Good food is cooked in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that’s where you should spend all your time

Eating healthy meals 7 days a week is a tricky thing to do. In our increasingly busy lives, the art of slow and careful cooking is often replaced by microwave meals and quick whip-up dinners. Life has come between us and savouring the process. And when we finally decide to prepare a meal worth its salt, we get stressed out that we’re spending too much time in the kitchen.

Luckily there’s a solution to this common dilemma. Cooking healthy meals doesn’t need to take ages to prepare. The experience could be a lot less stressful by simply following a few basic tips and tricks. Let’s explore a few below.

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Always have the essentials at hand

No matter what the meal, there are a select few ingredients that every dish will need. Things like salt, pepper, spices, olive or coconut oil and your favourite canned items are things you should always have around. Have a look at what items you use regularly, and stock up on them. There’s nothing worse than running out of your favourite ingredient in the middle of your preparation. Having these items close at hand will shave valuable minutes and stress off your cooking time.

Plan accordingly

Always have a plan for what you’re going to cook way before you even start the oven. It’s a good idea to sit down with a pen and paper at least once a week and plan out your meals. The process not only help you prepare for grocery shopping, but relieve anxiety by knowing you have a plan of action. The next step is to prepare what you can in advance when you have some free time. Waiting for the dishwasher to finish? Start chopping your vegetables for tomorrow’s stew. Have a look at your weekly meal plan and start thinking ahead. Maybe there’s an item you should start defrosting. There might be an ingredient you haven thought of. Meals come together much more quickly, when you apply a little foresight to your cooking process.

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Stock up on frozen goods

Keeping a healthy supply of frozen goods is a safety net in times of bad planning. Frozen vegetables like broccoli, carrots and peas can easily be defrosted and used to complement your meals. Buying meats in bulk and freezing them will also help ease your mind when plans change and you need to cook more than you planned.

Learn to cut, chop, dice and slice

Watching a few YouTube tutorials can go a long way to speeding up your preparation time when cooking meals. Learn the techniques of using knives properly as well as a few basic cutting methods. It’s important to own a pair of high quality, sharp knives. In fact, slipping up while slicing with a blunt knife can be more dangerous than using a super sharp one.

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Gather your thoughts

Never approach any meal without knowing what you’re going to do. Read your recipes and formulate a plan in your mind about how to cook your meal. Pay special attention to the sequence of events. Start by cooking the things that will take the most time. While you wait, stay busy by doing the dishes or preparing the next step of the process. By thinking one, two or three steps ahead will help bring down cooking time and make the experience more enjoyable. And if you want to level-up even more, consider investing in a Grundig Divide & Cook Oven. It cooks two different meals, at two different temperatures, at the same time. Talk about time saving.