... and Dinner
August 11, 2013 10:30 AM

Many love the thrill of preparing delicious and wholesome meals for their family, but with jobs, kids and other commitments, finding the time to create such dishes can be difficult.

With a little planning, you can prepare deliciously satisfying meals in a snap. Here are a few tips to save time and create mealtime favorites:


PLAN AHEAD: A bit of planning makes all the difference for saving time. Begin by choosing a day of the week to visit the grocery store. Next, create a menu plan for each evening meal of the week. Scope out which supplies you need and check your basics to ensure you’re properly stocked. Make meal-planning interactive by allowing each family member to choose a favorite dish for one night. This will get kids excited about what they’re eating and possibly result in some extra helpers by your side.


ORGANIZE YOUR KITCHEN SPACE: Nothing slows a cook down more than fumbling for a tool. Start organizing by putting similar items together and place frequently used kitchen tools close to your work space or cutting area. Place seasonal or rarely used items -— such as holiday cookie cutters -— in a storage area to save room for the essentials.

Invest in Time-Saving Appliances

Some appliances make the job of the cook very easy. An investment in a slow cooker opens up a whole world of dishes that require only a few small steps. A quality rice cooker miraculously creates fluffy, perfect rice for any side or food type.

Lemongrass Basil Chicken Pasta

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

1 pound chicken breast, cubed

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup sliced zucchini

8 ounces rice noodles

1 package Saffron Road lemongrass basil simmer sauce

Chopped nuts (any variety)

In large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil. Once hot, add cubed chicken and brown on all sides. Toss chicken with diced carrots and chicken broth. Simmer on medium heat for 5-8 minutes.

Follow directions on package of rice noodles and prepare.

When carrots have softened, add zucchini. Stir to combine and coat everything in pan. Cook to desired tenderness.

If you like soft vegetables, allow to simmer 15-20 minutes.

For a crisper taste, simmer 10 minutes.

When chicken and vegetables are cooked to your taste, toss in rice noodles, making sure they are coated in the sauce. Be aware rice noodles break down quickly, so add at the last moment.


— Courtesy of Saffron Road and Family Features

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