May 20, 2024

We all want to eat better. And while most people know (and research indicates) that preparing healthy meals at home is one of the best ways to do that, it often doesn’t happen. Let’s face it: At the end of a busy day, the last thing anyone wants to do is spend hours cooking and then scrubbing dirty dishes! That’s likely why a survey released in 2019 found that 56 percent of Americans ordered takeout or delivery two to three times per week.

But what if cooking something delicious and nutritious at home were just as easy — or even easier — than ordering takeout? No, it’s not impossible. Here are some steps you can take to make a quick, healthy dinner that will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time.

Chop Ingredients Into Small Pieces

The smaller you cut your ingredients, the faster they will cook, notes Reader’s Digest. This works especially well for vegetables and meat, so err on the small side in order to get dinner done in a hurry. The same is true for ground meats, which come already “cut” in a way that makes them cook up much quicker than other cuts of meat. You can do the prep work ahead of time and freeze pre-chopped fruits and vegetables to get an extra serving of produce on the table quickly.

Choose Quick-Cooking Ingredients

Some healthy ingredients don’t make the best picks for a quick meal because they naturally take a long time to cook. Take brown rice, for example, which is a healthy whole grain. Unfortunately, brown rice can take 30 minutes or more of cooking in order to reach the desired tenderness. Cooking your grains ahead of time or choosing a quick-cooking or already fully cooked version can get dinner ready faster. And of course, meals you don’t have to cook at all are naturally speedy options.

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