our everyday life

Easy Meals in Less Than 30 Minutes

by Kathryn Hatter

Homemade and healthy doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck in the kitchen for hours on end. When life kicks into high gear, keep some quick meals in your arsenal for fast and easy preparation. Prepare easy meals in less than 30 minutes to feed the family nutritious and delicious fare that will disappear before your eyes.

Vegetarian Fare

Make vegetarian tacos by tossing together avocado, onion, julienned pepper strips, fresh tomatoes and a generous pinch of minced cilantro. Mix everything up and tuck it into taco shells or tortillas for a fast and delicious entree. Round out the meal with wedges of cantaloupe and a side of refried beans to fill up the family. Mix up veggie burgers by crushing black beans and tossing breadcrumbs, diced onion and a pinch of basil into the food processor. Mix the ingredients well, form into patties and pan-fry them in olive oil. Serve the burgers on buns with a side of coleslaw and tomato slices topped with fresh basil.

Hot Off the Grill

Sprinkle boneless chicken breasts with a mixture of Cajun seasoning and paprika. Slide them onto a hot grill and cook them until the juices run clear -- about five minutes on each side. Brush pork tenderloins with olive oil, sprinkle with a dry ranch-flavored seasoning mix and grill them for about eight minutes on each side. While the meat grills, mix a can of black beans and a can of corn together with a chopped green pepper for a colorful salsa. Serve the chicken or the pork with a fast side of couscous for a complete meal.

Pleasing Pasta

Toss together skillet lasagna by boiling egg noodles. While the noodles cook, brown ground beef in a big skillet. Season the beef with basil and garlic; add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add in the cooked noodles and then stir in a combination of ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Simmer the mixture for a few minutes and serve it with a tossed salad with a creamy dressing for a complete meal. Make angel hair pasta by broiling boneless chicken breasts while you boil the pasta. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and toss the chicken and cooked pasta together in a pot. Mix in ranch salad dressing and some peas and heat the ingredients thoroughly. Serve the pasta dish with a colorful fruit salad.

Stunning Seafood

Bake salmon with a side of bok choy. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Pop the salmon into a hot oven and bake it in olive oil for five minutes on each side. Remove the salmon and add bok choy to the same baking dish. Stir gently and return the bok choy to the oven for about one minute. Serve the warm salmon and bok choy immediately with a side of salsa and crusty rolls. Try a light and zesty swordfish recipe with a creamy yogurt sauce. Bake the swordfish steaks for about 20 minutes in a moderate oven sprinkled liberally with basil and thyme. Steam a side of asparagus spears for about five minutes so that both dishes will finish cooking at the same time. Drizzle the yogurt sauce generously over both the fish and the asparagus and serve herbed fettuccini to complete the meal.

References

  • "30-Minute Weekday Meals"; Jean Pare; 2005

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Valueline/Getty Images