NDSU Extension - Benson County


| Share

Ideas for Easy Meal Clean Up

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

While family meal time can be very enjoyable, sometimes the clean-up seems hardly worth the hassle.  For every home cooked meal comes a stack of dishes and a kitchen that needs to be cleaned.  Especially if you have a big family or have a few house guests, this can be an overwhelming task.  Here are just a few tips to use this holiday season and throughout the year to ensure your kitchen is easier to clean, so that you can spend more time with the people around you.


  • Fill the sink with hot, soapy water for soaking utensils, etc. as you use them.
  • Have a saucer near the stove for stirring spoons to avoid a mess on or near the stovetop.
  • Clean as you go. When you are finished using an ingredient, put it away instead of leaving it on the counter.
  • Use cookware that is designed to go from the freezer directly to the microwave or oven preventing you from having to dirty another dish.
  • Spray your pans with cooking spray or line them with baking foil so that food particles don't become crusted on to the pan and difficult to remove.
  • Measure the dry ingredients for your recipe before the wet and sticky ones. That means fewer measure utensils to use and a smaller mess in your baking cups. 


If you choose even one of these tips for quick clean up, it is sure to make the process must more enjoyable.  Remember, this time of year is to be spend with family and friends, not dishes and cleaning.  While it cannot always be avoiding, speeding up the process is always welcome.


If you are looking for a quick, delicious meal that is unique, try pumpkin and bean soup.  It will warm your family up, and fill them with ingredients from the protein, vegetable, and fruit group.  Enjoy!


Pumpkin and Bean Soup


  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 onion (small, finely chopped)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, allspice, or ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions: Blend white beans, onion, and water with a potato masher or blender till smooth.  In a large pot, add the pumpkin, juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and salt. Stir.  Add the blended bean mix to the pot.  Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through.

Makes: 6 servings.  Each serving contains 140 calories, 1 gram of fat, 110 mg of sodium, 28 carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein. 



  • Utah State University, NNCP-Tier 1 training. 2016.
  • Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program, Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Network
    Website Recipes
Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.