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I am wondering how long it takes you to prepare dinner for your family? Does everyone eat the same thing? Do you have to prepare separate omni meals?<br><br><br><br>
I seem to spend a lot of time preparing dinner. I dont prepare omni meals. i try to make at least one thing everyone will like. The problem i seem to be having is i am trying to stay away from the convenience foods, that make mealtime easy, like the morningstar farm products, i am trying to stick with only whole foods from scratch.<br><br>
but i am sick of being in the darn kitchen..........LOL
 
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5 minutes on an excellent day, 15 minutes on a good day, and an hour on a bad day, lol. i don't use much prepackaged stuff either, as i don't use dairy, eggs, wheat, yeast, sugar, vinegar, msg, and a few other things which i'm intollerant to- which cuts out most of the prepackaged stuff before i start!<br><br><br><br>
i often do 2 variations on meals, as my bf isn't veg*an- but he gets what i get with something added to it, often a quick cheese omlette or canned fish, something quick and relatively 'hands off'. at home i often did 3 or 4 versions, as my bro is on a low carb thing and refuses to go near tofu or anythign hippy looking with a barge pole, mum doesn't like the taste of garlic or many beans, and dad eats meat- but i'm not home now, so they have to fend for themselves, hehehe.<br><br><br><br>
i tend to do what i see as being pretty simple things, and when i cook something properly, i'll make a whole load of it for the freezer, so that at least 2 days a week i just need to let it defrost (during the day in the fridge) then heat it (hence the 5 minute meals).<br><br><br><br>
if i'm chopping veggies, i use a mandolin slicer (v slicer) and it takes about 20 seconds instead of 10 minutes, and the onion doesn't make me cry. i'll also do extra veggies when i have them to hand and have a few minutes spare, and freeze them.<br><br><br><br>
if i'm cooking brown rice, or curry, or lasagne, or chilli, or spag-non-bol, or making soup etc, and it's gonna take around 30+ minutes, i might as well do a vat-load and freeze at least half of it. same with baking. i won't make 6 mini corn breads, if i can make 12, or even 18, in the same amount of time, and freeze half- that really helps cut down the time for me.<br><br><br><br>
i also use the same bases to make multiple things, so i'll make a kind of 6 bean salad, and add corn and french beans and tomato and herbs and spices, but make a whole lot of it, and serve some as part of dinner, then throw some spices and grated carrot/zuccini and brown lentils and potato flour into the spare half, make it into patties, and then i have ready made beanburgers for the next night.<br><br><br><br>
i'll do similar things with lentil and veggie based bolognase, or even curry- add a few quick and different ingredients and flavours (like chopped nuts, seeds, and different spices, and a few more veggies, then make it into burgers, or wrap it in pastry (not so much with the pastry as w/f pastry sucks), or top it in mashed potatoes in cassarole dish, to make a whole new dish- then freeze it (cos eating something with similar flavours 2 days in a row sometimes is boring).<br><br><br><br>
i remember how before i did this, i felt like i was always cooking, but now its so much easier. i even make about a bajillion pancakes, every now and then, then zip lock them in breakfast sized portions, lol- and its so easy to do breakfast now- just plonk them in the microwave in a big wodge for 2 minutes, add some earth balance and peanut butter, and it's done! yey!<br><br><br><br>
basically, i'd recommend: invest in a big freezer, multi-task your ingredients, and make bigger amounts when you cook.
 

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On average, at least an hour. I make most things from scratch too, including seitan. Some dinners take less, some more. Seitan usually takes me about 2 hours to prepare. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/shocked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":eek:"><br><br>
I only make vegan meals.<br><br>
Mary
 

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<span style="color:#008000;">Anywhere from 15-20 minutes to an hour or more depending on what I make, and cooking time.</span>
 

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i usually take quite a while..probably about an hour or so. i'm only ever quick if i'm having grilled tofu & steamed vegetables..or something like that.<br><br><br><br>
my boyfriend and i both take long to prepare our food, cos we usually make from scratch.
 

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I cook for one omni and one vegan (me!). It usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. I try to coordinate our side dishes and I often cook in big batches and freeze. I make seitan in big batches and freeze in meal size portions and I make really large batches of brown rice and freeze in single servings (my husband doesn't eat rice).<br><br><br><br>
I often roast a large pan of veggies and use them during the week. I have been very sick this last week, but the week before my roasted veggies appeared in a pasta dish, in a curry, on a pizza and in a tofu frittata (sp?). It made things really easy. I also buy frozen stir fry veggies and frozen peppers and onions to speed things along.<br><br><br><br>
Make cuts where your budget will allow...use pre-chopped garlic, use jarred spaghetti sauce and doctor it up, buy frozen chopped onions. Look around your grocery store and see what other short cuts you can find.<br><br><br><br>
I like to cook and only have to cook for two, but I still find it a grind to cook at times....I hope you find some short cuts that work for you.
 

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I am the only "real" cook in my house, so there's never any meat or eggs. I will buy some shredded cheese occasionally, for those who think a bean burrito is nekked without real cheese - sheesh. I will spend up to an hour cooking dinner, but usually much less. I don't mind really putting in the time for special occasion dinners, though.<br><br><br><br>
I use lots of fresh, hardly cooked veggies and herbs and cook quickly - pastas, salads, stir-frys in the summer. In the winter, I use my crock-pot all the time - soups, stews and beans.<br><br><br><br>
My one area of real inefficiency is in my shopping. I typically do not plan more than a day or two in advance, and so I have to go to the store every couple of days. It's only ten minutes away, so it's not much trouble, but I wish I could buy for a week at a time.
 

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it really depends on what's for dinner. And are you talking JUST prep time or prep time then whatever it takes for it to cook in the oven or something like that?<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, from starting dinner to eating usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour. An hour and a half if I'm waiting for things to cook in the oven or something. Tonight it took me like 45 minutes to make pasta because I accidentally dumped the first pot of spaghetti directly into the sink <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/blank.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":|">. So then I made a second pot and put my roasted tomatoes and green peas in it and ate. Finally.<br><br><br><br>
But like, tomorrow I'm making stuffed zucchini with walnut sauce. PREP time should be about 20 minutes, then it needs to bake in the oven for like 45 min. I also have a wild rice side dish planned for later in the week so the rice will take about an hour, and the rest of the meal should take about 20 minutes to prep.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone!<br><br>
great suggestions......I am definitely going to cook in large batches, great idea, and the ideas for shortcuts are good, will definitely try those,<br><br>
yes i feel like i spend a lot of time cutting, dicing, peeling,etc etc........plus i am probably not the most skilled cook in the kitchen <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/dizzy2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":dizzy:">
 

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20min or less on most meals. I have been eating raw whole veggie dinners lately so it's cooking for my family.<br><br><br><br>
When I cooked a lot I generally made at least 1 meal per week a crock pot meal. It was nice to come home to a prepared meal and the house smelled yummy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I cook all vegan, and I usually spend between 45-75 minutes in the kitchen before dinner. That doesn't include the prepping etc. that I do for some things in the evenings or on the weekends (i.e. making a batch of 25 spring rolls to freeze, tearing up a big bowl of kale to use throughout the week etc.)
 

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I love to cook, so I usually don't mind spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Since I still live with my parents, they do most of the cooking. I will sometimes make my own meals, cook a meal for the family, or make a sidedish. I don't take very long in the kitchen, unless if I'm doing something elaborate, maybe less than 30 minutes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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1 hour, unless it's a bean dish that needs more time. But that's fine, since I use the time beans are cooking to do yoga, read comics, or catch up on email.
 

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5-15 min. - I only have myself to prepare meals for. And I try to keep it simple, like soups and sandwiches. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:">
 

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Wow! Interesting reading. This really reflects the differences in family sizes and lifestyles too.<br><br><br><br>
I wish I had the luxury of time to spend in the kitchen though....<br><br>
During the summer our life isn't QUITE so hectic, but on school days, we usually get home, have 1/2 hr. (MAYBE) to eat and get back out the door to soccer, music lessons, horseback riding, karate, swim team or.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/dozey.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":tired:"><br><br><br><br>
I use my crock-pot and rice cooker a LOT, cook a LOT of beans and freeze meals that can be re-heated quickly, though I don't use the microwave on a general basis. I wish I had more time to prep and cook fresh veggies and salads and such though. I prep some on the weekends but they don't last all week.<br><br>
We often use frozen (plain) vegetables during the winter for convenience.<br><br><br><br>
Weekends and summers are better, at least.
 

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<span style="color:#008000;">^^^ Yeah, but I'm sure what you can knock out in 1/2 an hour would still be better than many of us could do in 3x that amount of time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/inquisitive.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":stinkeye:"><br><br><br><br>
I've seen your recipes, missy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/deal2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":deal:"><br><br>
(And don't forget, tasted one of them)</span>
 

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Well, I spend quite a lot of time in the kitchen depending on what phase I'm in. If I'm in a heavy "wanna-try-new-things" phase, then I spend a LOT of time preparing meals b/c I'm trying new recipes. 30-60 minutes (or even up to 2 hours) is not uncommon. But cooking is often therapy for me. Hubby knows when I stress b/c I'll get nothing done in the rest of the house (or for the biz) but will have cooked LOADS of food.<br><br><br><br>
Course, I also have to cook sometimes three different things. One for elder son, one for my hubby b/c he doesn't want what I'm making for myself.. and one for myself. The baby eats what I'm eating... or his usual faire of choices.<br><br><br><br>
If I'm in a mode of "the regulars", then 5-15 minutes depending on the dish.<br><br><br><br>
Oh... and you don't want to know how much time I spent perfecting that Thai curry I went bananas over (and posted my success a couple weeks back). WAAAAAY too much time. LOL! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:">
 

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It varies, but I'd guess I average 35-40 minutes. I only cook one meal for two people, but I like to putter around in the kitchen, and I've never really learned techniques for high-volume high-speed cooking, since I've never needed them. There are days where I spend hours making a bean soup, and then there are the nights where it's 10 minutes to bake cornbread from a mix and microwave some canned chili. But a more ordinary dinner would involve cutting up some fresh veggies and doing a saute with pasta, or baking some sweet potatoes and roasting some veggies to go with it.<br><br><br><br>
In theory, I spend one day a week cooking one of those things that takes hours and freezing a bunch of it, but I've been really bad about it the last few months. My freezer is empty of frozen homemade dinners, and I'm overdue for a nice pot of black bean soup. Of course, who wants black bean soup when it's this hot outside? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sweatdrop.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sweat:">
 
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