How To Prepare Mouth-watering Meals

Many of us are time pressured. We want to cook healthy meals for our family but, between working long hours and spending time with our partner and kids, we just haven't got time to cook, have we?

Actually, there is time. By changing your methods, looking through your recipe collection for quick healthy recipes or searching online for free recipes, you can cook healthy meals for your family and do everything else that your busy lifestyle requires. Ultimately, its all about 'efficiency' - in much the same way as business managers use time and motion studies, you can refine your kitchen techniques to be time efficient and sitll produce great cooking.

Here are 14 quick cooking tips to help you:-

* Keep ingredients you use frequently on hand and within reach.

* Build a collection of recipes - keep a file on your computer or a ring binder file of favourite healthy recipes which are quick to prepare and cook. Choose a range of recipes - diet recipes, vegetarian recipes, dessert recipes and low carb recipes.

* Have a plastic bag or container on the work top for rubbish so that you don't have to keep going to the rubbish bin.

* If you are chopping onions, peppers or herbs, chop twice the amount and freeze - this will save time in the future as they will be on hand for healthy recipes and vegetable recipes.

* Don't rush - Rushing around can cause mistakes and accidents and therefore add more time to cooking.

* Multi-task - while one thing is cooking prepare the next step. Its surprising how much time is saved if you can manages this.

* Ask your children to help by laying the table, washing up and grating cheese etc.

* Use the microwave - speed up grilled chicken by microwaving it first on medium high until it starts to turn white and then grill.

* Don't be put off by recipes that seem to take a long time. If you read the instructions carefully, you will find that many recipes involve just 15 minutes prepartation and 45 minutes cooking in the oven. These are great for a busy lifestyle as the allow you to do other things during the 'oven time'.

* Plan ahead and use shortcuts - buy ready chopped vegetables and prepared salads.

* Use a magnetic, erasable shopping list board on the fridge to note down items as you run low on them. That way you will never run out of vital ingredients.

* When you have found some healthy recipes or low fat recipes, read through them and choose ones that have fewer steps or ingredients. Some free recipes online will give preparation and cooking times to help you plan.

* Prepare a washing up bowl of hot soapy water so you can throw things in it to soak or wash up when things are cooking.

* Spend a weekend re-organising your kitchen - move saucepans nearer to your cooker, keep knives in a block on the worktop or on a magnetic strip on the wall, hang utensils on hooks above the work surface and know where measuring jugs and bowls are. Having things to hand and knowing where things are will cut down preparation time.

Remember, although preparing quick meals is a great idea to help manage your busy life, it is also important to 'cook with love'. Fast cooking does not have to be 'shoddy' or cut corners, you are, after all, cooking for those you love the most and they deserve your best. Remember to pay full attention to any recipe you are preparing, no matter how quickly it is prepared - one moments loss of focus can result in a meal that is virtually inedible, and nobody will enjoy that experience.

I hope you find these quick cooking tips useful, and that you are able to maintain a healthy time/family balance in your lives.

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About The Author, Rwakefield
Roger Wakefield is an author and publisher who writes articles for for the Recipe File site, (http://www.recipe-file.co.uk), which ranks amongst the best established recipe sites on the internet. The Recipe File website has more than 40,000 recipes which range from candy recipes to rice recipes. Preparing tasty meals for your family can be easy and fun if you have some great recipes to start with. The Recipe File guarantees that that you can easily find a tasty new recipe.