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12 November, 2017

10 Tips for Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals

Posted in : Uncategorized on by : poppop

Ten Tips for Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals

I hope that you find this helpful. If you have any additional tips please send them to me at jack@poppopcooks.com. I’ve used all of these tips and many more and I will be posting more tips after sending a few more recipes your way. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think.

 1.  Potatoes usually take longer to cook than the other ingredients in your “quick and easy” meals so if you want to cut some time use your microwave. Even if you want to finish them  in the skillet to get that pan fried look and taste…….

One Skillet Chicken Dinner-4-poppopcooks.com-one pot-one pan-quick and easy-gluten free

………like in this One Skillet Chicken Dinner shown here, you could cook them halfway in the microwave then finish them of in the skillet with the rest of the ingredients. Even “baked potatoes” can be done in the microwave in about 5-10 minutes depending on how many. You can even do “twice baked potatoes” in the microwave. You can also prep for hash browns in there also.

2. Chop up onions and garlic in big batches – even in a food processor if you want – and keep them in zip-locs in the freezer so all you have to do is measure out what the recipe calls for and not have to chop on a busy weeknight. You could also use pre chopped onions like these that you can find in the freezer section. And…..




……..chopped garlic in a jar like this in the produce section.

3. Look for ways to cook the whole meal in one pot or in the oven in one cookie sheet or baking dish like this Salmon, Broccoli and Sweet potato weeknight supper.

One Pan Salmon Dinner-4-poppopcooks.com-one pot-quick and easy-gluten free

4. Put your pasta in the pot as soon as you put it on the stove. You don’t have to wait for the water to boil. It took me a while to give in to that, being the old time cook that I am but It works! and saves time. And when you are using a cut pasta like penne or rigatoni you can more easily make it a one pot meal by cooking the pasta right along with the other ingredients. Like these gnocchi with shrimp. BTW gnocchi cooks  in about 2-3 minutes.


One Pot Shrimp Dinner-9-poppopcooks.com

5. Whenever you boil up some rice make a lot more than you need that night and store the extra in zip-locs in the freezer in amounts that would be right for your usual busy weeknight meals. And/or keep some minute rice in your pantry for a quick batch. Both options lend themselves real  well to one pot meals. You can also do this with pasta and potatoes.

6. When you’re in the right mood double or triple the recipe and put the extras in portion size amounts in the freezer to take to work for lunch – your coworkers will like the smell and want some cooking lessons from you – or for a “weeknight nuke it no brainer” on those nights when you don’t want to do any cooking.

7. Use those pre-cleaned and pre-cut  veggies – either frozen or fresh. They are a little more expensive but will save you a lot of time and you will have no waste or cleanup.

8. Keep some dishwasher safe cutting boards on hand for when you have to cut or trim chicken or fish. Really reduces the cleanup time and effort.

9. Have some of these pre trimmed and portion sized chicken breasts in the freezer. They have had the fat trimmed off and are ready to go. Just defrost in the microwave and get going with your supper. Or……..

………..when you have a little time on a weekend put together some Grilled Chicken for the future   and store them in the freezer so that you can have some pre cooked chicken filets on hand for an even quicker and easier weeknight meal.

10. Keep a variety of spices in your spice rack like dried basil, dried oregano, cumin, dried dill weed, lemon pepper, garlic powder, cinnamon, sage, and on and on. To give life to everyday meals. For instance you can change the flavor and presentation of chicken filets or salmon steaks lots of different ways.

Any questions or want some advice – just about cooking, sorry – email me at jack@poppopcooks.com.



Originally posted 2016-12-22 13:27:45.