Kaitlyn Furtado, MS, RDN, LDN
Cooking when you really don't want to
Everyone has days where they’ve been running around all day and the last thing they want to do is come home and cook a meal. Here at Collaborative Kidney Care, we get that! Cooking on a tight schedule can seem like just one more chore to do when you could just order takeout instead. We’re here to share a few ways that you can cook on a tight schedule and still have time to relax and enjoy your time at home because cooking should never be a chore.
Crockpots and Instant Pots
One of the best ways to have an easy low effort meal is to cook in a crockpot or an instant pot. Both of these machines allow you to just throw in your ingredients and leave them alone, allowing you to free up time for yourself to do what you care about. There are many recipes online for both crockpots and instant pots. The possibilities are almost endless, but as we really get into the depth of the winter and the snow starts to fall, one of the best crockpot or instant pot meals is a nice hearty soup.
If you don’t have a crockpot or an instant pot, there’s no reason to rush out and buy one! Another really effective way of minimizing your time cooking is to make a one-pot meal. This gets rid of all those pesky dishes you have to wash when your done cooking and brings it down to just the one pot you cooked in. This is a personal favorite, who doesn’t like cutting down on dishes? These meals tend to cook quicker than the crockpot meals, but they typically require more attention when cooking.
Meal prepping can save you so much time on a busy day. When you think of meal prepping you might think of individual meals that you store in the fridge all week that are all the same meal. This is not how it has to be. The key to meal prepping is taking time out of one day of the week to plan out your meals for the week. Once the meals are planned you can begin the true meal prep. This can range from fully preparing meals and refrigerating them to be heated up later on in the week, to just preparing the parts of the meal so they can be cooked later. Either way, any preparation before the workweek begins will help cut down on the time you spend making meals when the days are busier.
Where to find healthy recipes
The internet is full of recipes, but it can be hard to know where to find recipes that are actually good for you. Some of the best websites for tasty and healthy recipes are: The American Heart Society, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and The National Kidney Foundation. If a recipe has a nutrition label, it is important to look at the sodium content of the dish and aim to keep your daily sodium intake to under 2,000mg of sodium per day.