1. Declutter your kitchen
Most people keep gadgets, tools, and pans they never use in their kitchen. For efficient meal planning, you need an efficient kitchen. If your drawers are filled with 1960’s artifacts you’ve never used, there is a good chance you don’t need those items. Take everything out of your kitchen you have not used in a year. Creating space so that you are able to find your vegetable peeler or spatula when you need it helps you save time, effort and energy in the kitchen. And leaves you time to make dinner without getting flustered at every turn.
2. Get the right tools
A good chef knife is the foundation of every kitchen. If you have to cut an onion with a knife that’s not made for this, you waste time wrestling with your vegetables. This is not an efficient way to use the short time frame you have to get dinner on the table. Along with decluttering, getting the right kitchen tools can save you minutes, if not hours in the kitchen. For a list of chef approved tools, click here.
3. Setup + organize your kitchen before cooking
It’s easy to get flustered when you are cooking in a cluttered or dirty space. It’s also easier to cook if you read the recipe, take out all the ingredients and equipment you’ll need, and know which steps to take. Most people cook as they go, and unless you’re a pro, this becomes an overly time consuming approach. Making sure to keep a baseline order in the kitchen, clean as you go, and stay organized goes a long way into saving time in the kitchen.
4. Keep weeknight meals simple
I say there are weeknight recipes, and there are weekend recipes. Keep your weeknight recipes simple. Plan for a simple roasted piece of fish with a salad, a pan seared steak with steamed broccoli, or anything that does not involve more than 5 to 6 ingredients. If you are cooking ahead, then one pot meals like chilies, stews, and curries where you can double the recipe and freeze half are ideal. These one pot meals, however, generally involve more steps and a longer cooking time, so you may want to prep them on Sunday to have for the week.
5. Recycle your menus
Planning menus is hard. Meal Planner Pro helps make it easy by saving your menus and recipes in one place. Once you have 3 to 4 months of weekly plans, there is no need to keep planning your meals. Simply recycle your meal plans, grocery and prep lists, and begin the cycle again. Once you’ve streamlined your systems, you’ll never need to plan another meal again for a long, long time.
About the author;
Brigitte Thériault is a personal chef, master meal planner and personal chef business coach. She has 10 years of experience as a personal chef in New York and San Francisco. She believes eating good food is a basic, hedonistic pleasure that demands good, simple ingredients to nourish body and soul. She also believes in entrepreneurship as a way of life and thrives on helping people figure out how to make more money doing what they love. Visit Brigitte at White Apron Chef , and connect with her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .