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Cook It Up Healthy! Time Saving Techniques

TIME, TIME, TIME, TIME, – we all want more of it but we can't make more hours in a day. We can, however, find ways to use time wisely to make healthy and tasty food that you and your family will enjoy.  Read our tips below – you're sure to find solutions that work for you.

This article comes from the Dietitians of Canada.

Different from leftovers, ‘planned extras’ are made on purpose! Get the most out of your time by cooking more food than you need for one meal. Plan to use the extra food for another meal within the next couple of days. Below are some great 'planned extra' ideas.

Try the new selections of washed and ready-to-eat produce items such as broccoli slaw, baby spinach or romaine lettuce; the salad will be ready in a flash!

  • Canned legumes, such as chickpeas or black beans, drained and rinsed, make a super simple salad.
  • Pre-shredded cheese can make quick work of pasta dishes, pizza toppings or for sprinkling on salads and using in wraps.
  • Canned fruit in its own juice can jump start a fruit salad.
  • Frozen, partially baked whole grain bread can be popped into the oven.
  • Frozen vegetables are nutritious and ready to help round out your meal; steam them lightly to keep great crunch and flavour.
  • Frozen fruits are great in a smoothie, on cereal or in a fruit crisp.

A slow cooker is a great kitchen appliance that can help you have a hot dinner on the table without much fuss. Simply follow your slow cooker recipe and go about your busy day. The food cooks slowly and safely.


Weekends can be a great time to prepare big batches of food that can be refrigerated or frozen for later use. Get together with family, friends or neighbours and share the work. Foods such as soups, stews, chili, casseroles,
muffins, loaves and pancakes are perfect foods to 'big-batch'.


Many standard recipes can be doubled or tripled and frozen in meal sized airtight containers or resealable freezer bags. Quickly defrost a meal on nights when time is tight.

Click here for some menu ideas using these time saving techniques.

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