According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), 133 million Americans eat out every day. Michael Donohue, spokesperson for the NRA, contends that, “The typical adult eats at a restaurant nearly six times a week.” While this is great news for restauranteurs it may make budget-minded moms and pops blush with shame. So why do we eat out so much? Time is partially to blame. The grocery shopping, the cooking, the prep, the cleaning — all of these things take time that we, as working Americans, really don’t have. Luckily, however, there is a way to get in and out of the kitchen in a flash. There are plenty of chefs and cookbooks that have proved to us that having dinner out in under 30 minutes is achievable.
Tips to making your kitchen 30 Minute Meal-Worthy
You can’t just throw together 30 minute meals if you’re in the midst of a filthy or unorganized kitchen. You need to be adequately prepped to churn out meals in a flash. One way to prep for a 30 minute meal? Practice what chefs like to call “mise en place,” or “to put in place.” The basic premise of mise en place is that if you put everything out in front of you before you start to cook, you’ll be able to prepare a meal quickly and efficiently. Get your mise en place set up by doing the following:
Make sure you have all of your ingredients in front of you
Have plates ready so you can put the meal on the plates and serve it while the dish is still hot.
Have stations set up for different phases of the meal. Arrange a washing, chopping, and seasoning station.
Put all of your herbs or different chopped ingredients in bowls so that you can easily grab and use them. The bowls can be quickly thrown in the dishwasher after use.
Apply this technique to all of your meals to churn them out as quickly as possible.
Examples of 30 minute Meals
Thirty minute meals usually include elements like a meat that can be cooked in a skillet in a flash and simple recipes without hundreds of ingredients. Meals that you can cook in under 30 minutes include:
Steak with herbs: Steak is so easy to just throw on a cast-iron skillet and cook. All you need is herbs like rosemary, parsley, and oregano to really make a rib-eye taste delectable in only about 8 minutes!
Lemon Garlic Tilapia with Spinach: Just sauté some spinach and throw a tilapia filet on the skillet with garlic, lemon, and butter for a delicious dinner that only takes about 20 minutes.
Parmesan Chicken Tenders: Bust out your olive oil and get ready for some quick frying. You can bread your chicken tenders in rosemary, shredded parmesan, red pepper flakes and garlic cloves. Then, just fry up your breaded tenders and serve with a pasta salad and some leafy greens for a great meal.
You can make the time to cook for thirty minutes each night. Just start planning your meals out, and open your mind to the possibility that cooking could actually be enjoyable.
Research shows that about 7.3 million people in the United States follow a vegetarian-based diet, and the number continues to grow. There are plenty of reasons why you may want to follow a vegetarian-based diet, including health-based or environmental motives. However, some hesitate to go vegetarian because they feel as though they won’t get enough protein. Here, we’ve prepared some easy meal plans that will allow you to get plenty of protein in your diet while still maintaining a vegetarian meal plan.
Breakfast Meal Plans
Cereal and Milk: Even skim milk has a good amount of protein and, with some high protein cereal, you could be getting ample amounts of protein even with just a bowl of cereal, milk, and some sliced strawberries or a glass of orange juice.
Yogurt: Start off in the morning with a cup of yogurt and fruit. Just one cup of yogurt can have about 13 grams of protein. You can also add some granola with nuts or chia seeds for an added boost of protein and fiber.
Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein for any one on a plant-based diet. Kick off your day with a frittata with spinach, which is about 30% protein. You can also add onions and mushrooms to an omelet or frittata for flavor.
Lunch Meal Plans
Cheddar cheese: Cook up some mac n’ cheese for a great dose of protein. Just an ounce of cheese has 7.1 grams! You could also make a grilled cheese sandwich or serve cheese on crackers as a light lunch, if you prefer.
Avocado: Prepare some tortilla soup or a taco with avocado, which contains about 10 grams of protein.
Pinto beans: At about 12 grams per cup, pinto beans provide a hearty dose of protein. Prepare them in a Southern style, accompanied by some cornbread and coleslaw for a hearty lunch.
Dinner Meal Plans
Garbanzo beans: Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, are the wonder-bean with about 14 grams of protein per cup. Chickpeas also have vitamins like folate and vitamin B9 and minerals like manganese, which contributes to the formation of bones. Make a tomato-based shrimp dish with spicy jalapeno and add garbanzos to temper the spice for a great, Cajun-style dinner.
Soy beans: Before munching on some sushi or sashimi, serve up soy beans as an appetizer. At about 28 grams of protein per cup, soy beans add a punch of protein to any Japanese dinner.
Tofu: Tofu is extremely versatile and a great “go to” food for any vegetarian. With 22 grams of protein per cup, tofu can serve as the main source of protein for plenty of dishes, from stir fries to soups. However, make sure that you pick fermented soy products, such as miso, tempeh, and some tofu and only eat it in reasonably small amounts. While fermented soy products are attributed to lower incidence of breast and prostate cancer, processed soy food snacks or shakes (especially genetically modified soy), may lead to health problems down the road.
If you’re planning on going vegan, there are plenty of dairy substitutes that can help you get the protein without the animal products. For example, coconut milk yogurt can be eaten in place of regular yogurt, nutritional yeast for Parmesan cheese, or almond milk for regular milk. Use a vegan grocery list to help with shopping and ensure that you get your daily intake of protein as a vegetarian. Simply follow these meal ideas and you’ll stay healthy and energized when cutting meat out of your diet entirely.
According to the New York State Department of Health, the number of overweight children in the United States has increased dramatically in recent years. In fact, about 10% of 4-5 year old children are overweight, which is about double that of 20 years ago. For ages 6-11, at least 1 in every 5 children are overweight. This is also nearly double the number of overweight 6-11 year olds than 20 years ago. These numbers are alarming for any parent. While children may not generally gravitate towards healthy foods, it’s important to prioritize health when you’re cooking kid friendly meals in the kitchen. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be difficult to make easy kids meals that are healthy. Check out some of these meals that are both delicious and nutritious, too!
Classic Easy Kids Meals Made Healthy
We all remember our favorite meals as a kid. Now it’s time to put the classics on the treadmill and make ‘em healthy. Here are some great easy kids meals made healthier:
Pigs in a Blanket: Get crescent rolls that are reduced in fat instead of using the fatty brands. The reduced fat crescent rolls are just as flakey and delicious. When you’re buying the “pigs” of pigs in a blanket, buy beef franks with no additives and try to get the brand with lower sodium.
Sloppy Joe Sliders: Sloppy Joes don’t have to be that sloppy. Just add mushrooms and tomatoes to beef to make your child’s sandwich healthier and put your Joe on whole wheat rolls. By putting the meat on rolls, you’ll be making each sandwich smaller, helping your kids better moderate how much their eating and not overeat.
Peanut Butter and Jelly: Peanut butter and jelly can be either extremely healthy, or, well, a bit unhealthy, depending on the brands and types of ingredients you use. Swap that Wonderbread for a whole grain loaf, to start. Then, try and find a nut butter that has no trans fats with low sodium, like hazelnut or even almond butter. Use spreads over jellies since spreads usually have less sugar and real fruit. Double check the sugar content of your jam to make sure it’s not through the roof, and you’ll have yourself a pretty healthy PB&J.
Sausage ‘n’ Spinach Pockets: Your kids may love their Hot Pockets, but these meals aren’t exactly heart healthy. Make your own version, just brown sausage, onion, and garlic, and add spinach and mushrooms cheese to the mix for a serving of veggies. Keep it healthier by using reduced fat crust for your dough and make the pockets fairly small so that, again, your child can moderate their portions.
Zucchini Fritters and Eggs: Kids may enjoy some hash browns with their eggs, but you don’t have to make fritters out of starchy potatoes for them to be delicious. Zucchini fritters are scrumptious and healthy. You can make fritters with shredded zucchini 1/3 cup of Bisquick, salt and pepper and a dash of oil. Simply fry ‘til golden brown, then serve alongside some scrambled eggs and low sodium sausage.
Keep your children healthy and happy with these kid friendly healthy meal ideas for families that are also super easy. Always be looking at ways to improve side dishes too, with baked sweet potato fries over regular French fries or baked chicken nuggets over fried chicken. And remember: healthy eating habits are established at a young age, so take initiative and start feeding your kids healthy meals as soon as you can get your hands on a pan.