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How to Optimize Your Time in the Kitchen?

With the vacations ending and the beginning of the new school year, our schedules are getting busier and busier : returning to work, kids going back to school, working out at the gym, and… it seems we do not have enough time! I suggest you “optimize your time in the kitchen” in order to save time (and money!). The idea is to plan 4 to 5 meals with a different cooking mode so that all recipes can be ready at the same time! Dedicate 2 hours of your weekend to cooking, and it will be over for the week! I even suggest you use the following order:

  1. Start with an oven-baked meal: choose a dish that will not require much preparation (15 to 30 minutes), such as lasagna, cannellonis, stuffed peppers, a whole chicken with vegetables and potatoes as side dish, beef with vegetables, etc.
  2. Follow-up with a simmered recipe: while your first recipe is in the oven, prepare one in a slow cooker (or over low heat on your oven). For example, chilli, vegetable stew, or even a meal soup! Preparation time: 15 minutes.
  3. A simple recipe: Two recipes are already cooking, so we will continue with a 30 minutes recipe! Why not try a chicken-vegetables sauté, general tao tofu, pasta, or a cold couscous or quinoa salad?
  4. A sandwich: Phew! Cooking is almost over! Whether it is for a wrap, a panini, or a classic sandwich, prepare your toppings and a few raw vegetables in only 10 minutes! Then, add tuna, salmon, chicken, eggs, or sliced turkey, with a few fruits for a sweet touch and some cheese to complete. Use baby carrots, a few slices of cucumber, and cherry tomatoes as side dish, and you’re done!
  5. You still have another 10 minutes left? For a strong finish, marinate a piece of meat or fish! Put it in the freezer until the end of the week, only to take it out 24 hours in advance to defrost, and all you need to do is add some rice and vegetables to have another meal ready in 15 minutes!

And you, how do you make the most out of your time in the kitchen?

By Caroline Proulx

Caroline Proulx

Holder of a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from McGill University, and member of the Ordre Professionnel des Diététistes du Québec, Caroline has been working as a nutritionist for Nautilus Plus since January 2013. A seasoned marathon runner with a passion for cooking, she also animates conferences and motivation groups about nutrition! “As I have not always been a keen athlete, I am very proud of having completed a marathon, and also of preparing the next ones! For me, nutrition is not only the key to optimal performance, but also a medicine in itself. Therefore, my objective is to encourage people to change their habits if they need to and motivate them to never give up, but first and foremost, make them realize that eating healthy is a pleasure that we are lucky to enjoy three times a day!”

How to Optimize Your Time in the Kitchen? is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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