Tips to Get High Quality Meals on the Table Fast by Cooking at Home
The holidays are over and as January comes to a close, many of us are still struggling to get back into a regular meal time routine after the holidays. It can be difficult for stay-at-home and working parents to high quality meals on the table for their families without resorting to take-out or frozen food, due to crazy schedules and family demands. This is an area that I have struggled with over the years but after endless trial and error, I have come up with some tips to help you tackle meal time stress and get high quality meals on the table fast by cooking at home.
Tips for Cooking at Home Without the Stress
I. Meal Delivery Service – Meal Delivery Services are a great way to have fresh food delivered right to your door for cooking at home without going to the grocery store for supplies. These meals come with a detailed recipe that makes them able to be cooked by even the novice of chefs. My favorite meal service hands down is Home Chef. I have tried numerous meal delivery services over the year and Home Chef is always the one, I find myself going back to. The reasons that I like Home Chef are as follows:
- Meal Variety – Choose your meals from 16 options that include no cook options, vegetarian options, and some meals even offer a choice of protein to go with your meal.
- Quality Ingredients – They guarantee that your ingredients will arrive fresh and last for several days after delivery. If for some reason that they fail to deliver you can contact their support team and they will take care of it for you.
- Delivery Options – You can get a delivery as often as once a week or choose to get a delivery less often by opting for the bi-weekly or monthly plan. It is easy to skip the weeks that you don’t want and re-subscribe to weeks that you have skipped (as long as it is before the final date for delivery). You can also choose which day you want your delivery on (Monday-Friday) so that it arrives at the time of week you need most.
- Customize It – Something new that Home Chef has started offering is the option to customize the protein choice for certain dishes. These dishes are labeled with a “Customize It” logo and will allow you to swap some proteins, double up your shrimp, or upgrade your protein to a more premium cut. This flexibility helps give you even more control over your meals and tailor them to your family needs.
- Premium Meals – Premium meals are special menu items sold at higher price than the general $9.95 per serving items. They are not featured each week but at special occasions and/or random times. The meat is sourced at market price in limited amounts and we can trust that it has the same quality as all the other meals. These premium meal can also include multiple sides and/or dessert to fit your occasion. Take advantage of these specials and enjoy a premium meal cooked by you. Some premium meals included Lamb Chops, Scallops, and Filet Mignon.
- Add-Ons – Along with your regular meals you can choose to receive smoothie kits and fruit with each delivery. The smoothie flavors change each week so it is a great opportunity to try new flavors and have a quick snack or breakfast. The fruit selections change at times due to the seasons but you can see what will be in your box when you select your meals. These extras are a bonus when you want something healthy and sweet and don’t want to make a special trip.
The reasons I listed above are just some of what makes Home Chef my favorite Meal Delivery Service. If you want to give Home Chef a try, click on this link & save $30 off your first box with Home Chef.
II. Meal Planning – If you are often stuck standing at the fridge/freezer at dinner time not knowing what to cook, meal planning can take that stress away. Whether you want to plan out by the week or the month, make sure to take stock of what ingredients you have on hand before deciding what you will cook each day. You don’t want to be prepared to make Meat Loaf on a Wednesday and realize as you go to make it that you are missing eggs or bread crumbs. Check out these trips for Stress-Free Meal Planning to help you get started.
III. Slow Cooker – This is one of my two favorite kitchen appliances for stress free cooking at home. You can cook practically anything in the Slow Cooker from beef roasts and chili to chicken wings and baked potatoes, it is truly a must-have kitchen appliance. No matter how big or small your family is, there is a Slow Cooker to fit your needs. You can shop a wide variety of sizes online at Amazon.com without leaving your house. Check out these delicious Slow Cooker recipes to get ideas for upcoming meals.
IV. Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker – My other favorite kitchen appliance is the Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker. I have only had it a few months but it has already made my live (and cooking at home) much easier. Thanks to the Instant Pot, I can cook meat from frozen when I forget to meal plan or need dinner fast. It has a timer function that allows me to put the food in and then do other things while it cooks, without worrying about it burning. The biggest advantage is that I can prepare high quality meals with lower quality meats thanks to the pressure cooking feature. Even the toughest meat cuts are moist and flavorful after being cooked in the Instant Pot. You can find great deals on Instant Pots/Pressure Cookers at Amazon.com. If you are stumped on how and what to cook in the Instant Pot, check out our Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker board on Pinterest for inspiration.
V.Take Advantage of Left-Overs – Left-overs are a great way to make sure food does not get wasted, while feeding your family in a hurry. Some of my favorite recipes involve making one meal and turning the leftovers into a new dish on the second night. This Slow Cooker Pork Butt Roast makes two meals and will leave your family happy each night. If you don’t have enough left-overs to make a complete second meal, you can also save up the left-overs from several days and host a buffet style meal once a week to finish them off. This is a great way for family members to enjoy their favorite meal again without you having to cook a whole meal over again. If you find that you never have left-overs, double the recipe and this way it will insure you have leftovers left for another night.
I hope that you find these tips for cooking at home without the stress as helpful for you and your family as it has been to mine. If you are looking for some new meal time inspiration or just enjoy trying new recipes, head on over to our recipes tab to find our full collection of recipes.
To learn more about everything that Home Chef has to offer you and your family, head on over and learn more. Plus save $30 off your first subscription box with this special link!