5 Dinner Hacks for When You Just Don’t Want to Cook - Stacey Hawkins
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5 Dinner Hacks for When You Just Don’t Want to Cook

Sometimes, I hate to cook.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Sure it’s my passion and it’s my business, but no matter how much you love something, life sometimes gets in the way. There are days when making a meal is just, well, a chore.

Like when the kids have sports practice, and I’ve been starring in my own balancing act since 7AM, and we finally blow through the door 12 hours later. Those are the kinds of days when I can think of a million other things I’d rather do than cook dinner, and anything that involves my head hitting the pillow ASAP is usually number one on that list.

I know many of you can relate: getting dinner on the table becomes a monotonous, insurmountable, pain in the neck.

And then, you’re reminded of the dilemma that arises when you don’t provide: you find yourself inexplicably piling on the guilt, caught between your wants and your family’s needs

Rest easy, friends, I’m here to free you from this web of dinner despair. These five simple dinner hacks can help make even the most impossible cooking days just a little bit easier and a lot more fun.

1- Sunrise at Sunset

For some reason, making a morning meal at night doesn’t hold as much dread. Whether you prepare omelets with hearty leftover veggies and meats from the fridge, complimented by some great seasonings, (I love Rockin’ Ranch or Phoenix Sunrise with eggs), or a simple bowl of whole-grain cereal with fruit and yogurt (try dusting it with Awesome Autumn or Sinful Cinnamon- OMG!). These dishes can be whipped up easily, AND they have they get bonus points for making your kids excited about what’s in front of them.

2- Made Ahead Magic

Sundays are a great day for stocking the freezer. Once a month, take an hour or so to make delicious meals that can easily be frozen and reheated for later use. There are great online resources on taking ingredients, putting them in a bag and freezing them. I even love this idea so much that starting in April, I’m going to host some freezer-meal classes and workshops. Keep your eyes peeled!

3- Slow Cooker Rescue

I can’t say enough about one of the best tools out there for any kitchen. You simply throw, go, and feel the worry about cooking immediately fade. All you have to do later is assemble and eat!

4- Cook Once, Eat Twice

Grilling steak or chicken? Making a great meatloaf or pasta? Prepare a double serving and re-purpose a portion of it later in the week to take the “again?” out of leftovers. Chicken or steak can be used in wraps, fajitas, or over salads. Meatloaf mix can be made into meatballs or mini meatloafs in a muffin tin. Leftover plain pasta can be turned into just about anything- a salad, a main dish, or even served alone with some simple tomatoes & sauce.

5- Order out.

Yup. I said it. Order takeout, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Simply choose wisely and don’t make it a habit. If they know your name at the local diner or pizza place, it’s probably time to come to one of my cooking classes and find a better strategy.

I can’t promise that you’ll never loathe the thought of cooking again, but you can ease the amount of work you put in every day. These easy to follow dinner hacks can help you get through the tough times and meet your goal: to just get dinner done.

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  • Karen Kimberley
    Posted at 16:08h, 23 October Reply

    These ideas are especially comfortable to a single person that hates the imposition of cooking for just one person. All of these ideas lend themselves well to the busy schedules of active single folks. I still work (even though I’m old) 40 hours a week, teach line dancing at our recreation center two nights a week, do alterations for friends losing weight, and sell hand made jewelry for my artist son. When does all of that leave time for a woman to grocery shop and cook? These 4 hacks work very well for me. I can’t use #5 because I live in a remote location where I cannot get food deliveries. Oh well. If I utilize the other 4, I won’t even need that one, will I? Thank you Stacey, for having a solution for us single folks even though that might not have been your primary goal.

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