Becky Low, with Dairy Farmers of Utah, explains how the “Five for Five”method can help busy moms put dinner on the table…fast!
Because we are busier than ever – soccer practice, work deadlines, homework – our cooking habits have changed. Home cooking now has a tendency to fall into 2 categories:
– love to cook, we love to try out new recipes, and we find pleasure in the preparation and serving a good meal
– need to eat, we’re short on time, we want to fix something quick but we want practical and delicious (unfortunately even the person who loves to cook sometimes falls into this category!)
Today’s 5 for 5 recipe, is for the short-on-time cooking occasion.
Q. What makes a fast recipe?
1. Recipes familiar to you
– you already know how to fix it, so less time is spent trying to read the recipe or find the ingredients
– build up a repertoire of about 10 quick recipes you are familiar with and your family loves
2. Recipes with few ingredients – and the ingredients are usually on hand
– for example 5 ingredients is enough to provide flavor, keep interest, and yet keep it simple
– keep a staple of ingredients in your pantry ready to go
3. Recipes which take advantage of pre-prepared ingredients
– let the store and manufacture do the work for you. Keep in mind there is a trade off – prepared ingredients usually cost more, but save on time. Examples of pre-prepared ingredients include: pre-chopped veggies in the produce section or deli bar, mixes, soups, cans, and pre-cooked meats
– thick sliced deli meat, pre-cooked meats in meat department
Q. Can you give an example of 5 for 5 quick cooking?
I’ll show you how with a simple classic chicken recipe. So following the tips, here is what I did: #1 I started with something familiar (chicken cooked in a dressing); #2 there are few basic ingredients
– chicken, fruit, dressing, soup mix and cheese; and #3 I used pre-prepared ingredients. When considering fast recipes look at the traditional ingredients in your favorite and consider how pre-prepared ingredients may be substituted. For example I have:
– place pre-boned, skinned chicken in pan and then cut into desired pieces (note – the large the pan the quicker the cooking and the more barbecued the chicken will taste) place in 9×13 pan for a saucier dish)
– can of whole cranberries (available when cranberries are not in season, can sit on the shelf and its pre-cooked)
– bottled dressing (provides the bacon seasoning and moisture and lowers the fat from the traditional bottled dressing recipes)
– soup mix (wonderfully easy way to provide quick seasoning
– onions, salt, seasoning)
BAKE. While dinner is baking spend time helping kids with homework, finishing up last minute projects, or having a little ‘me’ time.
Q. Pre-packaged ingredients can be high in salt. Is there a way to make this dish healthy?
Change that question to Healthier. As a rule of thumb we should consume approximately 1/3 of our nutrients at every meal. Focus on the entire diet for the day and the entire meal rather than on a single food or a single nutrient such as salt, or fat or sugar. Get in the habit of reading nutrition labels on packages of food and nutrition labels for recipes. I included the nutrient facts for this recipe, follow the link at the bottom of the KSL recipe page. Consider how nutrient rich the food is and how the food/dish fits in with the total daily diet plan; also remember there are many essential nutrients and micronutrients not included on nutrition labels so try to get all food groups at each meal. Now, because this recipe used bottled dressing and dried soup mix it is high is sodium (950 mg). But, we have choice to reduce the sodium, read labels and compare sodium in different brands of dressing, look for a reduced sodium product. Reduced sodium dressing may not be available. Reduce the onion soup mix by half. The result is lower in sodium which makes a great dinner entrée fitting in a healthy daily plan.
Q. Are there other fast recipes idea you can share?
Here’s 3 more 5 ingredients prepared in 5 minutes recipes:
The souper bar I shared last week is a great example – simple 2 ingredient base, add 3 more favorite fillings
Frittata is naturally a fast recipe – Italian Omelet: eggs, cheese, fillings
Quick Shepherds pie using pre-cooked meat, beefy soup as gravy, canned or frozen veggies, and frozen hash brown potatoes.