With our busy lifestyles today, cooking often gets relegated to the bottom of the list. But your life doesn't have to be filled with takeout, frozen TV dinners, expensive restaurant meals, and junk food. With some planning and organization, plus a few new cooking skills, you can make meals using recipes that take 30 minutes or less, using 5 ingredients or fewer.
Cooking and baking your own food means that you will spend less money, offer more nutritious meals to your family, and you'll certainly spend less time in the kitchen than ever before. With the judicious use of convenience and value-added foods, making delicious recipes is easier than ever.
New recipes that start with deli ingredients means you can make complicated recipes in just minutes. For instance, use a deli fruit salad as an ingredient in creamy fruit parfaits, or buy a rotisserie chicken to use for grilled cheese and chicken sandwiches. Planning what I call “overlapping meals,” where leftovers from one day are used as ingredients in meals later in the week, also expands your recipe repertoire exponentially while staying within the five-ingredient limit. Have Spicy Vegetarian Chili and Corn Bread on the menu Monday, and Tuesday toast the corn bread and use it to make Southern Corn Bread Salad. Thursday, Taco Salad is on the menu, using the leftover chili.
Preparing recipes in 30 minutes or less means you'll need to learn some special skills. Efficient shopping, organizing your kitchen and your cooking habits, and planning meals for the week are at the top of the list. You'll learn streamlined preparation techniques and how to follow simple rules like starting the longest-cooking ingredients first to create a pocket of time while you work on others. And you'll find an extensive ingredient substitution list, for those times when you run out of a key ingredient in the middle of a recipe. I'll also include a primer on different cooking techniques so you will become an expert in grilling, microwaving, broiling, and stir-frying.
Of course, staying within that 30-minute time limit will depend on your kitchen expertise, the number of distractions (kids, pets, ringing telephones and doorbells) in your home, and any help you may have. With a little bit of concentration, you should be able to prepare these recipes in 30 minutes or less.
You'll also learn how to enjoy food preparation. I'll remind you to listen to the sounds of foods, enjoy the aromas, and relish the feeling of coziness as you revive the family table.
Once you build a repertoire of quick and easy 30-minute, 5-ingredient dishes, you'll learn how to stock your pantry, fridge, and freezer with enough ingredients so you'll never again be caught without the means of preparing an excellent meal for your friends and family. So join me and learn how you can feed your family delicious, nutritious, and super-easy quick meals ready in 30 minutes or less, using 5 ingredients. And enjoy imagining what you'll do with all your extra time!