Quick cooking: Buy items that take no time on the stovetop.
- Seafood: Because fish takes no time to cook, it is a rescue item this week. Remember it doesn't last long in the fridge, so buy one type and cook it Monday night. If your family likes scallops, pick those up — they cook in just one minute per side.
- Fast beef options: Strip steak is the ideal cut for you this week because it will cook up quickly. Drop it in a zip-top bag with some olive oil, citrus, garlic and herbs, marinate it while you're at work, then drop it on a preheated grill pan for just a few minutes per side, let it rest, then slice and serve.
- Chicken: Chicken tenders are a great solution this week because their small size gets them from oven to table fast. If you have time on your Sunday prep day, coat these tenders in flour, egg and then panko, and wrap them up in plastic to store in the fridge. On Tuesday or Wednesday, toss them in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, make a salad and a quick, delicious barbecue sauce or spicy ketchup. Chicken tenders are a great item to buy on sale in bulk and store in your freezer.
- Sliced bacon: A staple for breakfast, sliced bacon (and turkey bacon) can come in handy this week for lunch and dinner. Bacon does fine cooked in the microwave (fast and little cleanup); in just minutes you can have a delicious BLT sandwich or cobb salad. Or turn things upside down and serve bacon and eggs for dinner.
- Instant rice: No judgments here! We admit to buying packages of 90-second microwavable brown rice for last-minute, healthy meal preparations. This is a brilliant way to have a no-fuss, no-fail, quick rice component on your plate, lunch or dinner. Toss with herbs and crumbled cheese, or lay as a bed for quick stir-fry or reheated chili.
Just because you have a hectic week doesn't mean you need to turn to takeout or fast food. Shopping with these tips in mind, and doing a little prep and cooking on the Sunday before, will get you on your way to a fulfilling, nutritious week of efficient eating!
Written by Katie Allen, Food Network Kitchens Culinary Producer