During the week can be complete chaos in our house. By the time the kids get home from school I’m busy trying to wrap up the last bits of work and my husband is usually just getting in. We then have to contend with after-school clubs, homework and of course try to fit in some family time. I just don’t have the time to be shut away in the kitchen so I knew something had to change. I’ve been working with Bacofoil® who have asked me to share my tips for easy weekday meals and how I save some time so here they are:
Meal planning in advance
I never used to be a ‘meal planner.’ Instead, I would decide on a whim what to cook or go with the general consensus of the family each evening. This would be time-consuming and meant I was unable to prepare anything in advance – not to mention the arguing it would cause when no one could agree. I now create a set meal plan each week which the whole family has a hand in deciding. It means there are no surprises and I don’t have to worry about what to make.
When I’m trying to create easy weekday meals I worry they will lack flavour. I just don’t have as much time in the week to slow roast or simmer pots for hours. What I now do instead is marinate the meat I am using in the fridge overnight to lock in some delicious flavour. The easiest way to do this is by using Bacofoil® All Purpose Zipper® Bags. The handy stand-alone base makes it easy to fill and the zip tight seal-zipper closes with ease and prevents any leaks. Once filled I pop these in the fridge for use the next day. They are multi-purpose and are even suitable for freezing. You can also reuse them meaning there is less waste so you can save time and money.
Slow cooker meals really help
A slow cooker can be an incredible investment for easy weekday meals. They require little intervention so once loaded up you can usually ‘set it and go.’ This is ideal for making soups, casseroles and chilli dishes when I want to save time. It’s also perfect for when we all have to eat at different times and I can serve the girls their meal and not worry if I need to have mine later.
Ditch the washing up
There is nothing worse than spending your evening stood by the sink washing up especially if you have already had a busy day. I try to avoid as much of it as possible by lining my baking trays and oven dishes with Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil before cooking. There is no worry of the food sticking as the foil has a unique BacoLift® surface making it non-stick, meaning that food lifts right off the foil. It’s completely hasslefree you just place your food on the non-shiny side and there is no need to add any extra oil or butter making it a healthier choice too! I use this for literally everything it has become quite an everyday essential and it means once done I can throw the foil away and don’t have to worry about scrubbing any trays or dishes.
Batch cook if you can
If I get chance I will batch cook a few meals and stick them in the freezer. It means that on those weekdays when life is a real rush I can still grab something wholesome and home cooked without the stress or hassle of preparing the meal from scratch. This gives me more time and makes meal times that bit less stressful.