Weeknight meals are a snap with these fresh recipes.

Weeknight meals are a snap with these fresh recipes.

Blessed are the meal makers. "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. Those who step into the kitchen to feed the whiny mob seem saintly to me. 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 question (every night! unrelentingly!), these five recipes are a miracle: dinners that are ready in under 30 minutes. Saints preserve us!

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. Perhaps hungry children are snapping at your heels; if they're old enough to be useful with knives, distract them with vegetables to chop and cheese to shred while you boil up the tortellini you've cleverly stocked in the freezer. And if attempting to put your family to work doesn't inspire them to occupy themselves elsewhere, let them stir the Pork Chop Suey (it doesn't take much more work than that.)

Thursday: Pork Chop Suey

March/April 2010