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Basic Cooking for Busy People

One of my good friends is a busy lawyer, married with no children. Since she’s never had a two-year-old screaming at her while she tried to make dinner, her cooking experience is a bit different than mine.

Recently my friend asked me for some tips and tricks for healthy eating. Rose, the blogger at Our Lady of Second Helpings, would be the true master for a question like that. But here are my favorite shortcuts. This isn’t how I cook all the time, just when I’m super stressed.

Tip 1: Prep for the Freezer

Buy a bunch of chicken cutlets in bulk, and then bag them with marinade for the freezer. One or two nights before you want to cook chicken, take the bag out of the freezer and put it in the fridge. Then you will be all ready to grill.

The George Foreman is your friend!

Special Note to Special People: In the above picture I’m showing Ziploc bags. But when I was pregnant, I never, ever marinated in plastic. I only used Pyrex. I also didn’t use my George Foreman when I was pregnant, because of the Teflon. Even today, I normally marinate things in glass. But not everyone is freaked out about plastic as I am.

Tip #2: Buy a Rice Cooker

Before you start grilling that chicken, add 1 cup brown rice and 2 and a half cups water to your rice cooker. Then turn it on. It’s sooooo easy! If you assemble a quick salad while the chicken is cooking, then you’ve got rice, chicken and salad ready to go in about twenty minutes. Boom! Dinner’s ready.

Tip #3: Prep Once, Eat Twice

On the right, you are seeing the stir fry we are eating tonight. On the left, you are seeing the stir fry that is going into the freezer. The meat is bagged in marinade. The vegetables are chopped and ready to go. Plus I’ve got that rice cooker, remember? Dinner will be done in 20 minutes, easy.

Tip #4: Buy a Vitamix

This is the sad one, because not everyone can afford something that costs $400. But we use our Vitamix every day to make green smoothies. Raw kale every morning? Yum!

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