Ever since my son has started ordering what he wants to eat (well it's just the beginning) I have been doing some simple & quick short cuts in the kitchen. For some reason, he has taken a huge liking for Pasta, and off lately, if someone on TV is eating a chocolate, he goes into a "I want this co-tate" mantra. I hope he gets rid of the 'this' in the sentence but till then let me carry on with this post. I keep a bar of chocolate in the fridge to satisfy him. Also as part of the short cuts, I soak up some moong (whole) and once they puff up nicely, I drain them well & put them in a zip-lock bag for refrigeration. Just like moong, our good old matki, chavli come in handy. I am not fond of dry peas so don't keep them, things like kabuli-chana are best soaked the day before you want to cook them.
I also keep a variety of fruits, as they can be turned into a yummy & filling milk-fruit-shake or even a fruity-yogurt (which Aadi likes a lot). I stock up on strawberries, grapes, mangoes, bananas, apples. I have not made grapes into any shake yet as Aadi is enjoying eating them cut into into small pieces. This is also one of my ways to encourage him to chew.
Before cooking up rice or daal, I soak it in wash & soak it in water, this makes the rice softer & also cooks much faster.
Another thing I do is cook pasta or even Maggie in a pressure cooker, this way it gets ready in no time, plus less water is needed & most importantly it turns out a bit softer too. With this method, I throw in the veggies as well so I end up doing the dish much faster.
Regarding adult food, I make extra curry-paste/masala, when I make a curry, this saves me all the trouble for the next time that curry needs to be made. I also use the same masala/paste to make dry vegetables.
I think in a previous post, I had mentioned about pureeing some vegetables, like broccoli, beet root, and using them in soups. I have bought some beet root & have to make the puree. I do this by simply peeling them, cooking them till soft, you can use a pressure cooker or an open pan for this. After they are cooked & cooled I puree them in a mixer-grinder & pour the puree in ice-cube trays. After the cubes are formed I remove the cubes from the trays & store them in a zip-lock in the deep freezer. You can make purees of most of the vegetables in the same way & use them in the kids food, this way we ensure nutrition & also the kids get used to the tastes of real food.
Simple things make our life easier...