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A Chowhound 30 Minute meal aka help!

Being a rising star of young supermoms my schedule is so busy that my favorite part of my day is when I get in bed. One of my many goals for this year is to cook at least three times a week and use leftover to get me through lunches. I work two jobs and go to school so prep time is almost non-existent. My budget is limited, ok let's realistically call it creative :). My daughter and I have an agreement that she will start eating vegetables next month (in exchange for a very pretty lunch box). Please help me with some ideas that will show what chowhounds can do with 30 minutes, a picky little kid, and a limited buget.

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  1. Not to be too obvious, but check out Rachel Ray's 30-minute meals: http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tehama

      Thanks Tehama. I am more looking to pick the brains of the chowhounds tho. I want to know what Sam Fujisaka, Sweet P, Rev Sharkie, J food, and many other lovers of food can do with this no-so-complicated food challenge.

    2. For another child's journey into the land of vegetables... you have to read this blog!

      This UK mom had a 7 year old boy who ran from vegetables. They agreed to try and eat their way through the veg alphabet (they're currently in the "Rs").

      It's a great read with some great recipes for kids. Head into the archives.

      http://greatbigvegchallenge.blogspot....

      1. Red lentil soup. It's a 45 minute meal, but delicious, healthy, and good for leftovers. I've made it twice since it appeared in the New York Times last week

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/09/din...

        I would recommend reducing the amount of water she calls for. The first time I made it, I accidentally left it out all together, and it was stew like. This last time I used the full two cups, and I found the flavor watered down a bit...

        1. i like to grill 4 or 5 chicken breasts at a time, seasoned w/ some olive oil, garlic salt and lemon pepper. they keep really well and even taste good cold. you can put these in salads, wraps, and sandwiches...i like to also make sauces like roasted vegetable marinara, thai red curry, etc., to pour over the chicken. you can then serve these w/ rice or pasta.

          1. If you have a crockpot and thermos, it opens up a lot of options. I make almost everything in the crockpot so when we walk in the door at 7 or 8, dinner is ready. Easy ones with vegetables are stews and curries. You can chop the vegetables the night before. I like to braise the meat and saute the vegetables but it can do w/out. When you come home, take out the meat, puree w/ an immersion blender and your child can have thickened soup w/out even knowing there are vegetables. Soup is also excellent. Make the soup in a crockpot, refrigerate. When you get home, add cooked meat, vegetables (frozen if you don't have time to chop). Thicken the soup for chicken pot pie the next day. I also make chili, using rehydrated beans and a lot of tomatoes. The next day, use the chili as a base, top w/ cornbread batter and cook in the crockpot.