Who has time these days to spend hours in the kitchen to make just one meal? Unless you’re a one percenter who has butlers and chefs on call, chances are you’re strapped for time. Here are a few quick ideas that you can throw together without anyone thinking they only took 30 minutes to fix.
1 lb. roll pre-made polenta, cut into ½ inch slices
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
16 oz. spaghetti sauce
8 ounces grated cheese (mozzarella, pepper jack, colby, etc)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a saucepan, brown the ground beef with pepper and salt.
In a 9 x 9 pan, fill the bottom with ½ the polenta rounds. Top with half the ground meat and half the spaghetti sauce and half the cheese. Repeat for a second layer.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serves four (or two hungry people).
1 lb mixed greens
1/2 lb grilled chicken, beef, salmon or shrimp
Fresh cracked pepper
½ green apple, thinly sliced
1 shallot, diced
2 tablespoons crumbled feta or blue cheese
¼ cup minced dried cranberries
¼ cup slivered almonds, walnuts or pecans
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing to taste. This recipe goes even faster if the protein is leftover from another meal.
Grilled veggie pizza
Store-bought pizza crust
Red sauce or alfredo sauce (your choice)
4 oz. diced bell peppers
4 oz. diced onions
4 oz. diced mushrooms
2 oz. diced black olives
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 or as package directions advise.
Combine the veggies, oil, salt and pepper in a pan and cook until translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Spread sauce on crust and top with sautéed veggies. Bake until crust is thoroughly heated. Drop parmesan shavings on pizza once it’s out of the oven.
2 cans or 16 ozs. leftover chili
1 medium diced tomato
½ medium diced onion
½ cup corn niblets
1 box corn muffin mix
Preheat oven to 350 or as corn muffin package directions advise.
Combine chili with onions, corn and tomato. Pour into a 9×9 glass pan and top with corn muffin mix. Bake until mix is cooked. Note: this may take longer than 30 minutes depending on your oven. If you don’t have that much time, then bake the corn muffin mix separately and top with the chili mixture.
½ cup cooked spinach, asparagus, mushrooms or other veggies of your choice
1 Tablespoon milk
¼ cup goat cheese
1 Tablespoon butter
Beat the eggs with milk until combined. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet and drop the egg mixture in. Move the egg mixture around with a wooden spoon as it cooks so that the raw egg slides “under” the cooked egg and cooks. Sprinkle gumball-size knobs of goat cheese evenly over the eggs and top with desired amount of veggies. Gently fold the omelet in half and slide onto a serving plate.
Any of these quick meals can be made even faster if you’ve got leftovers in the fridge. You could even take half a day and sauté up big batches of veggies and protein and freeze them in serving-size containers to whip up a quick meal during the week. You’re in the kitchen anyway, so cooking in large batches doesn’t take a huge amount of time over cooking for two. Bon Appétit!