Easy 30 Minute Recipes

Easy 30 Minute Recipes

 

An easy way to eat healthily and economically is by preparing food at home, but busy schedules can derail even the best of efforts. That’s why it’s important to have a few 30 minute meals in your repertoire so you can serve your family a healthy, quick meal on the most hectic of days.

 

SAUTÉED OR STIR FRIED

Sautéing or stir frying may be the simplest and versatile option for 30 minute meals. Pick a protein: chicken, pork, beef, even beans and cook in a large skillet with a bit of oil (the beans can go into a sauce pan with a little bit of chicken stock or water to soften up). Marinade the meat if you have time, or just season well during the cooking process. When the meat is cooked, remove from the skillet and add a bit more oil if needed to sauté the vegetables.

Any vegetables you have on hand will work, just be sure to cut into uniform pieces and add to the pan according to cooking time, for example onions and carrots before mushrooms, and spinach or kale at the very end just to wilt. Season the vegetables just as you did with the meat.

When the vegetables are tender, add your protein back into the skillet and mix everything together. Serve over rice, quinoa, with a piece of bread, or enjoy alone.

The versatility of this process comes from what you have on hand in terms of ingredients and seasonings, any direction is possible: Asian, Italian, Mexican, or even experimental.

 

QUICK PROTEINS

A key to 30 minute meals is average cooking time, which usually is dependent on the type of protein chosen. Seafood, cooked beans, and smaller pieces of poultry or meat will cook the fastest. Try taking a filet of tilapia, salmon, mackerel, or any other thin filet, place it on a bed of vegetables on a sheet of parchment paper. Season well, fold up the paper then roast in a 400 degree oven for 7-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

 

STEAM AND ROAST

When it comes to vegetables, steaming and roasting are excellent and quick preparation methods. For steaming, place small pieces of your chosen vegetable in a steamer basket over boiling water and cover. Steam for about 4-6 minutes. A pat of butter, salt and pepper completes the dish, or for a bit of crunch mix 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs in 1 tablespoon of melted butter and sprinkle on top.

Roasting vegetables caramelizes the natural sugars, adding a depth in flavor. Most vegetables can roast in a 450 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes depending on how small you cut them. Simply dice up your chosen vegetable, mix with oil, salt and pepper, and any other seasonings, then spread in a single layer on a sheet pan. A casserole dish can work, however your won’t get as much caramelization due to the higher edges trapping steam.

Halfway through just mix up the vegetables, then let it cool before digging in.

 

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