Avoid the Monday to Friday dinnertime scramble
If you’ve about had it with getting creative about making dinner during the hectic work week, school week, life week, we completely get it. There’s something about ending a long day and then facing the fridge that makes so many of us instantly reach for our phones to order from GrubHub or Seamless instead. It’s true that there are many challenges to trying to cook a home-cooked meal after a long day, according Jennifer Aaronson, Martha & Marley Spoon’s Culinary Director.
“First off, the minute you step in the door, everyone seems to want your attention—the kids, your husband, the dog, so focusing on organizing a meal from the fridge can be frustrating,” she says. “Second, you need ingredients in the fridge and some sort of plan in place to cook them. No plan often means a pot of pasta or a dinner of scrambled eggs and toast, so thinking ahead is a must for anything more substantial.” All the more reason we asked several top experts—many of whom are busy moms—to offer options that don’t involve laborious 10-step recipes or super advanced cooking skills.
Keep a well-stocked kitchen
Always have go-to pantry and freezer staples (like whole grain pasta, brown rice, low-sodium canned beans, frozen fruits, and vegetables) on hand and you’ll find it much easier to throw together a balanced meal without spending hours prepping. “The same goes for your spice cabinet,” says Lindsey Janeiro, a dietitian in Sarasota, Florida. “Maximize flavour in your spice cabinet by stocking spice blends your family loves, like a taco seasoning blend, Italian seasoning for pasta night, or an herbes de Provence blend that can be used on potatoes, chicken, or fish.”
Plan, plan, plan
Six o’clock at night on a weekday is not the time to have zero idea of what you’re going to make for dinner. Or, so says Christina Galoozis, a Chicago mom who cooks every night despite a 45-minute commute to work. “I mark what we’re eating every night on our laundry room white board so I remember whether I need to thaw something overnight,” she says. “This also eliminates mid-week trips to the store. I go to the grocery store once per weekend for an hour—that’s it!”
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