Fast-Cooking Mealtime Strategies

  • Buy food as specified by recipes . . . for example, skinless, boneless chicken breasts; shredded cheese; and pre-cut vegetables
  • Dovetail mealtime preparation steps: while waiting for water to boil or chicken to brown, can chop vegetables, measure seasonings or open cans
  • Use time-saving gadgets and appliances, and use the microwave oven to quick-thaw frozen foods
  • Have family members help -- a child can set the table while one of the parents cooks the main dish
  • Plan meals for a week in advance to avoid unnecessary trips to the supermarket
  • Keep meals simple, and use a prepared food for one component of each meal
  • Put away containers, and clean up as you cook
  • Prepare ingredients for several recipes at one time: cook a double batch of rice or pasta, then refrigerate or freeze for another meal
  • Line the broiler pan with aluminum foil before cooking for easier clean-up