Can’t find time to cook? Preparing good meals easily is a question of organization, choosing cooking methods and adapting to the food hiding in your fridge and cupboards! Discover some tips to stop wasting time in the kitchen.
Getting organized: the key to success!
Before you start preparing your meal, prepare all the utensils and ingredients you need. you will prepare your dish faster and you will avoid a moment of panic once launched.
How to save time?
To save time in the kitchen, you can use frozen vegetable packets and preserves: no need to wash, peel and cut them into pieces.
If you use fresh vegetables, peel them while waiting for the water to boil or for the pan to heat up.
While the dish is cooking, you can also anticipate certain preparations: prepare marinades or sauces, cook ingredients for future dishes or salads, etc.
Are you cooking a dish in the oven? Think of the preheating time! Start your oven during the preparation stage. Once your dish has been prepared, you will only have to put it in the oven without waiting.
Quick preparation and cooking?
Opt for simple, quick or even no cooking methods:
- the papillotes : Simply put a fillet of fish or raw meat in it without prior preparation. , they can be seasoned according to your taste or accompanied by some raw vegies.
- the sandwiches : Slices of tomato, eggplant or zucchini, aromatic herbs, a slice of ham or salmon, a bit of mozzarella or goat’s cheese and you’re done! Cold or baked au gratin, they are delicious served with a green salad.
- Salads: compose your salads with vegetables, starchy foods or meat, according to your inspiration. A good way to cook quickly while mixing flavours and combining several food families.
- Composite plates: in the blink of an eye, compose a complete dish with, for example, a handful of cherry tomatoes, 3 or 4 surimi sticks, a slice of ham, a few salad leaves, a piece of cheese, some bread and a few raspberries.
If you have vegetables, meat or fish to cook, you can choose different cooking methods, more or less fast.
In the pan
The choice of food is important since some foods cook faster than others. In the “starchy” family, we find quick-cooking pasta and rice. There are also commercially available “express cooking” semolina packets that can be immersed directly in boiling water. Eggs are also very easy to cook: as an omelette (5 min.), fried (4 to 5 min.), boiled (3 min.) or in a casserole (5 to 6 min.).
This appliance is not only for reheating or defrosting, it also allows you to cook food in a limited time (no more than 15 min.). Some foods are more suitable for this type of cooking, such as white meat, fish, vegetables or fruit.
So why not try your hand at microwave cooking? Here are some ideas for simple preparations:
- Ramequins: mix different ingredients (white meat, fish, vegetables, yoghurt sauce) and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Blanks: mix 3 eggs, a little cream, a glass of milk and some vegetables or fish, then pour the mixture into a microwave-safe casserole dish and cook for 10 minutes.
- Cooked fruit: to accompany black pudding or as a dessert, prepare an apple in the oven. Seed the apple, prick the skin several times with a fork and place it in the microwave for 5 minutes.
In the frying pan
This cooking method allows you to brown food in a limited time. Ideally, a non-stick frying pan should be used, which makes the addition of fat unnecessary. Many foods are particularly suitable for pan-frying:
- Certain meats as is (minced steak, black pudding, lamb chop, slice of roast, chicken or duck aiguillettes) or breaded in a mixture of flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs (cutlets).
- Some fish: sole fillets, trout, salmon steak, cod.
- Some vegetables: zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms. cut them finely so that they cook faster once over the fire.
You can also replace your pan with a wok and revisit your recipes. The wok is a hollow pan originating from Asia that allows you to sear food. This trick will preserve the crunchiness of the vegies.
In the pressure cooker
This other appliance also reduces the cooking time of foods such as fish, vegetables, white meat, rice or semolina.
Long live the frozen food that simplifies life in the kitchen.
For those times when inspiration, time or simply the motivation to get started, consider having a few basic ingredients in your freezer. Big bags of vegetables are perfect for making great soups! Just add a bouillon cube, a touch of cream or spices to twist up a velvety pea, carrot or zucchini soup… You can even mix vegetables. For white fish fillets in the oven, simply place them in a gratin dish while they are still frozen and season them with a drizzle of olive oil and a few small herbs (also frozen!). Bake for about ten minutes at 180°c and serve with rice and some vegetables. For dessert, make minute sorbets by mixing frozen fruit (cherry, mango, apricots…) with an egg white and a little powdered sugar. A delight in 2 minutes!