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Recipes that halve the dinner rush hour

By Wendy Ruopp, May 17, 2010 - 11:20am

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Blessed are the meal makers. Those who step into the kitchen to feed the whiny mob seem saintly to me. “Feed me!” is so primal we’re saying it practically from our first breath. From that day on, it regularly crowds out other thoughts—especially around 6:00 at night. (These 10 dinners in 30 minutes will help.)

Even at my advanced age, I’m usually one of the whiners. I straggle in at the end of my long commute, piteously inquiring of my patient husband, “Is dinner ready yet?” If you’re the person who has to come up with a healthy-in-a-hurry answer to that “What’s for dinner?” question (every night! unrelentingly!), these recipes are a miracle: cheap dinners that are ready in less than 30 minutes. Saints preserve us!

Dressed-Up Grilled Cheese: On a night when people are rushing in only to rush out again, they can wrap a Hot Chile Grilled Cheese sandwich in foil and take it with them.

Quick Pasta: Perhaps hungry children are snapping at your heels; if they’re old enough to be useful with knives, distract them with vegetables to chop while you make Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp & Vegetables.

Simple Chicken: And if attempting to put your family to work doesn’t inspire them to occupy themselves elsewhere, let them open the bag of pre-cut vegetables for Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken & Vegetables (it doesn’t take much more work than that).

Fast Fish: Calling these “Salmon Pinwheels” makes this popular recipe sound fun and fancy--only you need to know they’re surprisingly easy and fast. This technique works best when you use “center-cut” salmon fillet. If you don't have a center-cut fillet or want to simplify the preparation, leave the fillet whole, spread the mayonnaise over it, top with the breadcrumb mixture and bake. To cut down on prep time, ask your fishmonger to skin the salmon for you. Serve with garlic-rosemary roasted potatoes and wilted spinach.

What creative solutions have you found to make dinner in 30 minutes or less? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Wendy Ruopp, Food Blog, Dinner, Family meals, Quick meals

Wendy Ruopp
Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she edits all the recipes for the magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.

Wendy asks: What creative solutions have you found to make dinner in 30 minutes or less?

Tell us what you think:

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