Thursday, February 27, 2014

3 Dinners Ready in 30 minutes or less

Quick, healthy dinners that taste good too? Yes, it's true. As my family has dinner "in" 97% of the time (pretty scientific, eh?), I feel compelled to share some of our favorite quick recipes with you all. So here they are.....three dinners ready is thirty minutes max....but really less than that.

Chicken Fried Rice with Veggies
Source: All You Magazine...with some modifications
Serves: 4

1 12-oz skinless, boneless chicken breast half, chopped
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. canola oil + 1/4 cup canola oil
1 small chopped onion
1 10-oz. package frozen mixed veggies, thawed
4 cups cooked brown rice
3 large eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a bowl, toss chicken with soy sauce and 2 tsp. canola oil. Cover; let stand until 5 minutes.
2. Warm a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry chicken with sauce/oil marinade until cooked through (about 4 minutes). Transfer chicken to a plate.
3. Warm canola oil in same skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion for 3 minutes. Add mixed veggies; sauté for 1 minute.
4. Increase heat to medium-high, stir in rice and cook 3 minutes.
5. Form a well in center of rice mixture. Crack eggs into well; scramble just until soft. Mix into rice; season with salt and pepper if/as desired. Let cook undisturbed until a crust forms, about 1 minute (this step is important!!). Turn rice with a spatula. Repeat until rice is uniformly golden. Add chicken and stir to combine.

Note: This of course requires you to have cooked rice on hand. This is easy to do on the weekends with a rice cooker. Leave the cooked rice in fridge until ready to eat. Also note this dish will be extra veggie-licious. That's the best part.

Veggie-Mania Macaroni and Cheese
Source: Parents Magazine...with some modifications
Serves: 6

3 cups dried whole-wheat elbow macaroni (or pasta type of choice)
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 cup non-fat milk
6 oz. shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (~1.5 cups)
3 oz. plain low-fat Greek yogurt (just under 1/2 cup)
1 tsp dried oregano
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup diced tomatoes

1. Cook macaroni as directed on package. Drain and return to pot; keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Stir flour into oil. Whisk in milk. Stir until milk is thickened and bubbly (this takes some time...8 minutes or so). Cook 1 minute more.
3. Remove pan from heat and add cheese; stir until smooth. Stir in yogurt and oregano
4. Add 3 cups baby spinach and 1 cup diced tomatoes to sauce and mix.
5. Mix together sauce and macaroni.

Note: An easier modification of this recipe is to use frozen veggies. Heat in the microwave while the sauce is cooking on the stove. Once warm, add cheese sauce in step 4 instead of the spinach and tomatoes. We often use a broccoli, cauliflower, carrot mix for this recipe and it is delicious!

The "I don't feel like cooking" Recipe
Serves: 1.....multiply as needed.

1 whole wheat tortilla
1/2 cup of black beans
1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
1/2 avocado
Lettuce, Tomato - enough to top

1. Heat black beans in microwave for 20 seconds.
2. Heat tortilla in microwave for 15 seconds.
3. Top tortilla with beans, cheese, yogurt, sliced avocado, lettuce and tomato.
4. Wrap tortilla, pour a glass of milk and pair with a piece of fruit.

Note: I'm pretty sure my husband lived off of this dinner before we got married. But so delicious and fast - so why not?

Be Extraordinary,


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