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Dinner in 20: Quick and Easy Meals to Enjoy



There is nothing worse than coming home from a long day and feeling like you have to order take-out. As they say, a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. Not taking the appropriate time to cook a meal is not only bad for your wallet,  but it’s also bad for your health and well-being. But have no fear! As a supermom in training, I’ve mastered the art of healthy dinners in less than 20 minutes. And here’s the best part: there is no prepping to be done if you don’t want to!

Pasta Alfredo with Chicken
The pasta boat is an As-Seen-on-TV product that allows you to cook pasta in the microwave in exactly 20 minutes. Pop in as many servings as you need into the pasta boat with the appropriate water, salt, and oil. Place the boat into the microwave, set it, and forget it!

While the pasta is cooking, take your pre-cooked or raw chicken and prep it for a few minutes by using the boiling water method or cooking it in a toaster oven. For example, raw chicken can be prepped with a bit of cooking wine, all-purpose seasoning, and some saffron. Pop it in a skillet with some oil until it is cooked. By this time, the pasta will be ready. Add some Alfredo or meat sauce, mix in your chicken, and voilá! Dinner is served.

Also, if you happen to have some butter or garlic salt on hand, you can toast some bread and spread butter-garlic salt mix on it to get some low-budget, high-flavor garlic bread!

Breaded Pork Chops and Rice 
Using the boiling water defrost method, defrost a pork chop and season it with some all purpose seasoning, saffron, cooking wine. You can use garlic and onion shavings, too. Run the pork chop through some eggs beaten with milk to create a sticky mixture for the breading to attach.

Break your pork chops, and stick them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. While the pork chops are in the oven, cook some rice on the stovetop. You can mix in some peas, carrots, and corn from a frozen bag along with a bullion cube to add flavor. This should be done cooking in about 15 minutes. By the time the rice is done, the pork chops will be done as well. There you have it. A healthy, hearty, and nutritious dinner to carry you through the evening and into breakfast in less than 20 minutes!

Beef and Fried Rice 
Easy-to-cook, healthy Chinese food is not just a dream. Taking some basic skirt steak, and cut it into strips. Marinate the strips in a bowl with some garlic, onions, and either teriyaki sauce or some lemon juice. While this is marinating, take the leftover rice from the meal above and pop it in a pan with some oil. While this is heating up, add some soy sauce and veggies to the pan. You can add in peas and carrots from a frozen bag or chopped onions, celery, and corn.

Mix it all in the skillet until the contents are warm all the way through. Keep an eye on the amount of soy sauce because you want the rice to rehydrate, not liquefy. While this is cooking, pop the steak strips into a skillet and cook to taste. When they’re finished, pop them on a plate and make your roommates jealous. You had time to make dinner and straighten your hair before midnight.

Cooking fast and filling meals doesn’t have to be hard. If you’re committed enough, pre-prepping your meals the Sunday before your crazy week begins will allow you to cook your meals in moments and free up hours to do more enjoyable things. Take control of your kitchen (and your tummy) by paying attention to what you have in the pantry and fridge. All it takes is some creativity and ingenuity.

Photo Sources: 

Journalism major with a minor in education. Currently a copywriter for Infinite Energy. Twitter handle: @DiadysFig
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