The Easier Way to Cook Meals at Home

Updated: May 14

True confession: I'm not overly fond of cooking every single day, but since I like to eat, stay as healthy as possible, eat organic, save money on groceries, and help my hubby Steve take his lunch to work every day rather than eat processed fast food out, I have found myriad ways to cook that save time and money, produce healthy meals, and make cleanup easier too.

A few of my at-home cooking tips:

I keep my cookware to a minimum, favoring just three Corningware pans: this size, this size, this size.  You don't need a fancy TV cooking show nor a ton of pans to cook, you need about three of the pans YOU like BEST. Call me old-school, but Corningware heats nicely, doesn't stick, and I went back to it years ago because I had it as a newlywed way back when and it still works better than any other pans I've ever used.  If you do cook something in there that occasionally sticks on, fill the pan with warm soapy water to which you have added one cup of baking soda, stir, and in a few hours, the stuck on stuff will come right off without scrubbing. Promise.

I keep my cabinets very organized! (Surprise, surprise!) :) I use the BPA-free Rubbermaid brand storage containers with the red lids because they last a long time, can be put in the dishwasher, and seal well. I have tried other brands and didn't like them as they were too flimsy and/or leaked. I prefer glass storage containers, but found them too heavy to use on a regular basis, especially when filled with frozen food, so these are the best alternative in my opinion.

Even though I have tried various cooking methods over the years I still favor the slow cooker method as we put the food in at night, turn it on low, go to bed and in the morning our meals are DONE. Pack your work lunch, eat the rest for dinner, freeze any leftovers. Easy cleanup. I now have three slow cookers: this one, this one, and this one. I put the main dish in one and two veggie sides in the other two.  And then ...

I use these divided storage containers that hold the main dish and two veggie sides. I love these containers as they are a heavy weight and BPA-free. Not to mention pretty with various color lids! Forget expensive processed "TV dinners" -- I make my own, and you can too!

What I don't do to cook:  Personally, I don't do all-day cooking marathons as I find that too overwhelming and tiring. I just make bigger batches when I cook regular meals and freeze what's left over. The containers you see above were from three crockpots of food:  one main dish and two veggie sides.  After we each had one meal, into the freezer the rest  went.

Someone on Instagram asked me for my favorite Crockpot recipes. Here's a simple pasta recipe I like and make almost weekly, and my hubby Steve loves it too.

Noodles & Tomatoes

1 box (I use GF) noodles, dry

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1 chopped onion (I buy the frozen already chopped and in a bag)

1 t. parsley

1 t. cumin

1 t. garlic (I buy chopped organic garlic in a jar but you could use garlic powder)

1 t. turmeric

Any other spices you want/like, to taste. Experiment.

Add enough water so the noodles will "boil."

You can also add any other mixed veggies, canned beans, meat etc. if you wish, or leave it as just the pasta and tomatoes. I used canned tomatoes, but frozen other veggies when I do this. We like it both ways.

Turn the Crockpot on high if you are at home and can watch/stir periodically 'til done. Or just put it on low overnight. The noodles usually "mush up" some, but the taste is still the same, so I don't worry about that as I'm not trying to produce "party-fare-pretty rigatoni" with this recipe; I'm trying to keep us from eating junk food!

I serve this with two veggie sides.

I freeze the leftovers as above.

I have other cooking tips as I have worked for years and years at streamlining my at-home cooking methods to save time, money, and also eat healthy so I will share them in future blog posts.

Happy simple nourishing at-home meals, my dears!

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© Kathryn Bechen 2020