Getting Started, Getting Organized

By EatingWell Editors

Putting a nutritious meal on the table in a hurry depends on a few easy-to-follow guidelines.

Follow these 5 simple steps to make your kitchen the hub of healthy in a hurry.

  1. Take a few moments over the weekend or one weeknight to plan out your meals for the coming days. If you wait until you get home from work on Tuesday to figure out what’s for dinner chances are you’ll open a box or order in pizza or Chinese.
  2. Make a detailed shopping list, grouping what you need based on the layout of your favorite market and how you like to work your way through it. This saves time and stress because you avoid backtracking from the dairy section to the produce department for the forgotten onions.
  3. Cook extra on more leisurely days. Some foods can easily be cooked in larger volumes and kept refrigerated or frozen in anticipation of days when time is really short.
  4. Blanch plenty of fresh vegetables, such as green beans and broccoli, at the beginning of the week and store them in resealable bags for up to five days. Quickly rewarmed or sautéed and then seasoned, these make for almost-instant side dishes.
  5. Make your own precut vegetables. The next time you’re chopping an onion, consider preparing two and putting the second in a sealable bag for tomorrow’s dinner. Or slice up a second head of broccoli or cauliflower and keep the florets in the freezer (for a few months). You wouldn’t use frozen vegetables in a recipe that showcases fresh ones, but you can take them right from the freezer to your skillet for any cooked dish.