Category Archives: Quick (under 1 hr)

Quick dinner take 2

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Well, kind of quick. Less than 1 hour anyway, which to me is pretty quick! 55 minutes, to be exact. 🙂 Actually, there were 2 main reasons this took longer than about 20 minutes: 1. I had to defrost the frozen shrimp, and 2. I decided to make Kasmati rice to with this diner, simply because we had it on hand and I love it!

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The original recipe that inspired this dish was from Everyday Food, Jan/Feb 2009 issue. I halved the recipe and then added shrimp, rice, scallions, and some soy sauce. Here’s the basic idea:

Steamed Snow Peas and Peppers with Shrimp over Rice
adapted from Everyday Food, Jan/Feb 09; this recipe serves 2

Ingredients

  • handful of snow peas (the amount you’d like for 2 people)
  • 1 orange bell pepper (or whatever color looks good at the store that day)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • cooked white rice (I think this would be good with brown rice too)
  • 1/2 pound shrimp (I used frozen because I had them leftover from another recipe; I’m sure fresh would be great too; for fresh, you’d probably have to adjust the cooking time a bit.)
  • scallions for garnish

Directions

  • Cook rice according to package directions (I used Kasmati, so I started this first because it takes 50 minutes. Yes, 50! 20 min. for the rice to soak in water, bring to boil, 20 minutes to simmer with lid on, and let sit 5-10 min. May seem like a long time, but I really really love it. A quick cooking rice would speed this recipe up drastically of course!)
  • Meanwhile, defrost shrimp in cold water if frozen. Devein if necessary, and remove tails. Sautee shrimp in a non-stick pan with cooking spray for a few minutes (until warmed for frozen, pre-cooked shrimp, or until cooked through, pink and opaque for fresh or uncooked frozen shrimp.)
  • Trim snow peas, and de-seed pepper. Cut pepper into strips. Put snow peas and pepper into a vegetable steamer above simmering water and steam for 4 minutes, or until tender but still crisp.
  • In a bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, vegetable oil, and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • When shrimp and veggies are done, combine in one pan and toss with above vinaigrette. Serve over cooked rice. If desired, sprinkle some scallions on top for garnish, and add a splash of soy sauce (I used low-sodium soy sauce.)

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Had to include this photo because my camera started to steam up while I was trying to get it to focus, haha.  Maybe we can say the haze adds to the ambience of the photo? 😉

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A 51 minute meal.

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Today I decided to try something new: I wanted to see how fast I could make an interesting, somewhat balanced dinner. Tonight my husband had rehearsal until 5:00, I was teaching lessons at home until 5:00, and we were both going to have to leave for a board meeting by 6:45. Although I know that’s plenty of time to whip up something for dinner (and eat it), on days like this I typically resort to a frozen pizza or even just snacking and then stopping for a bite to eat on the way home from the meeting (at about 9:00 pm).

Today’s solution: bite the bullet and just COOK. I figured if I didn’t finish in time it wouldn’t be the end of the world. As you can see, I started at 4:43. When I say I “started,” I mean I hadn’t done anything yet. This time includes preheating the oven, prepping all the veggies, etc., and also plating the food and setting the table! I really loved the combination of flavors. They reminded me of summer! I think it was the mint and lime.

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Spice-Rubbed Turkey Cutlets with Roasted Carrots and Minted Couscous
(adapted from Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2009); I made it to serve 2 *Note: original recipe calls for roasting turkey breasts with the carrots, but I wanted to speed up the process. I used cutlets instead.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into 2 inch lengths
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound turkey breast cutlets (very thinly sliced)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinammon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss carrots, garlic, and 1-2 teaspoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast 35 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  • Sprinkle turkey cutlets with cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat to medium. Cook turkey cutlets until cooked through, a few minutes on each side.
  • In a small bowl, mix yogurt, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon cumin; season with salt and pepper. Serve on the side.

Minted Couscous (again, from Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2009. This recipe is listed “as is.” It serves 4. I halved it to make 2 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, torn (*I did not use the full amount because I was afraid the mint would overpower. It turned out to be much better than I thought it would be! I’m glad I took a chance. I would add the full amount next time.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Directions

  • In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous; season with salt and pepper. Cover and, off heat, let steam in the pan, 5 minutes.
  • Add scallions, mint, oil, and lime juice; fluff couscous with a fork.

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Granted, our board meeting was canceled because of bad weather, but I decided to use the opportunity to see if I really could make an interesting, healthy dinner on a busy weeknight. Added bonus: more time to update the blog. 🙂

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