I love to cook! Being home with the kids allows me to cook often. I have a picky eater and an adventurous eater with tree nut allergies so I have to be cautious with what I make. Most of the week I can cook for hours at a time. When I don’t have that much time, want something healthy and need something quick I try to take some shortcuts.
Some of our favorite foods time savers involve pre-cut or pre-cooked foods. For fruit, we buy the Berry Bowl from Stew Leonard’s (about $7.99). We love it because it contains strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. The strawberries are pre-cut and hulled which saves a lot of time. Plus, it usually contains the most ripe berries out of the bunch. These are great to put in a container and take to the playground for a snack.
Another short cut I like to take is with hard boiled eggs. It’s such a quick and versatile food yet it seems to take so long to get going. We frequently buy the Cage Free Hard Boiled eggs from Trader Joe’s (about $2.49 for half a dozen). These are good to have as a post-work out snack because they are a good source of protein. If I want more of a meal, these are good to chop up with an avocado and scallions for a healthier egg salad.
One staple food we have almost weekly as a quick go to is rotisserie chicken. We get them cooked and ready to go from Whole Foods or Stew Leonard’s. Not only is having a rotisserie chicken in the house a versatile food that will last a few meals, but both stores offer pre-made sides to make quick meal for when you get home. When we don’t use the chicken as the main dish, we shred the chicken to make pulled BBQ chicken or even chicken salad.
Lastly, the final food we buy as a short cut is our vegetables. The nice part about buying pre-cut or pre-cooked vegetables is that it eliminates the excuse to omit veggies from your diet. We typically but broccoli and cauliflower florets but most recently we have purchased Organic Broccoli and Carrot Slaw from Trader Joe’s (about $3 a package). This comes in handy when trying to sneak veggies into food for the kids. It can also be used as a “vegetable pasta” with the sauce of your choice. You could even add some of that rotisserie chicken into the mix to get a more filling meal.
I recently made Broccoli and Carrot Pancakes for my household. It’s a great food that packs in a lot of nutritious food and can be served at any time of the day.
Here’s how I make 1 pancake:
1/4 cup of Broccoli/ Carrot slaw ( chopped and softened)
2 eggs (beaten)
2 tbsp scallions (chopped)
1/4 shredded chicken
salt and pepper to taste
butter or oil for greasing
Melt butter in small pan.
Soften slaw mixture until almost cooked through (about 3-4 minutes)
Beat together eggs, scallions, chicken, salt and pepper.
Once slaw mixture is softened, incorporate into egg mixture.
Regrease pan and pour egg mixture into pan.
Cook until bottom is cooked through then flip.
Garnish with avocado slices and serve berries on the side (featured image!)
If you are making more than one pancake, you can adjust the amount accordingly. You can also cook these on a griddle as you would pancakes or you can bake these in muffin tins to make quiches. You would need to set your oven to 350 and cook about 12 minutes depending on your oven. Make sure to really grease up the muffin tins so the eggs don’t stick to the sides.
I hope these tips help you shave some time off in the kitchen so you have more time to spend with your family (or to yourself!)