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Cooking Dinners

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Cooking Dinners

Postby kelvinator » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:58 pm

Oh the drain of having to come home from work and then cook dinner. Ours is usually under 20min prep/cook time but even that's getting to me. We always have meat and veges or meat and salad so I don't really have to even think about it.

I would love some inspiration and innovative ideas about how to cut down how many nights I have to cook, even some tips on how to get the boy interested in helping out around the kitchen more than his standard two nights a week (his days off)

Pretty please with a cherry and low fat cream on top!
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Re: Cooking Dinners

Postby EvilWombatQueen » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:17 pm

One idea might be to use left-overs in different ways. I'll use vegan examples because that's what I eat, but you can easily alter it for an omnivorous diet. (Big long post following so apologies in advance!)

SLO = store left-overs
ULO = use left-overs

Sunday (time for lots of cooking!)
Huge pot of soup. Have some of it for lunch or dinner and divide the rest into freezer containers. (SLO)
Roast vegetables with tofu. (SLO)

Monday
Huge bowl of salad (SLO)
Couscous (takes 5 minutes to make)
Diced roast veggies & tofu left over from Sunday mixed with the couscous. (ULO)

Tuesday
Left-over salad (ULO)
Stir-fry veggies and slivered almonds (SLO) (you can save on prep time by using sliced frozen veggies, though it's more expensive)
Steamed rice (SLO in freezer)

Wednesday
Re-heated frozen soup portions (ULO)
Stir-fry veggies and slivered almonds (ULO) with noodles (udon noodles take only a few minutes to cook)

Thursday
Mexican chilli beans (SLO) (kidney beans, tomato, corn, capsicum, red onion and Mexican spices)
Rice (ULO from freezer)

Friday
Mexican chilli beans (ULO)
Home-made baked pita bread chips (break up pita break, spray with a little oil and bake for 10-15 minutes in the oven)
Salad greens (SLO)

Saturday
Left over salad greens (ULO), mixed beans (SLO) and steamed veggies (SLO) with baked potatoes.

Sunday
Use the left-over steamed veggies and mixed beans (even potatoes if you have any left over) in a huge pot of soup. Freeze any left-overs for convenient starters or lunches the following week.

The trick is to look at where you can use one meal twice. Salad can be used in different ways, whether it's as a side, in wraps or with protein as a meal in itself. Spaghetti bolognese type sauces can be used with pasta, couscous or baked potatoes. Steamed veggies can be used as a side, pureed in sauces or in soups. Roasted veggies are great on their own, can be used as soup or diced and stirred through couscous.

Whenever you make a meal, make enough so you have left-overs for at least one other meal. That way while you may be cooking every night it's usually only one small part of the meal. Most of what you use just needs re-heating. Just make sure you store it in accordance with safe food handling practices so you don't get food poisoning by eating the left-overs.

Freezing left-overs is your friend. If you freeze enough left-overs you may not need to cook at all every second night. Then it won't seem such a chore to cook because at least you'll be having every other night off!

Another tip is to find really, really quick things to cook. Or things that require a minimum of effort. If you have a microwave rice cooker then steamed rice cooks itself. Couscous takes only five minutes to cook. Noodles are quite quick as well. If you hate chopping veggies then buy them pre-chopped in frozen packs. It's more expensive, but if time is more important to you that money it's a good option.

Good luck! Let us know if you find any other solutions. I'm sure we can all use them!

As to advice in getting the boy involved. Simple: give him no choice. Tell him the current system is unfair and roster him on for more nights. Or give him chores if you want him to help you while you cook. I've never dated a guy who spontaneously cooked unless you consider heating up a frozen pie 'cooking'. However I find they have all understood the concept of 'fair vs. unfair' and follow instructions when things are spelled out for them. If they can't grasp that it's unfair to expect you to cook 5 out of seven nights then simply make it fair. He cooks two nights for both of you, you cook two nights for both of you. The remaining three nights just cook for yourself. He'll soon get the hint.

Another option is to divide the chores each day. I tell my partner that he can get out of cooking provided he does the vacuuming. He can get out of shopping for dinner if he takes out the recycling. He can get out of doing the dishes if he does the dusting. Then at least the rest of the housework can be taken care of while you cook and the division of labour becomes more fair.
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Re: Cooking Dinners

Postby CrimsonThunder » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:11 am

I know its offtopic lol, but what work does he do? I wish i could work at home. :(
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Re: Cooking Dinners

Postby Gordz » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:22 am

same. =)
Aussie Male, 26, 194cm.

Start date: 12/8/2013
Highest - 144.8kg

Current - 141.3kg

Goal - 110kg

3.5kg lost

31.3kg to go
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Re: Cooking Dinners

Postby CrimsonThunder » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:35 pm

Ohhh. I wanted to buy a boost juice franchise ages ago. =D Kinda still do. ^_^
- Stevo
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Re: Cooking Dinners

Postby court » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:23 pm

I am in love with my slow cooker. On sundays I whack a whole heap of stuff together in it and let it cook all day. Then my man has that with veges and rice during the week. Or he had grilled and steamed!!
I am on Jenny Craig so i have my meals prepared - it is so handy having something there and prepared for him!
Good for winter too :)
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Re: Cooking Dinners

Postby CrimsonThunder » Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:42 pm

lulz thats way too expensive!

I do have one question tho, when you bought your franchise did you go to a bank to get the money? if so what kind of loan was it?
- Stevo
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Re: Cooking Dinners

Postby Gordz » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:25 pm

arrghghh no not boost juice!!!!!! i make their signage and it gives me the shttttttttttttttttttttts!!!!!!
Aussie Male, 26, 194cm.

Start date: 12/8/2013
Highest - 144.8kg

Current - 141.3kg

Goal - 110kg

3.5kg lost

31.3kg to go
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Re: Cooking Dinners

Postby matchbox » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:37 pm

hey jewles, i'm sure i've asked before :P but which boost is it? :)
Have FAITH in yourself
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