almost every meal. As you chop up the ingredients for one meal, make it a habit to chop more and put them airtight in containers to be stored in the fridge for later use. This will mean less hustle and mess while prepping a meal for another day.
8. Clean Up Your Mess Fast
As you are frying, some grease may spill on the wall. Once you notice this, clean it up immediately you are done frying to prevent a greasy pile up on the tiles. Some stains can be hard to get rid of if they stay for too long. Such are like beetroot and mango juice. These can permanently stain your tablecloth if not attended to immediately. If you spot one of these juice stains, soak your cloth in warm water and soap then scrub it gently after cooking.
9. Economize Your Utensils
You don't have to use a dozen knives for one cooking. Rinse off the one knife you have used and re-use it again. This also applies to the chopping board which you can scrub gently and use it to chop other foodstuffs. It is advisable that you start chopping dry vegetables first then finish up with the meat.
10. Start and End with a Clean Kitchen
There’s nothing as accomplishing as finding your kitchen spotless before cooking. Your work is simply getting in there, doing your business with a lot of ease, as everything is clean, and where it’s supposed to be. A dirty messy one will keep you wondering whether it's really necessary to cook. This might also result in having gnats, flies and even rodents around. Always clean your kitchen after cooking and take out the trash as well to maintain hygiene. This includes the fridge as you don't have to wait until the weekend or hiring a maid service to have it cleaned.
The Bottom Line
Make sure you have some fun while cooking. Have some music, or whistle to feel that soothing effect when cooking. Get some help if you can and lastly be sure to try out more recipes for your taste buds. The kitchen is a heavenly place for you, your family and friends to enjoy your meal together. If at all you have more time on your hands, feel free to go out of your way and try out one of those three-course meals for your family. Remember, a clean kitchen equals a healthy family.