Saturday, October 20, 2007

October Poll: Meals In A Jiffy

If you're a mom, or a dad in charge of the cooking, you're probably aware of just how attractive the idea of a quick and healthy meal is. Food Network Icons have made millions using that very idea, and most of the food-centric magazines on the shelves have recipes that can be made quickly.

It's no wonder it's so popular. When you're trying to fit dinner in between work, soccer practice, and meetings, or if you have small children at home that need a lot of attention, faster is almost always better.

Women of my mom's generation spent an average of an hour cooking dinner each night. My generation spends closer to thirty minutes. I have a baby and a preschooler at home, so I'm willing to try just about any recipe that can be made in under thirty minutes that still meets my requirements for a healthy dinner. To meet this goal, I take advantage of convenience grocery products, like instant rice or thin-sliced chicken, and I stock my kitchen with the best tools of the trade. Using my crockpot, we can have a delicious roast beef dinner with little effort on my part, and we eat steamed vegetables every night thanks in part to my microwave.

Share with us! How long do you spend in the kitchen cooking dinner and what are some of your tricks for cutting preparation and cooking time?


Kellan said...

We also eat a lot of steamed veggies. And, we eat a lot of salads (sometimes with chicken ...). I'm not a great cook, but I've learned how to whip up chicken pretty much anyway you can imagine and then I just throw in veggies and salad - I am not the one to be offering any opinion, cuz I'm not a great cook. See ya.

Jen said...

I spend about 30-45 minutes usually. Sometimes as little as ten.

I always try to cook extra chicken, then I refrigerate it to use in a casserole later in the week. That cuts down on cooking time. Same thing with rice, cook extra and your casserole is easier tomorrow.

I glance over my meal plan to be most efficient. I start thawing meat in the microwave while I clean the kitchen (I cook faster in a clean kitchen). Cook noodles while grating cheese/cutting veggies, etc. I never do just one thing at a time, and I recruit DH & the kids to do whatever they can.

Jen38 said...

I love my crock pot. After my DH complained that the roasts weren't big enough, I bought the 8 quart Kitchen Aid Deluxe Model!

I usually spend 20 - 30 minutes cooking for the dinner meal. I always try to make extra for lunch the next day. Rarely do we have leftovers anymore!

Thanks Mommy K, keep the good ideas coming!

Kelly said...

My husband is often away for work, and I work full time, so I rely a lot on convenience type food. Not really the healthiest stuff, but it comes together quick and that is what I need. I probably spend less than 15 minutes a night cooking dinner.