I recently realised that my time I the kitchen is sometimes lacking. Given the choice I would rather spend time reading a book or having coffee with a friend. It’s not that I hate cooking, it’s that if I have a choice, something else always wins…

I am very lucky to have a friend who approaches food preparation like it’s a relaxing meditation, and she shares with me the results of her sessions. These are the friends I love to have!

But still this does not fill the fridge 7 days a week, so sometimes I do have to venture out to the supermarket and then concoct something that a teenager will it. Broccoli, no. Beans, no. Carrots or mushrooms, not on your life. Fish, not really. Fruit, naah. Generally it’s beef or chicken, with lots of carbs, and bacon any time! Though cereal is apparently a food which fits the bill morning, noon and night. Not really gourmet options…

So how do I get somewhat healthy food on the table without spending too much time on preparation?
The secret is a freezer, a slow cooker or pressure cooker, and a food processor!

The secret stuff

When I prep a meal, I always stash extras in the freezer: bags full of precut veggies or fruit, potato mash, seasoned meat cuts. I have one of those food processors that slices and grates, so that’s a lot quicker.
Top of the list: stews! When I actually cook, it’s mainly in the pressure cooker, saves heaps of time.
And I grate veggies to add to our home cooked mince & tomato pasta sauce, and have been known to blend lentils or beans to thicken a sauce… Alternatively we’ll do a roast so there is plenty of leftovers for sandwiches etc. In summer we swap over to pasta salads with everything thrown in, same with sandwiches and toasties.

Add fruit & veg

Second on the list are smoothies: precut stacks of fruit & freeze. That way if all you can manage for dinner is eggs on toast, you can add a smoothie for a good blend of vitamins. Smoothies are a great snack, add some yogurt and honey, yum!
The same goes for juicing: veggies are great with just an orange or apple thrown in for taste. Add beans on toast and you have a half-decent meal without trying too hard or spending a fortune.
I do love a good takeaway but let’s face it, the options are not always too healthy and end up costing a fair bit.

For lots more ideas on no-cooking food, have a look at Thorin’s article for inspiration: http://lifehacker.com/5890818/healthy-eating-for-people-who-hate-cooking

And remember…

Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards

Happy Parenting!

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