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Cooking doesn’t have to be a hassle. You come home from work late and tired. You’re hungry, but that doesn’t automatically mean you need to order food. Cooking for the first time or the first few times can be daunting, but a little planning can stir you in the right direction. I will show you how to choose quick, easy recipes for beginners that’ll make all the difference.
Choose stir-frys first!
Stir-frys are the fastest way to cook a meal. It may not be the healthiest option, but it is the best option for starting out to cook. When you don’t know anything and have little time to cook, stir-frys can be your best friend.
Focus on Little Effort
Recipes can be tricky. They’ll advertise for 15 minutes when their prep time is 30 minutes. 15 minutes of cooking time is ideal, but it’s not 15 minutes overall. When you’re just beginning to cook, 30 minutes prep time isn’t going to be accurate either. That means a recipe author will be quick, but it may be an eternity for you. You’re going to be slow. So don’t focus only on the stated recipe time. Their estimated times can be a starting point for you, however. An estimated 15 minute overall time is way better than 2 hours. Be diligent and check both prep and cooking time. Know yourself. Are you really going to take 30 minutes prepping or is it more like 1 hour?
Look at the directions.
Like I said earlier, time varies for everyone. One way to figure out whether a recipe will be easy and quick for you to do is to look at the directions. Do any of them seem like it will take too much time or is it something you’re not comfortable doing? If you’re trying to push out a meal in the shortest amount of time, then this is what you should do.
Start Pre-made / Pre-cut / Store Bought
“Using pre-made sauces or food isn’t cooking.”
Who cares? The first thing you have to do in order to start cooking consistently for yourself is to get comfortable in the kitchen. Sometimes when you’re trying to go big, you get overwhelmed and want to give up. Let’s skip giving up and start cooking.
Using premade sauces is an easy start to cooking. There’s not a lot of experimentation that needs to be done. Simply add protein and vegetables, cook, and mix in the sauce. This cuts prep time by a lot. As beginners, sometimes sauces involve a lot of guesswork (even with measurements!). By skipping that part and choosing store-bought sauces you know you love, it saves so much time in the kitchen.
It’s not all about cook time.
This may not apply to everyone, but if you have a decent amount of time to wait before your stomach starts to grumble, then you can consider recipes that have a longer cook time if it means little effort!
Don’t dismiss a recipe entirely for its long cook time. If you’re letting a pot sit for 1 hour and not doing anything to it, then that can be ideal for those of you whose main worry isn’t time but the amount of effort.
If there’s anything to get out of this, it’s simply do not accept and make recipes blindly! Sometimes you’ll get lucky for sure, but everyone is different. The more intentional you are about the food that you make, the easier it will be. Googling easy recipes isn’t enough. Check the time. Check the directions. That’s the only way to make sure you’re doing something simple FOR YOU. Whether you love or hate it, planning saves you a lot of time and keeps you from being overwhelmed.
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