For the Busy Mama: Your Guide to Preparing Quick and Easy Meals
Once upon a time, there was a day and time when a “woman’s place” was in the home, taking care of the children and having dinner ready for her husband by the time he got home from work. Things were so much simpler then, right? Yes, they were… but then, seemingly out of nowhere, a “woman’s place” quickly shifted from the kitchen to an office space… oh, how the times have changed.
Today, women can have the best of both worlds; today a woman can be a devoted wife and mother and totally be smart and savvy businesswoman all at the same time! You go girl! Now that’s not saying, by any means, that women who enjoy being stay-at-home mothers (SAHM) aren’t living up to their potential or that working mothers are neglecting motherhood. Everyone lives different lives and you have to live yours according to your lifestyle.
Whether you’re a SAHM or a working mother, your responsibilities aren’t any less than the others… you’re both very busy and the last thing you have time to do is to be stuck in the kitchen for hours cooking the day away. The only time that is excusable is if it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or some other special occasion… other than that, your go-to for meals need to be quick and simple. According to mompowerment.com, it’s all about being present.
If you do a search online for quick and easy meals, you’ll see thousands of sites with “quick and easy recipes” pop up. How many times have you went to some of those sites and found that a lot of those recipes aren’t so quick and not so simple? Everyone has experienced it at some point and ended up having to check out other sites with recipes that sound more your speed.
Well, if you want to save yourself some time and effort in your search for quick and easy recipes, There are certain things you need to be aware of when looking at recipes. Take a look at this guide to see what’s in the makings of a quick and easy meal.
Prep time means the amount of time it takes to prepare the meal. Ideally, you want to find a recipe that has a prep time of anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes. Anything longer than that isn’t really classified as “quick.” The prep time is the most important part of any recipe because it’s the part of the recipe that determines just how much work you have to do and how hands-on you have to be. If the prep time requires too much of you or cuts into time that you could spend with your family, then you might want to find a new recipe.
Cook time really isn’t too big of a deal. Well, it is but it isn’t if that makes any sense. The cook time is pretty much the time you wait for your food to get done. So this isn’t a big deal, it just depends on what time you typically have dinner. If your family normally has dinner at 7 pm but the cooking time is two hours, you don’t want to be eating dinner at 9 pm… so recipes like that you’ll want to save for another time.
Now, if you do have the time to dedicate to certain meals, then go for it! A lot of those types of meals are meals that you want to plan ahead for. You can even make enough of that meal to freeze and warm up on another day. For example, if you learn how to make falafel, it’s a great meal that you can make a lot of and freeze it for another time.
Number of Ingredients
The number of ingredients is one of the biggest turn-offs of busy moms. If you look at a recipe and see tons of ingredients needed, most people immediately will go to another site. But the number of ingredients shouldn’t automatically make you want to leave the site. What lots of people fail to look at when looking at the ingredients is how many of the ingredients they already have in their pantry or cabinets.
A recipe may call for 12 ingredients but you already have seven of those ingredients, leaving you to only need 5 ingredients… that’s not a bad deal at all. You’ll just need to run to the store to grab those few ingredients and you can be on your way to preparing your quick and easy meal. Now, if that recipe required 12 different ingredients and you didn’t have any of those ingredients, you’re going to be adding to your prep time, especially if you have to go to a few different stores.
For busy moms, the best cooking base is crock pots. Crockpots are the epitome of easy, not so much as quick but where the quickness comes in is the fact that you can dump all of your ingredients in the crockpot and go to work, run errands, and do whatever it is that you need to do and by the time you get done, your meal will be ready. You didn’t have to stand over a hot stove or continually watch your meal.
Not spending your days in the kitchen is ideally what’s going to help you make the most of your time as a mom. It’s perfectly fine to enjoy cooking but you have a life and a family that lives outside the kitchen. If you want to make memories with your family, you’re going to have to figure out ways to create meals for your family that won’t cut into family time so much.
Whether you decide to make crockpot meals or bake or fry your meals, just remember, you already have enough on your plate… take the time to savor the moments you have with your family in the moment.