Meal Planning: Dinner in 30 minutes

Life is busy! Work, exercise, school, kids, sports, house up-keep and trying to squeeze in a little fun - it is hard to manage it all. Making dinner may be the last thing you want to do some nights but the family has to eat! Take-out is a very easy option but is not always healthy. Too much sodium, fat and calories can easily sabotage your diet.

I always have key staples on hand to help me get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. Here are 5 recipes that come together easily and can help keep your family on track with a healthy diet. If you try any of them, let me know how you liked it!

recipe healthy


Chicken Stir-Fry

  • Buy chicken strips which eliminates slicing up large chicken breasts

  • Always have frozen veggies ready to go. I use frozen chopped spinach and broccoli florets. They can easily be thrown into the pan with the chicken once the chicken is cooked half-way through.

  • Mrs. Dash seasonings are a life saver! Try the chicken seasoning with this dish.

  • Put the sauteed chicken & veggies over rice and dinner is ready! Or, if you are watching carbs, serve with a salad.

  • Tip: you can also purchased pre-made sauces for stir-frys. A trick I use to reduce the sodium is to take 1 cup sauce & dilute it with 1 cup water. The sauce still tastes great even when diluted.


Pork Chops

  • Pork chops are usually cheaper than chicken and cook up quickly. Usually 20 minutes and they are done. I season them with black pepper, onion powder & garlic powder. Then cook them in a pan with olive oil.

  • Pair with two veggies such as green beans and zucchini to increase vegetable intake and reduce carb intake.

  • Green beans are easy to cook by dropping them in boiling water for about 5-8 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your vegetables.

  • Zucchini also cooks up fast. I like to diced it and saute it in garlic flavored olive oil with chopped onions. In about 10-12 minutes, the zucchini is done.


Buffalo Chicken Salad

  • Salad for dinner is always an easy and quick way to get veggies & lean protein into a meal. Any cut of chicken breast will do. Simply slice the chicken into bite size pieces. Next, dredge the chicken in seasoned flour (I use onion powder, garlic powder & black pepper). Cook the chicken in olive oil until it is cooked through and has a crunchy coating.

  • Take the chicken out of the pan, put it in a colander with a bowl underneath it, and pour your favorite hot sauce over the chicken.

  • While the chicken is cooling, prepare the salads with fresh veggies.

  • I try to keep prepared bread sticks or garlic bread on-hand. Adding some type of bread helps to keep everyone full.


Cavatelli with Broccoli

  • We eat a vegetarian meal once a week. An easy dish to make is cavatelli with broccoli.

  • Cavatelli is sold in the frozen food section among the pasta. It cooks up in about 10-12 minutes.

  • Use either fresh or frozen broccoli. Saute the broccoli with chopped garlic until it is cooked to your desired tenderness. I like my veggies al dente so they cook up in about 5 minutes for frozen; 10 minutes for fresh.

  • Finish by putting the pasta on the dish, top with broccoli, then melt butter with chopped garlic in the microwave or in the broccoli pan; toss it over the pasta.

  • Serve with a salad.


Pizza Night!

  • Homemade pizza is so easy to make! Plus you can control what you put on it.

  • We will either use hot sausage or pepperoni with mushrooms & green peppers.

  • Note: if using sausage, you'll need to cook the sausage before putting it on the pizza.

  • You can also make this vegetarian night with mushrooms, green peppers and onions.

  • We buy the dough either at a pizza place or from the supermarket.

  • The key is using a pizza stone! Put it in the oven on the highest temperature your oven will go. Get it hot while you are preparing the dough, meat and veggies. Then put the sauce on first, layer the cheese over the sauce and top with veggies & meat.

  • Cook for 25 minutes or until the crust is done to your desired liking.

If you try any of the above recipes, please let me know what you thought!

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