4 all-natural sauces that cut weeknight cooking time in half

Maya Kaimal simmer sauces on Cool Mom Picks

With Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (A.K.A. Thanksgivukkah) just three weeks away, the food conversation will soon turn to brisket and turkey, Santa cookies and pie. While I’m looking forward to holiday food as much as the next cool mom, I’m also wondering how I’ll make it through the hectic holiday season–cooking, shopping, baking, parties–while keeping up with my daily responsibilities.

Can’t I just stop making dinner for a couple of months?

No, I can’t. And you probably can’t either. (Sorry!) But we can make weeknight dinners easier than ever with these four cooking sauces.

Add any one of these to sauted meat and/or vegetables and dinner’s made. They cut cooking time in half, are completely delicious, and totally all-natural. They are the perfect dinner short-cut to get you through the busiest time of year. -Stacie

(Above) If you like Indian food you have to grab one–no, make that all!–of the all-natural Maya Kaimal simmer sauces.  Saute meat and/or vegetables, add one these vegetarian, gluten-free sauces, and simmer: that’s all it takes to put a meal on the table that tastes like it was made by an expert Indian cook.

How to use: I usually keep my curries vegetarian with cauliflower, sweet potato, peppers and chickpeas; but sometimes add sauted chicken. Either way, it’s great for a quick, one-dish meal that everyone loves.

San-J Asian cooking sauces on Cool Mom Picks

You may have seen San-J Tamari soy sauce in your local supermarket, but have you noticed that the brand also offers a line of Asian cooking sauces? I find it hard to choose one favorite, but their latest, Mongolian Sauce, is at the top of my list. Made with 10 simple ingredients, every single one of which I can find in my pantry, this sauce is certified kosher, gluten free, and made entirely with non-GMO ingredients.

How to use: Toss it with shiitake mushrooms and rice noodles, stir fry it with beef, peppers and scallion, or brush it on quick grilled chicken kabob and dinner’s done in no time flat.

Frontera Grill Fajita Sauce on Cool Mom Picks

If you ask me, fajitas are one of the all-time best flash meals. They come together in minutes so long as you have fajita sauce already made or this Classic Fajita Skillet Sauce from master chef Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill on hand. If fajitas aren’t your thing, check out one of the other all-natural, preservative-free Frontera Grill sauces. You’re sure to find something that will keep dinner fast and keep your family happy.

How to use: Saute with thin strips of chicken or beef, or try shrimp. Add grilled onions and peppers, beans if you’d like, and eat on its own over greens. Or wrap in tortillas for a real fajita.

Stubbs BBQ marinades on Cool Mom Picks

Though not a simmer sauce, I can’t talk about my favorite dinner shortcuts without mentioning Stubbs BBQ marinades–especially the soy, garlic, and red pepper beef marinade–holy delicious! These all-natural, gluten-free blends require you to think ahead, since meats taste best after an overnight soak, but the pay off is so worth it. Then all you need is a salad or a quick side vegetable and you’ve got an amazing meal.

How to use: Marinade a steak or some chicken in the sauces, then throw it on the grill or in the broiler. Done.

For more easy meal ideas to get you through the holiday madness, check out our favorite quick dinner recipes.

Stacie

Stacie Billis is a popular food blogger known for focus on nutrition and organics, and her non-judgy approach that does not preclude Nutella.

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