(Family Features) - While many moms enjoy creating quality, home-cooked meals for their families, it can be hard to fit cooking into their busy schedules. As a working mom herself, cookbook author Holly Clegg understands the importance of smart meal solutions that allow moms to be more time-savvy.
To help moms spring ahead in meal preparation time so they can spend less time in the kitchen, Holly offers the following tips:
Bulk Up Your Batches: Cook multiple sets of recipe ingredients to store for use later in the week. Cooking double or even triple the portions of rice, beans, pasta and veggies can be a perfect way to make mealtimes creative and easy. Simply mix and match last night's leftover sauce with pre-cooked chicken breasts and tonight's rice and veggies, and you have a new and delicious meal ready in minutes.
Cut Corners: Stock your fridge, freezer and pantry with simple shortcuts to turn to when you are in a mealtime bind. Keeping items like bottled lemon juice and minced garlic in your refrigerator are easy shortcuts that will add loads of flavor without adding more prep time. You can also try freezing leftover veggies as an easy and flavorful addition to a stir fry or pasta.
Pick Pre-packaged Products: Embrace recipe-ready ingredients that will eliminate kitchen stress and prep-time. Use items such as bread mixes that only require water, canned tomatoes, frozen and pre-chopped veggies and pre-cooked protein, such as Tyson Grilled & Ready Whole Breast Fillets. Tender, juicy and ready in minutes straight from the microwave, the frozen chicken breasts are 98 percent fat free and contain no preservatives, so you can feel good about serving them to your family.
Seal in Freshness: Love using fresh herbs but don't always have time to clean and chop? Buy fresh herbs in bulk the next time you are at the store, then chop and freeze them to use when needed. This will not only save prep time, but will bring a quick and easy boost of flavor to favorite dishes.
For more recipes that give a jump start on meals, visit GrilledandReady.com.