5 Essential Tips For Winter Weeknight Cooking

An earlier sunset and long Winter nights can often translate into not wanting to cook dinner. Coming home to a pitch-black house and starting from scratch can be daunting during these cold-weather months. On the flip side, eating out every night can be harmful on wallets (and waistlines!). With a little bit of planning and prep work, we can all look forward to delicious home-cooked meals with these tips.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Prep on the weekends. After your weekend trip to the grocery store, wash and prepare your produce for the week ahead. Greens should be rinsed, wrapped in paper towels, and stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If possible, avoid precutting produce, as fruits and vegetables rapidly begin to lose nutrients once they are cut.

Photo: Lauren Hendrickson

Live by the one-pot meal. Cooking meals in only one pot will help control the mess, which means less cleanup for you! Examples of one-pot meals include paella, casseroles, and chili, among many others.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Dust off that crockpot. Slow cook an amazing, flavorful meal to be enjoyed when you get home. Try pulled pork, whole roast chicken, or even taco soup with ground beef.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Consider intentional leftovers. Make strategic meals on weekends that will give you lots of leftovers to play with for the week. Roast a chicken on a Sunday, and make salads, quesadillas, and chicken soup from the leftover meat. Make a frittata out of leftovers, and use up almost anything in your refrigerator in empanadas.

Photo: Camilla Salem

Don't forget about breakfast for dinner. Scrambled eggs and omelets aren't just for the morning. They're really easy to whip up and serve with a side salad, avocado toast, or in a breakfast burrito — these protein-rich meals will leave you satisfied.