Dinner in 30 Minutes

January 8, 2013

7 min read


Delectable meals for today’s fast paced world.

In today’s fast paced world everyone is in a rush, preparing dinner can sometimes be a daunting task especially when we arrive home together with the children or spouse. For quick dinners you need a well stocked pantry and a variety of frozen vegetables in the freezer. Here are some simple recipes that are nourishing and easy to prepare and they can go from pantry to table in 30 minutes.

Fast and Tasty Tomato Soup

Fast and Tasty Tomato SoupTomato soup is one of the easiest to put on the table really fast. Making your own tomato soup is nearly as easy as opening up a can. Most appreciate this warming soup, as it is very light and filling.

  • 48 oz. can tomato juice (6 cups)
  • 4 oz can flavored tomato sauce (1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs sugar or to taste
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • Sprigs of celery tops for garnish

In a large pot warm up the oil and mix in the flour to make a roux (which will help thicken the soup) mixing until blended.

Pour in the tomato juice and flavored tomato sauce; mix with the flour until combined. Bring to a boil on medium high heat, then lower the flame and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Toss in the baking soda to cut the tomatoes' acidity. Serve immediately in pretty bowls and garnish with celery leaves. Enjoy a really mild and creamy tomato soup. To make soup more complete feel free to add rice when bringing soup to a boil.

Preparation 5 minutes
Serves 8-10

Best Bean & Greens Stew

This recipe has a winning combination of rich and fiber full good for you vegetables and nourishing beans. It is a complete meal suitable for a cold winter day.

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 2 (15 ounces each) cans navy beans
  • 1 tsp rosemary (optional)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups frozen spinach defrosted
  • 6 hot dogs (beef or Tofu)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp Turmeric (optional)

In a large pot heat oil to medium high heat. Sauté onions and garlic until fragrant about 10 minutes

Stir in spinach and cook until thoroughly warmed about five minutes. Add hot dogs, beans and spices, stir until all ingredients are thoroughly warmed through.

Allow to cook for 10 minutes and serve over a bed of rice. Garnish with some mustard for a spunky taste.

Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
Serves 6

Baked Honey-Mustard Chicken over Orzo

Baked Honey-Mustard Chicken over OrzoThis complete dish is an all time favorite. It takes minutes to prepare and it can be ready to serve in 30 minutes. Pictured are two variations of this dish.

  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 3 Tbs yellow mustard
  • 8 chicken thighs, or 4 chicken cutlets cut into nuggets
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup of your favorite seasoning mix
  • Baked Honey-Mustard Chicken over Orzo garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • 1 cup orzo

Heat oven to 450°F.

Combine honey, mustard, onion & garlic powder in a small bowl. Brush over chicken thighs/cutlets.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine bread crumbs and seasoning mix on a plate.

Roll chicken in crumbs to coat.

Place orzo in a greased baking pan add 2 cups water. Place chicken over orzo.

Bake until juices run clear, about 30 minutes.

Note: Boiled string beans with a little mayonnaise go very well with this dish for a complete dinner

Preparation 10 minutes
Serves 4-6

Cheesy Ricotta Penne Pasta

Cheesy Ricotta Penne PastaThis pasta is fast and fresh, with the ricotta melting into the hot pasta and coating it like a creamy sauce. The pine nuts give it crunch, while the herbs lend a fresh, scented flavor.

  • 3 ½ cups dried penne or other pasta
  • 6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups chopped frozen spinach
  • 2 Tbs parsley flakes
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh or dried basil
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese or any favorite cheese.
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large saucepan of water to boil, add plenty of salt and return to boil. Cook the pasta of your choice according to the package instructions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the pine nuts and fry gently until golden. Set aside.

Drain the cooked pasta, reserving 4 tablespoons of the cooking liquid and return both to the pan. Add the pine nuts and their oil, the herbs, ricotta or your favorite cheese, half the Parmesan and pepper to taste. Stir until evenly coated.

Divide the pasta between warmed serving bowls and serve immediately, topped by the remaining Parmesan.

Preparation 10 minutes
Serves 4-6

Easy Cheesy Broccoli Alfredo

Easy Cheesy Broccoli AlfredoVery often when in a rush cooking up a pot of pasta is the simplest solution, but making it different and tasty- that is the trick! This is one of my family’s favorite super fast dinners.

  • 1 lb (240 g) fettuccine pasta, uncooked
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt (unsweetened)
  • 1-cup milk
  • 4 oz goat feta cheese
  • ½ cup light Cream Cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Cheese
  • ½ tsp dried basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, add broccoli and sliced mushrooms to the boiling water for the last 5 minutes.

In a large bowl combine the yogurt, milk, feta cheese and grated cheese. Add spices and pour pasta over the cheeses and combine well. Serve in individual plates and garnish with a sprinkle of Hungarian paprika on every plate.


Prepare as directed, substituting frozen peas, chopped red peppers or any of your favourite chopped fresh vegetables for the broccoli. In addition, you can substitute spaghetti for the fettuccine.

Preparation 20 minutes
Serves 4-6

Teriyaki Salmon with Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Teriyaki Salmon with Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

  • 4 salmon filets
  • 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tbs grapefruit juice
  • 1 Tbs orange juice
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs yogurt
  • 1Teriyaki Salmon with Avocado and Grapefruit Salad clove garlic, minced
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce
  • ½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented
  • ½ avocado, sliced

Mix mayonnaise with Teriyaki sauce in a small bowl. Dip fish fillets in the sauce and place in a baking dish. Broil for 6 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile peel grapefruit and segment. Mix together citrus juices, yogurt, garlic and salt & pepper.

To assemble tear lettuce in bite size pieces, slice cucumber, grapefruit and avocado.

Drizzle with citrus dressing. Serve this salad next to the teriyaki salmon fillets.

Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking time 12 minutes
Serves 4

Vegetable Frittata

Vegetable FrittataWhen all else fails eggs are a great way to put supper on the table real fast. A super source of protein and other nutrients make sure to have fresh eggs in your refrigerator. Whenever this dish is served the children are very happy for most of them almost prefer dairy to meat meals. Add a hearty soup for a complete meal

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 2 zucchini diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • Scallions for garnish (optional)

Sauté diced onion in olive oil (use an oven-safe pan) then add all diced vegetables. Whisk 6 whole eggs, 2 egg whites, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables; cook on the stove until eggs are almost set, then place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes so the frittata puffs and browns slightly. Garnish with strips of scallions for color. Serve with a whole wheat bagel.

Preparation 10 minutes
Serves 4

Dessert suggestions

Dinner was light and complete but there is always room for dessert.

Here are some dessert suggestions that are easy and quick to prepare.

  • Two tone instant pudding according to package instructions topped with a wafer roll
  • Flavored yogurt with assorted fruits
  • Fruit salad topped with chopped nuts and maple syrup or store bought granola.
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