It’s always a struggle to get dinner on the table when you’re a busy mom, torn between work, kids, and, well… life. But it’s not impossible. With the right skills and tools, anyone can do it! I am thrilled to be partnering with Craftsy and Chef Ryan Scott to share with you some favorite dinner prep tips – that work even if you’re overwhelmed!
When it comes to cooking for my kids, I know I have no other choice.
It’s not that I don’t LOVE a good home-cooked meal. It’s just a matter of… time. I need to be able to “set and forget” at least 50% of the meal prep, and I struggle with creating a few dishes for a balanced meal.
And the moment a recipe uses more than one pot, I run. I don’t even have space in my sink for two pots. But if I want to serve my kids a protein, a vegetable, and some carbs, how do I do that without using MULTIPLE recipes?
But one-pot meals often require more of a scientific formula. Meaning, even if I’m NOT a chef, I actually have to know what I’m doing, beyond tossing Italian Seasoning spice mix into every recipe I make (true story.)
I’m thrilled to share with you today a brand new Craftsy class, featuring Emmy-award winning chef Ryan Scott and NBC News weather anchor Dylan Dreyer, designed to teach you how to nail those one-pot dinners.
This class helps moms like me (and dads!) cook healthy, wholesome dishes using a single cooking vessel for the entire meal.
Scott has also shared some of his favorite tips for busy moms to handle dinner – and to do an amazing job at it too!
Here are his favorite dinner prep tips for busy parents:
Use one pot:
As I mentioned above, one pot is non-negotiable for me. But it doesn’t have to end at mac ‘n cheese.
One pot can mean anything: from sheet pans to skillets. But the catch is: you only need one of them, and your ENTIRE MEAL is cooked inside! Here’s to reclaiming your dishwasher real estate! So pull out your slow cooker or your cast iron frying pan and get cookin’.
“One Pot Cooking” will teach you how to use these tools to create wholesome, nutritious, and delicious meals using only one of the above.
The cool thing is that you can really do anything: salmon with a side of asparagus (my picky kids eat both!). Or try a lasagna in a single skillet.
Watch this video to see what I’m talking about:
Which brings me to Chef Ryan’s next tip:
Chef Ryan shared with me his three essentials for one-pot cooking:
1. Especially if you can’t be bound to the house all day, a slow cooker is your best friend.
“Slow cookers are great,” says Chef Ryan. There’s so much you can make in them – if you understand the way it works.
2. But you don’t need to limit yourself to slow cookers. Chef Ryan explains: “One pan meals are my favorite you. There are many vessels that can be used as your ‘one pan’ from cast iron skillets, to roasting pans, to sheet pans, they all work for different uses!”
3. Ever found a delicious recipe but didn’t have the time to run out and buy all the essential?
“A well stocked pantry is essential to making easy recipes. Use ingredients that are versatile and shelf friendly,” shares Chef Ryan.
For me, that means knowing which basics my kids will eat. I keep our ten favorite condiments handy (4 types of vinegar – balsamic, apple cider, wine, and white), as well as a few types of oils. Perishable vegetables like broccoli, corn, peas and tomatoes I keep canned or frozen. I also make sure to be stocked with dried goods that aren’t perishable, and with protein options beyond chicken and meat, such as canned chick peas and fish.
Don’t compromise on nutrition:
“I find people only consider one-pot meals as crock pots or slow cookers which is not true. A one pot meal is simply using one vessel to cook your food. Use good nutritional ingredients and don’t go crazy with unhealthy ingredients.” says Chef Ryan.
And I agree with him about this misconception. Like I said above, one pot meals doesn’t need to mean mac ‘n cheese. Chef Ryan teaches how to cook with real ingredients so that you can feed your family only the best – without it taking a toll on your own health.
More tips from Chef Ryan for busy moms:
Chef Ryan shared some extra tips to keep in mind when prepping dinner:
Know how to use your kitchen staples
Make sauces in batches that are universal and delicious
Learning to cook one-pot meals can really free up your time so that me-time and self-care can once again become a reality in your life. They can help you spend more quality time with your kids rather than frantically cooking three separate dishes so that you feed your family a balanced meal.
One Pot Cooking Craftsy Class:
Chef Ryan says that the one thing you can expect from this class is a “full crash course on how to make the easiest meals. Yes, full meals!”
Think you can’t afford it? Think again!
“One Pot Cooking” is a Craftsy class. You can either pay a one-time fee of $40 to get this class. Or you can sign up for the full video subscription – Craftsy Unlimited – where you’ll get acess to many exclusive video tutorials and courses. The cost is just $14.99 a month or $120 if you go for the annual subscription.
Still not sure? You can sign up for a free trial and give “One Pot Cooking” a try!
What are your best dinner prep tips for busy moms? Visit Craftsy for more information on this class and to sign up!
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