Tips and Tricks for Cooking at Home When You're Crunched for Time

We’re all busy! And yet, we want to feed ourselves and our families healthy, wholesome food. What tricks do you use for getting dinner on the table fast?

I try to always keep some cooked grains and a decent homemade vinaigrette so I can always make a grainbowl and get creative with leftovers. They’re good hot or room temp or even cold, depending.

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I make sheet pan dinners. Lots of vegetables and some meat. Then use the left over vegetables in salads for lunches or into homemade soups. I do this a couple times a week. Mostly the sheet pan is ready to go into the oven by the time it is hot. Everything on the table within 30 minutes.


I’ve gotten much better at meal prepping, as we’ve come upon a time in life where I can’t be in the kitchen immediately before dinner. Prepping before hand, and planning out what we are going to eat has REALLY helped us to have the healthy options available and ready when it’s time to eat. :slight_smile:


I love this idea for making quick meals accessible!

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Me too. So easy! If no meat protein available just add a split hard boiled egg (if not vegetarian) and whatever cooked, raw or even pickled or fermented veggies, nuts, and it’s a meal.

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Here’s something I’ve been making every week. It started as a “panic” meal, when I was short on time, but it turned out so well I keep making it. There’s no measuring required.

Non-Dairy Cream of Veggie Soup

Rough cut (2-3") vegetables into a stock pot. I fill mine about halfway with veggies, but there’s no measuring involved! I’ve used zucchini, broccoli, leftover asparagus, leftover roasted okra, potatoes, what have you. Add a quartered onion. This is a great way to use up the bits and bobs of leftovers in the fridge.

Add enough veggie/chicken/beef broth to just reach the top of the vegetables. Salt/pepper and season as you like. Cook over medium high heat until veggies are tender. Use an immersion blender to cream the soup. (You could transfer to a regular blender if you don’t have an immersion blender.) If you’re not dairy free, feel free to add a bit of cream. Or top it with sour cream.

Not pretty, but this is what it looked like last night before cooking.


This is a great idea for now when we are all hunkered in our homes. I like to sauté the onion and carrot, celery first. I always have some of that in the freezer from last years garden. I just finished the fresh onion that I stored. All the sweet onions go into the freezer sliced or chopped in 2 cup amounts. New onions will be planted this month.

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Sautéing would improve the flavor if you have time!

In the summer, I go to the farmer’s market and buy as many onions as I can. I use some right away, but I also chop or slice some and put them in the freezer to use in the winter. It helps me to get dinner, etc. on the table faster. It’s also cheaper than buying frozen onions. I also cook up meat that I use for my breakfasts ahead of time and freeze it in serving size portions.

I like to cook ground beef ahead of time and portion it out, too! Good ideas.