5 Tips to Save Hours in the Kitchen | Inspiration Ministries
Back To Articles

5 Tips to Save Hours in the Kitchen

by Michelle Spadafora

When it comes to saving time in the kitchen…it all starts with planning and preparation.  This may seem like it is one more thing to add to your already long “to-do” list…but ultimately taking the time to plan and be prepared will actually save you lots of time and make your holiday cooking more manageable in the long run.  So…let’s get started with our  top 5 time tips to save you hours in the kitchen!

  1. Make a plan. Make a weekly plan of what you are going to prepare for each meal.  Having a meal plan in place means that you don’t have to spend the time (and stress) thinking about what to make every single night.  Once you know what you are going to prepare, sit down and make a list of what you need to purchase at the store.  This list will keep you on track at the store and prevent multiple trips back to the store to get forgotten items.
  2. Meal Prep. This is one of the most important tips.  After a long day of work or Holiday shopping, the last thing anyone wants to do is cook a meal from scratch.  But…if you have already done some of the prep work, you will be less stressed, and it will take you less time to get a healthy home cooked meal on the table.  This means, after you have “made your plan” and gone shopping, take the extra few minutes to chop up vegetables that you will need for the week.  You can even do some of the cooking ahead of time, so when dinner rolls around, all you need to do is to assemble the meal.
  3. Use Proper Equipment. Something as simple as using sharp knives will make your meal prep time much quicker.  Also, take advantage of time saving tools like a food processor.  You can slice and grate much faster than by hand.  When you do all your chopping for the week at one time, you only have to haul an appliance out once and most importantly…you only have to clean it once.
  4. Cook once and eat 3 times. When thinking about your week’s meals, consider when you cook a dinner to make extra and then use those leftovers for breakfast and lunch the following day. For instance, a dinner of salmon and vegetables can be turned into a salmon and roasted vegetables with an over easy egg on top for breakfast.  For lunch, consider a salad of power greens with left over salmon and home-made dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Freezer Meals. Once you get the hang of planning and prepping in advance, and you are someone who would rather get a lot of work done at once, consider planning AND COOKING for a month.  You can stock your freezer with some amazing meals and never think about meal planning for days.

Watch for a month of encouragement, great ideas, and recipes for the holidays. Click here to join our 30 Days to the Holidays challenge.

Join The Fresh Table and Shaped by Faith for daily fitness routines and healthy recipes your whole family will love. Our inspired hosts will guide you spiritually, physically, and mentally through the weeks leading up to the holiday season so you can be your healthiest and happiest self!

Watch The Fresh Table on Inspiration TV On Demand

Here are some good examples of recipes to try.  Cook these in advance, let them cool completely, put them in a freezer safe container, cover tightly and freeze for a later date.

Perfect for Anything Red Sauce

Ingredients:

1 lb of cooked grass fed ground beef or cooked, [can omit meet to make vegetarian]

75 oz tomato sauce (cans)

30 oz diced tomatoes (cans)

4 cups carrots minced

4 cups finely chopped celery

3 cups onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp of dried oregano

1 tbsp crushed red pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

Directions: Add oil to a large pan on medium heat. Then add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and cook for about 10-15 minutes until soft. To your large pan, add in the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add in oregano and crushed red pepper (more if you enjoy spicy food). If you’re adding meat, cook that meat in a separate pan until done and then stir it into the sauce to finish up! Use to top our cabbage rolls or some pasta.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

Ingredients:

3 cups, raw cabbage diced up

1/2 cup chopped green onions

3 garlic gloves (minced)

1 cup carrots, sliced

32 oz. vegetable or chicken or bone broth

1/2 lb corned beef (this kind of beef is already cooked)

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Put 32 oz of broth into a pot. Add in diced cabbage, minced garlic, and carrots. Cook until vegetables are soft (cook on medium heat, approx. 10 minutes). Then add green onions, corned beef, fennel seed and cayenne. Simmer for 5 additional minutes, then serve. Can be great with some nice hot sauce on top.  Serves 4

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

2 cups diced chicken

1 cup diced onion (can use yellow, white or red)

4 large garlic cloves, minced

2 cups of corn (fresh, frozen, or from a can)

1 (15 ounce) can of black beans (drained and rinsed)

1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes

4 cups of chicken stock

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 cup of cilantro

1 lime, juiced

1 tbsp of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Heat up a large pan on medium-high heat with your olive oil. Once the pan is hot and the oil is sizzling, then toss in your diced onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Then add in your cooked chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Stir together and turn heat down until simmering. Then add in all your spices—cayenne pepper, oregano, paprika, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes and then serve! Top with cilantro as desired.  Serves 4-5

Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients:

3 cups organic rice (preferably brown), cooked according to package

1 lb ground beef (grass-fed is best), cooked

a head of cabbage (we’ll be using 8 big cabbage leaves)

red sauce: click here for recipe

Directions: Fill a large pot with about 1-2 inches of water. Put the cabbage into the pot and steam until soft (but not so soft that it falls apart). Mix your beef and rice in a bowl together. Roll beef and rice mixture into a piece of a leaf of the softened cabbage. Top your cabbage rolls with the Perfect for Anything Red Sauce. Makes about 8 rolls

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients:

15 oz can of black beans

7 oz diced green chilies

10 oz red enchilada sauce

4 cups cooked, diced up chicken

6 organic (or gluten free) tortillas (10 inch)

1/2 cup of diced onions

2 cups of shredded cheese (your choice, we used cheddar. Always cheaper/ healthier to buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself!)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay four tortillas into the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish. Sprinkle cooked chicken on top of tortillas. Rinse and drain beans and pour on top of tortillas. Sprinkle the diced onion on top of that, and then add the green chilies on top of all of that. Sprinkle a cup of shredded cheese over everything. Add two more tortillas on top of that, and then, pour your enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Top with the last cup of cheese. Bake for about 30-40 minutes

Take out and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, cut in and enjoy! Or, let cool for a few hours, and then pop into your freezer to save and eat for later.

Click here to join our 30 Days to the Holidays challenge for a month of encouragement, great ideas, and recipes for the holidays.

Join The Fresh Table and Shaped by Faith for daily fitness routines and healthy recipes your whole family will love. Our inspired hosts will guide you spiritually, physically, and mentally through the weeks leading up to the holiday season so you can be your healthiest and happiest self!

 

Watch The Fresh Table on Inspiration TV On Demand

 

Michelle Spadafora and her son-in-law, Avery Ross, are on a mission to encourage people to gather around a table, share a meal and deepen relationships (and yes you read that right – a guy and his mother-in-law get along well enough to have a cooking show!) That’s why they decided to share their favorite healthy recipes, time saving cooking tips, and inspirational messages with you. Learn more at TheFreshTable.org

 

 

 

If you would like one of our anointed prayer ministers to support you as you lift your voice in prayer, please click on the link below.  

Prayer Request

US / Canada:
+1 803-578-1800

UK / International:
+44 (0) 84 5683 0584

For more life-changing stories and Bible teaching, tune in to Inspiration TV or our new Inspiration TV on Demand (VOD)!

You can watch our powerful programming on either Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, via livestream at ini.tv/livestream, or on the Inspiration TV mobile app — click here for all the ways to watch!

Be Encouraged Daily! Sign-Up For Our Devotionals