Fun Family Cooking – take the stress out of mealtimes in 5 simple steps
Fun Family Cooking – take the stress out of mealtimes in 5 simple steps

Cooking family meals shouldn’t fill you with dread or STRESS.  With a little careful planning and preparation you can make the precious time you share with your family one to enjoy.

My 5 simple steps can take the stress out of mealtime and alleviate the pressure of having to prepare home cooked meals.

 

1) Meal Plan – If you have a hectic week ahead, make sure you have a PLAN to hand.  Take 5 minutes to come up with a meal plan for the week so that you know exactly what meal you are going to be having.  If you use your freezer to store frozen meat, poultry or pre-cooked batch meals etc, this plan will ensure that you take your ingredients and dishes out the night before, in preparation for cooking when you get home.  Best thing about this is at a glance you can swap and switch up which meals you have on each day, it doesn’t have to be perfect.  It should be versatile and fit in with your lifestyle.  As long as you are prepared, have your plan and have the food, the possibilities are endless.

2) BE Prepared – from your meal plan, devise a shopping list.  This will keep you on track and focussed when you go to do your food shop.  If you are like me and really don’t like tackling the hustle and bustle of busy supermarkets, take the time to set up a home delivery from the comfort of your home and have your food delivered to you.  There is nothing better than opening the door to the supermarket food shop, knowing that you just have to put everything away.  I find it can be rather challenging at times having a lively toddler to try and entertain whilst remembering to get ALL of the food you need.  Another advantage to this is that the online food shops save your favourite items, so you can log in and within a few clicks have a full food shop in your trolley, paid for and ready to be delivered at a date/time of your choosing!!! RESULT!!!

3) Cooking Time – set aside some time in your week to prepare some of the foods for the meals you are going to cook during the week,  this will save you precious time you can later spend with friends, family or best of all on yourself.   If you are having a pasta dish, why not prepare a simple tomato, vegetable sauce which can be stored and added to your dish when required.  Soups and sauces are a fantastic way to incorporate vegetables, make delicious sauces and add lots of flavouring to a number of dishes.

4) Ingredients – try to keep the number of ingredients you use to a minimum, you want to use a limited number of ingredients but which will infuse your dishes with lots of delicious flavours.  I believe LESS is MORE, you don’t want to over do it with overpowering ingredients when serving up your favourite dishes.  Too many cooks in the kitchen as the saying goes!!

5) Challenge Yourself – have FUN with 5 Ingredients – experiment with new foods and different flavours.  Remember recipes are great and give you a firm starting point but as your confidence to cook thrives,  try new, exciting ingredients, flavours and don’t be afraid to sample your dishes as you go.  You know what tastes good and what tickles your tastebuds.  Use and trust your senses to make exceptional dishes and create new family favourites in the process.  Just remember if you are switching it up, write down the changes you have made!!!  You don’t want to confuse EXTRA chilli with a pinch of pepper, garlic or mixed spice…….. AWKWARD!!!!