Need a meal in less than 30 minutes? Meal planning is the way to go if you want to make it easier on yourself in the long run. If you have a menu for the week, along with a shopping list and recipes handy, meals end up on the table faster.
I’m not the best at making meal plans though. I tend to wait until the last minute to think about what I have on hand and what is easy to fix. But here’s a solution to making a quick meal in no time!
In order to create fast meals you need to keep some items on hand:
Frozen chicken, fish, and shrimp
Frozen bags of vegetables
Rice, potatoes, quinoa, pasta
Spices, oils, sauces
To make a quick meal with 3 items and no recipe, I turned on the oven to 400 degrees. I grabbed some fish from the freezer and put it in some water in the sink to thaw a little.
I boiled some broth, but you can also use water. I added rice and started a 20 minute timer.
I put the frozen vegetables into a pan with some olive oil and pepper and put in the oven to roast at 400 degrees.
Then for the fish, I heated up a cast iron skillet (the BEST to cook with!) and added some olive oil. I added the fish and sprinkled with some Mrs. Dash seasoning.
Then it was all done in 20 minutes when the timer went off!
Steps to a 30 Minute Meal with No Plan:
- Thaw chicken, fish, or shrimp. These tend to cook quickly in a skillet.
- If chicken, cut up into smaller pieces so will cook quicker.
- Sprinkle with seasoning of choice. I love the Mrs. Dash’s Fiesta Lime, Lemon Pepper, and Garlic and Herb.
- Heat skillet and add some oil.
- Add meat and stir fry until done.
- Boil broth and add quinoa, rice, or other 20 minute cooking grain following package directions.
- Pasta: follow package directions.
- If doing potatoes, here are two options:
- Chop and boil for mashed potatoes
- Dice and roast with your vegetables.
- I always include vegetables in our meals. My kids aren’t picky and eat vegetables well. If you need help with getting your kids to eat vegetables be sure to check out the book by Jill Castle, RD Try New Food. (affiliate link)
- Keep a variety of frozen vegetables in your freezer. Frozen vegetables are just as healthy as fresh, sometimes even better. They are immediately frozen to keep the nutrients whereas fresh travel to the store losing nutrients over time.
- Try to fill half your plate with vegetables!
- Options for cooking:
- Roasting- we love our roasted! It brings out a better taste and is easy. You just spread them in a pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on spices. Bake at 400 degrees about 15 minutes or until done.
You can also add a side of fruit and/or bread.
That’s it! Dinner is served!
For carbohydrate counting: meat is typically 0, starch: 1/2 cup potaotes/corn/beans/peas =15, 1/3 cup cooked rice or pasta = 15. Vegetables are 1/2 cup = 5. If you have bread or fruit, add 15 grams per serving. See carb counting post!