Blog

10 Secrets of Working Moms Who Cook Dinner Every Night

April 12, 2017

Avoid the Monday to Friday dinnertime scramble

If you’ve about had it with getting creative about making dinner during the hectic work week, school week, life week, we completely get it. There’s something about ending a long day and then facing the fridge that makes so many of us instantly reach for our phones to order from GrubHub or Seamless instead. It’s true that there are many challenges to trying to cook a home-cooked meal after a long day, according Jennifer Aaronson, Martha & Marley Spoon’s Culinary Director. “First off, the minute you step in the door, everyone seems to want your attention—the kids, your husband, the dog, so focusing on organizing a meal from the fridge can be frustrating,” she says. “Second, you need ingredients in the fridge and some sort of plan in place to cook them. No plan often means a pot of pasta or a dinner of scrambled eggs and toast, so thinking ahead is a must for anything more substantial.” All the more reason we asked several top experts—many of whom are busy moms—to offer options that don’t involve laborious 10-step recipes or super advanced cooking skills.

Keep a well-stocked kitchen

Always have go-to pantry and freezer staples (like whole grain pasta, brown rice, low-sodium canned beans, frozen fruits, and vegetables) on hand and you’ll find it much easier to throw together a balanced meal without spending hours prepping. “The same goes for your spice cabinet,” says Lindsey Janeiro, a dietitian in Sarasota, Florida. “Maximize flavor in your spice cabinet by stocking spice blends your family loves, like a taco seasoning blend, Italian seasoning for pasta night, or an herbes de Provence blend that can be used on potatoes, chicken, or fish.” These are the pantry staples that healthy people always stock up on.

Plan, plan, plan

Six o’clock at night on a weekday is not the time to have zero idea of what you’re going to make for dinner. Or, so says Christina Galoozis, a Chicago mom who cooks every night despite a 45-minute commute to work. “I mark what we’re eating every night on our laundry room white board so I remember whether I need to thaw something overnight,” she says. “This also eliminates mid-week trips to the store. I go to the grocery store once per weekend for an hour—that’s it!” Check out these secrets to healthier grocery shopping.

Cook once, eat all week

Devote a few hours to cooking big batches of grains—or cook your proteins to mix and match throughout the week while you have a calm few hours on Sunday, suggests Diana Mitrea, a certified personal trainer in New York City. “Things like quinoa, farrow, and rice can last for three-plus days.” Beans are another item to cook in bulk, suggests Ellen King, head baker and co-owner of Hewn, a bakery in Evanston, Illinois. “I ladle out cooked beans into one-cup portions and freeze them,” says this mom. “This way I can pull a bag from the freezer and use it in tacos, beans and rice, on top of a salad, or as a spread.” Here’s how beans can blast fat and curb cravings.

Make friends with the freezer

Frozen veggies are great to have on hand because of their versatility. You can use them in a stir-fry, salad, or simple one-skillet dish, says Trinity Perkins, a personal trainer in Woodbridge, Virginia. “These pre-packaged veggie mixes are a quick way to get a complete meal underway.” Try these freezing and defrosting tips to help save you time and money.

Try an all-in-one

Not only are one-pot meals like beef stew or your favorite chili easy to make, but you’ll also use fewer pots and pans, which means less clean-up, according to Silvia Baldini, a chef in Connecticut. “These usually freeze and reheat very well too,” she adds.

Go high-tech

Whether it’s a pressure cooker, insta-pot, crockpot, or slow cooker, find one that you like and watch as cooking meals comes down to plugging in a gizmo in the morning and coming home to an aromatic cooked entree at night. “Any device that allows for cooking ahead, hands-off cooking, or shortened cooking times is always helpful,” says Martha & Marley Spoon’s Aaronson. Galoozis says she’s a big fan of her crockpot. “I can throw frozen chicken breasts and one full jar of salsa in the morning before I leave, and by the time I come home it can be used for chicken tacos, on a chicken salad, or something else that takes fewer than 10 minutes to pull together,” she says. Try these slow cooker recipes so dinner can get done while you’re at work.

Multitask your oven work

Cook something on the burner and something in the oven at the same time, suggests Mitrea. “I’ll sauté some veggies on the stove top and then bake some chicken in the oven at the same time,” she says. “It cuts your cooking time in half. If you do one thing at a time, it will take significantly more time.”

Recycle ingredients

When possible, make a double batch of your meal so you can have dinner tonight and a second batch to freeze for another night, says Janeiro. Chicken stir-fry can become tacos the next day. A bowl of chili easily transfers into bell peppers for a baked dish another night that week. “This is a great trick when you’re already spending time making from-scratch meals like meatballs, chili, fajita chicken, and vegetables,” she says. Check out these other weeknight dinner hacks.

Consider breakfast for dinner

If you have a dozen eggs, some cheese, frozen spinach, or fresh mushrooms, and maybe a strip of bacon in your fridge leftover from a weekend brunch, you’re in business. “Making a large egg scramble with meat and veggies is something the whole family can enjoy,” says Perkins. Check out these delicious breakfast-for-dinner recipes.

Read the original article at Reader’s Digest.

Comments are closed.

Find Us

Address

810 Dempster St. Evanston, IL 60202
Directions

Phone

847-869-HEWN(4396)

Current Job Openings:

We are hiring an experienced Artisan Bread Baker.  Click here to learn more.

We are hiring a Wholesale Delivery Driver/Front Counter Staff. Click here for a full description of the position available.

We are hiring an Assistant Pastry Chef.  Click here for a full description of the position.

Wholesale Inquiries

Email Julie Matthei

Sign up for our Newsletter

Extended Summer Hours

Monday Closed
Tuesday – Friday 7:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday – Sunday 8:00am – 3:00pm


Limited Supply

Hewn will close early if we sell-out of breads and pastries. Customers can reserve bread and/or pastry items by calling ahead at 847-869-HEWN(4396). We cannot accept reservations left on our answering machine.  All reserved bread must be picked up by 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer.

Looking for a donation for your charitable event?

Download our donation form, fill it out and email it back to Hewn.

Our next special event is Feast on the Farm, scheduled for Saturday, August 5th, 2017.  Click here to learn more.

Latest Hewn News


10 Secrets of Working Moms Who Cook Dinner Every Night

Avoid the Monday to Friday dinnertime scramble If you’ve about had it with getting creative about making dinner during the hectic work week, school week, life week, we completely get it. There’s something about ending a long day and then facing the fridge that makes so many of us instantly reach for our phones to […]

04/10/2017

Inaugural conference offers support for Evanston’s female entrepreneurs

In the eyes of Linda Del Bosque, women run the world of Evanston entrepreneurship. “Evanston is known for empowerment,” said Del Bosque, publisher and editor in chief of Evanston Woman Magazine. “Women do dominate the entrepreneurship here in Evanston, and it’s because we are the fabric of empowerment and voice.” Thirty-five female leaders came together […]

The Artisan Bread Alchemist (Otherwise Known as Hewn Bakery)

The other weekend (okay, a while back…), Troy and I decided to take the scenic route home from the city after filming a personal trainer friend’s bootcamp class for a promo video (note that Troy’s side hustle is video editing). Aside from the fact that driving along the lake is 100 times more pleasant than is […]

50 Easter brunches and bakery specials in Chicago and the suburbs

Easter brunch can be hectic, especially if the whole family is getting together to celebrate. Make your day a lot easier by leaving the cooking to a restaurant — or at least count on a local bakery to handle the dessert. These spots in Chicago and the suburbs have you covered. *Unless otherwise listed, all dine-in […]


Blog archive >>


Hewn on Instagram



We are sold out of bread today and will be closing at 2pm. Thank you for your business and there will be more bread tomorrow!

12:38 PM Jul 22

Shaping and "seeding" our Holmenkollen #Rye bread. A rustic, dense 100% Rye. #bbgahttps://t.co/if0sHdCBwc

10:19 AM Jul 21

We are now looking to hire an additional bread baker! Experience is required. To learn more go… https://t.co/t2KQzrLguW

10:55 AM Jul 20

We are now hiring an experienced bread baker...click the link to learn more: https://t.co/LY7NrmNIqh

12:18 PM Jul 19

Hewn is a proud member of: Evanston Chamber of Commerce