For many people, one of the hardest questions to answer is “What’s for dinner?”. Some people tend to answer this by ordering out, but the food is usually more expensive and not as healthy as if they had cooked it at home. As it takes about thirty minutes for a restaurant to take the order, make the food, and then a takeout driver deliver the food, we will be looking at seven different recipes that would take less than thirty minutes to prepare. That is, if you are feeling hungry and debating calling up your usual takeout restaurant, you can prepare one of these meals and sit down to eat it well before the delivery person arrives.
Vegetables Are Your Friend
As this is something that needs to be discussed, keep in mind that when “vegetables” are mentioned, it is an opportunity for you to have some fun. This can mean anything from the standard blend of cauliflower and broccoli, a couple of different squashes and zucchini sliced and mixed together, or even a mix of bell peppers, onions, and celery; it is just that you should have vegetables with every meal so have some fun. A number of recipes do better with vegetables, so have some fun with them and have some on hand.
It may seem like cheating to start with a dinner salad, but done right a salad can do well for dinner. Start of my tearing off a cup or two of leaves from the lettuce of your choice. Add in about three or four vegetables, such as diced tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, a mushroom or two, maybe some green onions, some baby corn cobs, sliced cucumbers, or some shredded carrots. For your protein, some shredded tuna, a sliced hard-boiled egg or two, some beans, possibly even some fried tofu. Throw on some grated cheese or blue cheese crumbles for a little added tang and some croutons or fried onions for crunch and you are almost there.
As for the dressing, you have a number of choices. You can use a number of store-bought dressings or use a ranch dressing mix. You can also put together a nifty vinegar and oil dressing: Pour in a half-cup of oil and a full-cup of red vinegar, then mix in a pinch of salt, a tablespoon each of pepper, dried or diced basil, minced garlic, possibly cayenne, shake the entire mix, and the pour sparingly over the salad. Yes, you will have a lot to spare, but that means you have dressing for other salads. It does not take all that long to put together, and it is actually pretty healthy.
Chicken Is An Excellent Idea
Everyone should know a decent chicken dinner. It only takes a few minutes to cook a chicken breast, and there is so much you can do with it. The simplest idea is to steam some rice and vegetables, and then cook off a chicken breast. This is more of a timing situation: The rice should only take about twenty-five minutes at worst, so start the chicken when there are only ten minutes left. Heat the pan to a medium temperature and throw down two tablespoons of oil. Cook the chicken breast for about five minutes on both sides. When you flip the breast over, add vegetables to the pan, and it should all be ready at the same time.
Hamburgers Are Always Good
The classic hamburger is probably as simple as you can get. Make sure that you have some sliced vegetables, such as pickles, onions, tomatoes, even lettuce, and that you toast the buns, and the hamburger should be easy. Cook off a burger or equivalent, making sure to salt and pepper it. When you flip the burger, dress the bun as you want, including the ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise if desired. When the burger is ready, just flip the burger onto the bun and you are good to go. If you want, when you first flip the burger put a slice of cheese and some bacon on the burger.
Spaghetti is a Classic For a Reason
One of the simplest recipes is spaghetti. All you need to do is boil water for the spaghetti, brown some meat, and prepare a red sauce. When it is ready, throw the spaghetti on the plate, cover with sauce, and then cover that with some grated Parmesan cheese. If you need some extra carbohydrates, you can take a sourdough roll or French bread, split in half, cover with garlic butter, put back together, and warm for about ten minutes. You can also add a salad.
Chicken Noodle Soup is Great for a Cold Day
A good starter recipe is chicken noodle soup. Start by boiling some chicken or vegetable stock, and dice up some carrots and chicken. When the stock is boiling, add in some pasta, the carrots, and chicken, and then season as desired. You can add in more vegetables, and you can substitute beans or tofu for the chicken, as desired. This does not really require anything extra, such as buttered bread, and is good enough to serve by itself. This is an ideal meal for a cold day or when you are not feeling so hot.
Not Just For Tuesdays
It is hard to get tacos wrong. All you need are some sort of shell, some sort of protein, and something else to finish it off. While the American default is browned beef, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and sour cream, there are no real limits to what you can do with the concept. If you need something that is cheap, easy to make, can be cooked in minimal time and can feed a crowd, tacos are a great way to go. If you want burritos, increase the size of the shell and add in some beans and/or rice.
Not Just For Kids
The grilled cheese sandwich is a great starter recipe; it is simple, only takes a few minutes to make, and they are practically an infinite ways to make one. Add on a tomato soup and you have something that makes for a great dipping sandwich. As noted, there is a lot you can do with it; some variations include sliced tomatoes, sliced meats such as ham and bologna, and pretty much anything you can slip between the slices of cheese. With a little imagination, you can have a lot of fun with this recipe.
This is just the beginning of what you can do in the kitchen. There are a lot of simple recipes that can be done in a few minutes, such as submarine sandwiches, any variety of soups, and even a wide variety of egg dishes. Most dishes take less than thirty minutes to make, so just find a few that you like and commit the recipes to heart so you can just go into the kitchen and have fun.