I am not sure about you, but I am always on the hunt for ‘new to me’ recipes that are hearty, delicious and that are also nutritious and nourishing. It is so easy to want to run through the drive through after a long day of work as the thought of cooking a meal and then having to clean up afterwards is exhausting. The fact of the matter is that fast food and takeout is simply not good for you. Eating out occasionally is OK as a treat, but to eat it frequently is not a good thing for the health and wellness of you and your family. Have you looked at the nutritional values of the menu items you order at your favorite restaurant recently? I have and it is not pretty… and it is the reason I have started cooking at home more often than not, as I can cook foods and meals for my family that are yummy and good for them. The trick is finding recipes like this one for minuterice.com/recipes/red-beans-and-rice/, that are easy to make and that take little time to cook which is the reason I wanted to share this post with you all. Below you will find some of my favorite tips and tricks to creating ‘easy to make’ recipes that are yummy, hearty and nourishing and the best part.. they are quick, easy to make and your entire family will love them.
Invest In A Good Slow Cooker
My first tip is to invest in a good slow cooker. The slow cooker is my life saver for busy weeknights as I can start the meal in the morning and let it cook slow all day long while I am working. When you get home… you get to enjoy a delicious slow cooked meal that has been simmering to perfection all day long. It really does not get any better than that and your family will appreciate it.
One of my go too’s for the Slow Cooker is Salsa Chicken. I will buy 5 or 6 large chicken breasts an brown them on both sides after seasoning with a little salt and pepper. I have a slow cooker that also acts as a stove top so I can brown everything in the slow cooker before actually slow cooking which is handy. If your slow cooker does not do this.. you can simply brown the chicken in a small skillet before adding tp the slow cooker. Once they are browned on both sides, I simply dump a large jar of Pineapple Salsa on top (any kind of salsa will do… whatever you like). I set the cooker on low and let it simmer all day long. I serve them as is with a side salad and a rice dish OR you can shred the Salsa Chicken and serve it in flour taco shells with your favorite toppings.
I also happen to have the most amazing Pot Roast recipe for the slow cooker and honestly… it cooks the pot roast to perfection each and every time. You can grab the recipe here on the blog, but make sure to search the web for slow cooker recipes as the possibilities are endless. One of my favorite platforms to use for finding new recipes is Pinterest… make sure you check it out.
Invest In Good Cookware
Investing in a good set of cookware is important as well. Making sure that you have the appropriate pots and pans needed to whip up a yummy weeknight dinner is super important as good cookware ensures that your foods will be cooked beautifully plus most are designed so that clean up a breeze. I am a huge fan of Anolon cookware and my favorite Anolon skillet is the perfect pan to whip up delicious quick and easy weeknight meals. The best part is my Anolon pans are super easy to clean and they last for years and years.
I know that investing in good cookware can be expensive, but being savvy is not always about purchasing the cheapest of products. Sometimes it is simply about shopping smart. The perfect example is my vacuum. I broke down and purchased my first Dyson about 15 years ago. I had been buying $100 to $150 vacuums each year and they were literally lasting just about 12 months. It was annoying and I just wanted a good vacuum. Finally I broke down and bought a Dyson. It was $499 at the time but it came with a 5 year warranty and to me… I was spending at least $100 each year on a new vacuum so I thought… if this thing lasts 5 years.. it will be worth it. It lasted 10 years before I replaced it with a new one. The best investment I ever made. The same is true when investing in good cookware. Do not go with the cheapest as you do get what you pay for.
Invest In A Good Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
Investing in a good Instant Pot is another fabulous tip here for easy, quick weeknight recipes. A good Instant pot is like a slow cooker on steroids.. as it cooks everything in record time.There are many uses for an Instant Pot. It’s not just used for pressure cooking, although that’s its primary function. You can also use it as a slow cooker and rice cooker, or to bake, make yogurt, and even do some canning.
Some of the uses vary by model, so if you’re set on doing one particular thing, you’ll want to make sure you get the appropriate model. With an Instant Pot you can enjoy using it as a Pressure cooker, Slow cooker, Rice cooker, Steamer, Sauté Mode, Keep food warm, Make Yogurt, Sterilize, Make cakes, Canning & even Sous Vide!
It’s no surprise that the Instant Pot is as popular as it is today, since t it can cook food in a fraction of the time. You simply set it, and then walk away until your food is ready. That makes the Instant Pot a perfect solution for when you want to get a home cooked meal on the table fast and that makes this one of the perfect tools for helping with those quick and yummy weeknight meals.
Invest In A Good Gas Grill
A good gas grill makes cooking on nice weather days a breeze for me and it is one of my favorite tips. I love how everything tastes when cooked on the grill and the best part… I am not making any mess in my kitchen. I can whip up some burgers or grill some fish and cook a side dish right on the side burner. All I have to do is clean up my grill area and wash the pot from my side dish and I am done with cleanup. It really does not get any easier than that.
All items are above are must haves for anyone looking to do more of their own cooking for their families even on busy weeknights. There are a few more essentials that every kitchen needs to make sure you can get everything done timely and efficiently….Invest in a good set of knives, a good cutting board or chopping block, Kitchen Scissors, a good sheet pan for roasting (perfect for weeknight sheet pan dinners), and it is good to have a Cast Iron Skillet on hand too. I can go on and on here as I have tons of tools in the kitchen as it is just my thing… but make sure to have the essentials listed above so that you can begin cooking healthier and cleaner for yourself and for your family starting today!