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 • Food & Drink  • My Top Tips on How to Plan Healthy Home-Cooked Meals as a Busy Entrepreneur
My Top Tips on How to Plan Healthy Home-Cooked Meals as a Busy Entrepreneur

My Top Tips on How to Plan Healthy Home-Cooked Meals as a Busy Entrepreneur

Looking to adopt a better routine when it comes to planning meals and eating right? It’s taken some time but I feel that I’m finally in a place where I feel as though my meal preparation is under control and no longer leaves me feeling stressed and overwhelmed. If you’re looking for some practical guidance then read on for my top tips on how to plan healthy home-cooked meals as a busy, full-time business owner. Spoiler alert: my best piece of advice involves a slow cooker!
My Top Tips on How to Plan Healthy Home-Cooked Meals as a Busy Entrepreneur
It’s rare to find me writing about cooking or food because preparing meals is not my favourite thing to do. Cooking and figuring out what to eat can be time-consuming and stressful, even more so if you have lots going on in your daily life. I actually don’t enjoy cooking very much and I’m definitely not an expert. We all have our own individual talents though, so I wouldn’t worry if you don’t feel confident in your culinary skills either. I can sew, knit, draw and create my own sewing patterns freehand, all of which I taught myself to do. But cooking is a different matter! On the other hand, I do enjoy eating healthy home-cooked meals and more importantly, I rely on eating well in order to function and be productive as a business owner. After years of cooking fails, making the same thing everyday, as well as odd eating habits, I’ve finally established a system that works really well for me. I’m by no means an expert but if you’re struggling with any of the above then hopefully these tips might help you too.
My Top Tips on How to Plan Healthy Home-Cooked Meals as a Busy Entrepreneur
Initially when I first started living alone and running my own business, I didn’t really cook much at all and it was generally a matter of getting by in the best way I could. As time went on, I would go through phases of batch-cooking meals and freeze them or rush to fit in time to rustle something up in between all of the million and one other things I had going on in my life. There would be days when it would be getting late and I’d still have to cook dinner, sometimes as late as 11pm. I would be literally struggling to keep my eyes open as I ate because I was so tired. after a long day of work.  It was actually only when the pandemic hit in the beginning of 2020 that I really started to develop a better eating routine. I couldn’t eat out and other than work, there wasn’t a lot to do. So I began to put more effort into creating meal plans, batch-cooking meals and trying new recipes.
My Top Tips on How to Plan Healthy Home-Cooked Meals as a Busy Entrepreneur
These colourful slow cookers come in a range of colours to suit your kitchen theme!

I Bought a Slow Cooker and it Changed My Life!

The real game changer for me was buying a slow cooker! I’d seen slow cookers advertised for years and knew quite a few people who owned them and strongly recommended them. I don’t know why I never thought about getting one earlier and I really wish I had! I can be a bit sceptical when investing in new kitchen gadgets. I think for every new kitchen gadget I’ve bought and loved, there’s another sat in the cupboard collecting dust. Shortly before the start of the pandemic, I picked up a slow cooker because I liked the idea of being able to leave a dish cooking without constantly having to check on it. For me, one of the biggest challenges I faced with cooking was having to keep going back to check that it hadn’t burned or boiled over. I’d often be balancing cooking dinner while preparing for a meeting, finishing off some work or getting ready for our evening dog walk. So it could be really tiring having to concentrate on work, as well as making sure I didn’t ruin my dinner. It wasn’t until I started using a slow cooker, also known as a crock pot, that I realised that there were many other benefits for using them.
My Top Tips on How to Plan Healthy Home-Cooked Meals as a Busy Entrepreneur

What are the Benefits of Using a Crock Pot?

Crock pots are popular due to their convenience and versatility.
  • They allow for slow cooking of food, which results in tender and flavourful meals.
  • The set-it-and-forget-it feature also allows busy individuals to have a hot meal ready without having to actively monitor cooking progress.
  • It’s a lot more difficult to burn food in a slow cooker.
  • You can leave dishes cooking on low overnight or while you’re out of the house.
  • You can cook so many dishes and desserts with a crock pot or slow cooker. I’ve cooked everything from soups, bolognese, pasta dishes, banana bread, baked potatoes and even made mulled wine!
  • There are less pots, pans and dishes to wash after you’ve eaten! Instead of having to wash a dozen pans and pots after your meal, there is only one pot to wash with a slow cooker, other than whatever plates, bowls or cutlery you use when serving.
  • Additionally, crock pots are energy efficient and can be used to cook a variety of dishes. Not only is cooking with a slow cooker much more time-effective and convenient, it’s also had a positive impact on my electric bill – which is always a bonus!
My Top Tips on How to Plan Healthy Home-Cooked Meals as a Busy Entrepreneur

What Types of Dishes Can You Cook in a Slow Cooker?

A slow cooker can be used to cook a wide range of dishes, including:

  • Stews and soups
  • Meats (e.g. roasts, brisket, chicken)
  • Casseroles
  • Beans and legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Dips and sauces
  • Deserts (e.g. cakes, baked treats and granola)
  • Porridge and other breakfasts
  • Mulled wine or cider
  • Homemade herbal tea
  • Baked or jacket potatoes
  • One-pot pasta dishes
  • And much more…

The slow cooking method of a crock pot is well-suited for tough cuts of meat, stews, and soups that benefit from long, gentle cooking. I’m a vegetarian so I don’t eat meat but if you do eat meat, you can save money with a slow cooker by buying cheaper cuts of meat because the crock pot will tenderise tougher meats, unlike traditional cooking methods. On the other hand, if you eat plant-based meals, you can batch-cook dried pulses and legumes, such as chickpeas, beans and lentils in a far more energy-efficient way. The ability to set the cooking temperature and time makes it easy to cook a variety of dishes with minimal effort. It literally takes no more than 5-10 minutes to prepare your mood and load the slow cooker and that’s your task done – the slow cooker will take care of the rest!

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