Karissa and I have always believed great food shouldn’t take hours in the kitchen. Take these Cheesy Ranch Smashed Potatoes, done in 30 minutes and packed with flavor! Its like making pre-loaded mini baked potatoes for dinner in under half an hour. I was with a friend today at the park talking, while our kids ran free, and she was telling me that she was reading some mom’s are spending 3+ hours in the kitchen a day just cooking or cleaning. What?! In any other field that would be considered a part time job, but for a mom it is just part of the job. Have you ever tracked how much time you are in the kitchen? That would be interesting to know, too bad my fit bit doesn’t track that.
It is no wonder more and more people are just trying to avoid the kitchen all together. So…how do you eat great food and still get something done in a day? The single biggest resource you have is your recipes. Sounds head smackingly simple I know, but don’t roll your eyes just yet at the simplicity of that. I find that most people don’t spend enough time collecting do-able, easy recipes.
What I mean is you have to have a working collection of recipes that are easy, quick and from start to finish done in 30 minutes. This doesn’t mean you have a Pinterest board of recipes that say 30 minute meals (although we do have a great board to follow for 30 minute meal ideas). Instead these are recipes you have tried before, learned how they work and are written down somewhere.
If you have pinterest boards or cookbooks full of great looking recipes but you know those recipes are going to take a least an hour each time you attempt one, cooking will become a special occasion rather then a daily occurrence. We live lives where we are always on the look out for time saving tricks, apps to make us more efficient or organized and tech that helps get more done in a day. We have to make an effort to evolve our recipes with our lifestyle and make a purposeful effort collect easy, time efficient recipes.
Here is my recommendation.
First set your time limit for a recipe, what would you consider an easy, do-able time to cook a recipe in on an average night. For me this is 30 minutes. Yours could be 45 minutes, 20 minutes or even just 15 minutes but choose a specific time.
Second create a board on Pinterest or a tag on yummly and then put on a great movie you love, sit in your favorite spot and start searching. Search pinterest, search Google, search other food sites like Foodgawker and Tastespotting. Find recipes that you can tell will fit inside your time limit. Then save them, for me that means pin them to Pinterest. Remember we aren’t just saving anything we think looks good, instead we are intentional saving and creating collection of do-able time friendly ideas. Don’t forget your goal when that fudge brownie no bake cheesecake pops up in your feed for the third time in 20 minutes, (am I the only one seeing that delicious looking thing!) remember…focus, me too, anyways moving on.
Third print them. Old School I know but print them, put them in a 3 ring binder with two sections. The first section is recipes you have tried and liked these will be your solid foundation because you know how they work and that you will enjoy them. The second section are recipes you want to try. Then put it in your kitchen, not in the cupboard above your fridge that only Thurl Bailey can reach but in a cabinet you CAN and WILL get into. That way next time you hit the kitchen to write a grocery list, cook dinner or make meal plan you can pull this little cookbook binder out that you have thoughtfully built with nothing but fast recipes and feel confident you got dinner in the bag.
I know this whole idea sounds simple, but when we intentionally create a collection of recipes that we know are going to be quick, easy to make and we put them in an accessible place, we removed one of the biggest barriers most of us have that prevent us from getting in the kitchen and cooking dinner, and that is time.
We have busted through that mental barrier of I don’t have time because we can turn to our inner self and say, “of course we have time Self! I have got 45 recipes sitting right there that take 30 minutes or less. So zip it! I have a skillet to heat.”
So to get that awesome recipe book started here is a sweet recipe for Cheesy Ranch Smashed Potatoes. I probably should have done a post on how amazing these taste because they are amazing, but I thought the pictures and title spoke for themselves on this one. It didn’t need to be sold. So print this as your first recipe for your quick meals binder and hit the road running! You can do this!
Need More Ideas Check These 30 Minute Meals Out
- 15 small red potatoes
- 2 tbsp soften butter
- 1 package Ranch dressing mix (Set aside 2 tsp from package)
- ⅓ cup Parmesan Reggiano-grated
- 1½ - 2 cups cheddar cheese-grated
- Boil whole red potatoes until fork tender
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Mix softened butter with ranch mix (except for the 2 tsp you set aside).
- Once potatoes are done. Lay them on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Smash the potatoes by pressing the end of a drinking glass or your palm onto each potato.
- Spread butter/ranch mixture on potatoes and sprinkle Parmesan Reggiano cheese.
- Bake for 7-10 min.
- Pull out potatoes and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese (my husband likes them cheesy so we use the full 2 cups). Sprinkle the top of the potatoes with the remaining 2 tsp ranch mix.
- Bake for 5 minutes.