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Feb 22, 2007 05:30 PM

Quick Weeknight Meals

Help!!! No matter what I do I can't seem to get "chow" type meals on the table in less than an hour. Most nights I get home at about 6:30 so by the time I get everything squared away it's 8 sometimes 8:30 before we eat. Not good.Sure, I can do a grilled fish/chicken with veggies on the side but that gets boring. I searched the threads but no inspiration was to be found. Please share some of your best recipes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. oh, by the way...hate cold food. So please no salads or sandwiches. I do lots of batch cooking but my family gets tired of the leftovers. TIA

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  1. This is a complete bringover from college, but I always enjoyed it. Pasta with kielbasa or a nice sausage and onions, portabellas, and tomatoes. Fast, easy, and good.

    1. Pad thai, any stir fry, fritatta.

      Have you used a crockpot? I love coming home to a wonderful smelling house with dinner almost ready.

      1. i get home at 6:30 every night so I have the same problem but I really enjoy cooking and have found some great quick meals that are usual standby's when i'm trying to get dinner on the table fast.

        Pita Pizza:
        whole wheat pita bread topped with salsa, turkey pepperoni, chopped peppers, shredded cheese baked in a toaster oven till crispy. You can top with anything you want really, leftover chicken, tomato sauce, pesto, or sliced tomato, any kind of veggies you want and cheese options are endless. To make a cold version I slather hummus, top with chopped tomato, chopped cucumber, chopped kalamata olives and crumbled feta

        chicken cutlets cook up fast and you can use them to make chicken parm, chicken with lemon, wine and garlic or mustard sauce (dijon mustard whisked with chicken stock). Rice or pasta is a simple side dish.

        variartions of burgers always make a great meal... add blue cheese and minced mushrooms to ground beef for a different flavor, remove turkey sausage from casing and form patties for another variation. serve with baked frozen french fries tossed with garlic poweder or southwest seasoning.

        grill up some chicken or steak with taco seasoning, make some spanish rice and put it all on the table with sour cream, salsa and guacomole and have a make your own taco night.

        pick up one of Rachel Ray's 30 minute meal cookbooks...or rent one from your local library, she's got tons of great ideas that I've tried and love!

        1 Reply
        1. re: lasiciliana

          As much as I try to hate Rachael Ray, I must say that some of her ideas are great. As long as you pick good ingredients, you can often do pretty well by her. I won't say always, but often.

          I like to have some precooked penne and make a quick pan sauce with garlic/anchovies/kalamatas/diced canned tomatoes. Throw the pasta in, let it all come together and heat and serve iwth shredded parmiggiano.

        2. Start the rice. A couple tablespoons of that Thai Kitchen red curry paste cooked with a can of coconut milk, add some fish sauce, lime, brown sugar to taste. Toss in whatever veggies you have in the fridge: this time of year it's brocolli, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, chile peppers. Or a can of pineapple and halved cherry tomatoes. Add some diced/sliced chicken or shrimp. Finish with basil, cilantro. Quick and good. You can also make it with chicken broth and add noodles instead of over the rice.

          1. Pasta, pasta, pasta. My favorite is any sauce you can make in the time the pasta cooks. I buy frozen raw prawns from the grocery store. Take out a handful and start them defrosting under cold water while the pasta water boils - they should be ready to cook by the time you get your pasta going..... and you can make loads of easy sauces with those as the base of your protein. Pestos are great, easy tomato sauces or simple anchovy and oil.


            1 Reply
            1. re: daily_unadventures

              Try picking up the new Killeen/Germon cookbook, "On Top of Spaghetti" - it has great recipes for quick pasta. I love the book; it's just out, but will be available at libraries or on eBay.