I was chatting with my good friend Jenni the other day about how I decide on weekday cooking,* and a sorting method I came up with several years ago seemed to spark great interest, so I thought I’d share it here in case some of y’all others could benefit.
In the event that you have a collection of recipes (or even a mental list of set dishes you have on rotation for cooking), try this:
Sort your recipes into buckets (or tag them, if you use an electronic filing system, like Evernote, .txt files, OneNote, &c.), include estimates on prep time in the total time!**
Less than 30 minutes
60+ to multiday
Then, only use the Less than 30 minutes folder for weekdays. A good cook knows that there is not a linear correlation between amount of time spent cooking a meal and the level of deliciousness resultant, especially if you are making vegetables or fish, like like this Mustard Lemon Cauliflower dish.
Voila! Time saved!
I leave the longer ones for the weekend, mostly. Plus, I have more focus and energy to get the steps right, on weekends -when it comes to trial recipes. Even if you aren’t sure how long it takes over all, making some initial estimates, then taking two minutes to note after you tried a cook, will help get in the right ballpark. Go for directionally correct guesses.
Oh hey, if you look at the new navigation bar on this blog, you’ll notice each recipe has a category tag, including similar buckets as listed above.
*This really is an old method of mine. My current schedule has meant that my great co-conspirator in life Kris has been doing a lot of cooking too, plus I’ve been banking meal parts on Sundays with large batch cooking (see tag: slow cooker).
**Many recipes don’t include this, I imagine it’s because professional cooks take less time to chop and prep, so the time may vary significantly.