Sometimes the easiest meal is the best. If you are like most people, you have a busy schedule with days where you can’t afford to cook for long periods of time. These occasions call for a more time-efficient meal that is both simple and well planned. These meals can include a number of different methods and foods, but the best in my experience include soups, Crock-Pot meals, and cold preparation.
Soups and Stews
A good soup or stew is a great way to get a quick, easy, nutritious meal with wide variety and room for variation. Soups can simmer for long periods of time but should not be left unsupervised with the stove on. Instead, make a large batch that will last for days on end, and then store it in the fridge. The soup or stew can be warmed up easily on the stove or in the microwave for a fast, easy meal that require little effort to make, store, or reheat.
The undiscovered wonder of modern cooking, the Crock-Pot is, in my opinion, underused and undervalued. You have the option of putting in a roast with vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, waiting five hours, and then enjoying a perfectly cooked meal on the spot. Just put the roast on in the morning before you leave for work or school, and it will be waiting for you when you get home. There are limitless ways to use the Crock-Pot and limitless meals to enjoy from it.
You may not think of a meal as cold, but cold preparation cooking can be both fast and delicious, as it requires no warming up and limited preparation. Many options are available through this method, including anything with cheeses, cold cuts, vegetables, and breads. My personal favorite is gazpacho, a cold soup that I enjoy straight from the fridge, including tomatoes, cucumbers, and other seasonings and juices.