Being a mom is one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs in the world. Indian working mothers, in particular, have a special set of challenges when it comes to meal planning and cooking for their families. With busy schedules and demanding responsibilities, finding the time and energy to prepare healthy, nutritious meals can be a struggle. However, with a little bit of planning and creativity, it’s possible to create delicious and healthy meals that the whole family will love
Top 10 Cooking Tips / Hacks for Working Mothers
Meal Planning: Plan your meals for the week in advance. This helps you avoid last-minute decisions and saves time during busy weekdays. It can reduce stress and save time. Tag it on the fridge or kitchen shelf for a handy reference.
Prepping Ingredients over the weekend: Take some time on the weekends or a designated day to chop vegetables, marinate meat, or prepare other ingredients ahead of time. Clean and de-stem the mint and coriander for use the whole weekend. Remember not to wash them and store them, or else you will spoil them with moisture.
Note: Keep in mind that vegetables lose nutrients and flavor once cut because they are exposed to air (oxidation). Proper storage of cut vegetables maintains freshness and flavor longer and also makes them really easy to eat as snacks or use in recipes. All cut vegetables should be used within 2 to 3 days.
Prepare Purees in larger batches: Try to make tomato purees, Onion-tomato masala, and boiled spinach purees in large batches, and small batches of chutneys like coconut chutney, mint chutney, and dips and deep freeze them. Thaw them when required and use them in your meals.
Note: Tomato puree can be frozen for up to six months but starts to lose its fresh flavor after about three months. I would personally recommend creating a new batch every 15 days.
Keep ready-to-use Dips in the fridge: Either you can purchase them from the store or make them at home. These homemade dips are healthy for your children. They can be made at home very easily with just a few ingredients, and you are sorted for an uncertain evening snack or hunger. You can store them in your fridge for a week. These dip scan be applied in sandwiches to make your breakfast routine way more easier.
Recommended Reading: Delicious Recipes for Quick and Easy Dips
Try One-Pot Meals: Opt for recipes that require minimal cleanup by cooking everything in one pot or on a single sheet pan. Just like vegetable pulao, chicken biryani, khichdi, chicken pasta or vegetable porridge. One-pot dishes are not meant to be tough. This not only saves time but also reduces the number of dishes to wash.
Create Premixes for instant cooking: You can prepare homemade premixes for instant cooking if you don't trust packaged premixes availble n the market. Check out the required recipes online on youtube and spend your one weekend preparing the same.
Get the Kids and Family Involved: Get your kids involved in the kitchen and let them help with meal preparation. This will not only help you save time, but it will also teach your kids valuable cooking skills and the importance of healthy eating. Cooking can become a family affair, making it more enjoyable and helping to share the workload.
Use Leftovers: Take advantage of leftovers from previous meals and use them in new, creative ways. For example, turn leftover roasted chicken into sandwiches or use cooked vegetables as fillings for wraps or omelets.
Utilize Pre-Cut Ingredients: Take advantage of pre-cut and pre-washed vegetables, pre-cooked grains, or pre-marinated meats from the grocery store. These can significantly reduce preparation time and make cooking a breeze.
Buy Premix available in the market: So many home-grown brands are coming up with ready-to-cook indian premixes without compromising on taste, and nutrition. Like oats chilla mix, dosa premix, and Moongdal premixes are easily available in the market. Must try if you are low on time to prepare for the meals.
Recommended Reading: Quick and Easy Indian Breakfast/Lunchbox Ideas for Working Moms
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