It’s sink or swim for working moms in the kitchen, and having an arsenal of healthy 30-minute meals will save you time, and effort, once you get a few simple recipes down. Of course, when we do have time, shopping for fresh meats, fish, and vegetables should always be Plan A. But if you’re having a crazy week, plan B should use proteins and veggies straight from your cupboard or freezer. And spice it up, moms! Creative seasonings can make all the difference.
Do you find that quick meals don’t fill you and your family up sometimes?
The key to cooking fast and hearty is keeping your cabinets stocked with grains like rice and pasta to serve your veggies and proteins wit. Why? Grains fill you up! According to Bev Bennett, author of Thirty Minute Meals for Dummies, “Grains provide the foundation for quick and hearty meals. A bowl of meat sauce looks meager, but spoon it over spaghetti and it’s a rib-sticking entrée.” Make sure to opt for whole-wheat grains over refined grains for healthy fats and dietary fiber. Here are fifteen 30-minute meals that will have them asking for seconds. And be sure to cook in large quantities so you’ll have leftovers to freeze or for the next day’s meals.
1. Turkey Cutlets with Sausage & Zucchini & Tipsy Gravy
For this recipe, just season cutlets with salt, pepper, then set up separate dishes with the flour, the eggs and the bread crumbs combined with cornmeal, cheese, orange zest and rosemary. Serve with a dreamy butter and wine gravy and bits of crumbled sausage over mashed potatoes.
2. Corn & Poblano Quesadillas with Warm Salsa Verde
Need some cozy and comforting Tex-Mex warmth tonight and fast? This quickie quesadilla recipe by Rachael Ray features melted cheese, corn tortillas and stars poblano peppers, those large, mild chili peppers originating from Puebla, Mexico. Serve with avocado—and voila—behold one of our favorite quick food recipes.
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3. Spaghetti Carbonara
This Italian classic is typically made with Italian bacon, eggs, cheese, olive oil, and black pepper. The trick to its creaminess? Try adding a little half-and-half to create an even silkier texture. Serve over linguini. This is one of those classic 30-minute meals that never fails.
4. Pork Medallions with Sauteed Apples
Pork chops and applesauce? Sort of—but just way more gourmet. This sweet pork medallions with apple dish is so fast and tasty that your family will demand this weekly. Serve with mixed greens and rice.
5. Beef with Broccoli
Cooking at home also means you can control the amount of salt and sweeteners that you can’t at your favorite Chinese restaurant. This healthier and quick Asian classic combines pieces of round steak and broccoli in a soy-ginger sauce. Serve it over hot rice or noodles.