Ensure a stress-free ride for the back-to-school chaos:
Nadia Lim 5 top kitchen tips
Date: February 12 2016
A new school year has begun for some 6 million Australian, and so has the added stress of balancing work and home life, as school runs, homework and chauffeuring kids to extra-curricular activities calls again. With all the added commitments that back-to-school time brings, getting dinner on the table at the end of a hard day seems like a daunting task enough; let alone ensuring it tastes great and is healthy for growing bodies and minds.
International Celebrity Chef, Nadia Lim , has you covered in the new school year with her top five tips for a simple, delicious and stress-free ride through the chaos.
1. Make the kitchen a fun place – get the kids involved in a baking day:
You don’t need to be the on-call household chef, get the whole family involved in the kitchen in the new school year! Choose a healthy treat the kids would like for their school lunchboxes (e.g. oat cookies or a fruit slice) and set aside an hour to bake together on a Sunday afternoon, making enough for 2 weeks-worth of lunchboxes. Freeze half to then thaw the following Sunday, and you’ll be organised with fresh treats weeks in advance!
2. Fuel brain power with a little blender power:
Throw a banana or any seasonal fruits (such as peaches, mangos or berries) in a blender with some milk and/or yoghurt and a squeeze of honey to be whizzed into a smoothie. They’re a quick and easy treat the kids can make themselves for fuelling hard-working brains after a long day at school. Smoothies can also be frozen in plastic ice-block moulds for a healthy alternative to the corner-store icy pole after school or on the weekend.
3. Take advantage of an age-old Aussie BBQ tradition:
You and the kids may have gone back to work, but the long, sunny Summer afternoons continue. Take advantage of the extra hours of warm weather by taking your mid-week kitchen outdoors and firing up the BBQ. Not only does it add a delicious, smoky flavour to grilled meats and veggies, but it’s also saves on washing up!
4. Planning ahead is your friend:
Know Tuesday nights are filled with piano lessons, ballet and sports practise, and Wednesday doesn’t look much better? Get ahead for those stressful mid-week nights by harnessing any free time on Sunday afternoons to get ahead. Pre-cook grains like quinoa or brown rice in advance and store in the fridge to toss through salads or serve with grilled meats at a moment’s notice. Also consider pre-cooking simple but flavourful meat or seasonal vegetable sauces for pastas, fresh tacos with slaw or as a pie filling. Freeze or refrigerate these in batches to heat and serve during the week.
5. Out-source the decision-making and shopping:
Why waste your precious moments of weekend downtime planning a week’s worth of dinners and battling through the crowds at the supermarket? Instead, try a food service that provides fast, easy dinner recipes and the freshest seasonal Australian produce delivered to your door.
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Nadia Lim is Head Chef and Dietitian of premium food delivery My Food Bag, which is solving the “what’s for dinner?” dilemma by taking the work out of feeding the people you care about. The winner of MasterChef NZ 2011, Nadia is the author of four best-selling cookbooks, and is a regular judge on MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules NZ.
My Food Bag is about bringing the fun back into cooking by creating innovative and exciting dishes while embracing Nadia Lim’s ‘Nude Food’ philosophy. Each bag contains ingredients for dinners alongside recipes designed by Nadia and her team of chefs and dietitians, which are simple to prepare, big on flavour, healthy and delicious.