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Smarter Shopping: Dinners That are on Your Table in 29 Minutes

Posted by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM
  • 41 Replies

Julia Child wrote, "This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook -- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!". She also noted, "Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need."  She was a fantastic chef and a smart lady, no?

Why am I quoting Julia Child? Well, I'm trying to boost my inner chef's esteem. I need to, in order to fully embrace a goal of mine: cook without the microwave or toaster oven. It's not going to be easy, folks, and it will definitely result in some not-so-great dishes. One of the ways I'm think I can get a little better in the kitchen is to attempt recipes that aren't too involved and that don't take a lot of time. Start simple, right? So, I looked for some easy recipes I can do in about 29 minutes.

Why 29 minutes? Full confession here: It's a short, manageable amount of time, where Kiddo can watch Martha Speaks or My Little Pony while I concentrate on figuring out how to boil water.

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken from

What you need:

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

What you do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix cheese, dressing mix and garlic powder. Moisten chicken breasts with water; coat with cheese mixture. Place in shallow baking dish. Bake 20 to 25 min. or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.

Bow-Tie Bolognese from

What you need:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup chopped onion

1 small carrot, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 pound lean ground beef

1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped

½ cup red wine

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ pound bow tie pasta

What you do:

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to thicken, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the bow tie pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain.  Serve the sauce over the pasta.

Ground Beef and Cheese Stuffed Peppers from

What you need:

1 lb Lean Ground Beef

1/2 Cup Chopped Red Onion

4 Red Bell Peppers (or any other you prefer)

1/2 Cup Chopped Celery

1 Clove Garlic (Crushed)

1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Cup - 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

What you do:

Chop your celery and onion and crush your garlic. Mix ingredients together in a pan (with a dash of olive oil) and sauté on low. Cut the tops off and remove the insides of your peppers. Place them in oven and bake for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees. After a few minutes of frying the onion/celery and garlic, add in the ground beef. Sauté all ingredients on medium until beef becomes brown (will likely need to simmer for about 10 minutes). Remove the peppers from the oven and remove the beef mixture from the stove. Pour the beef mixture into the red peppers. Grate up your cheddar cheese (you can grate the cheese while you're waiting for the other stuff to cook) and pour overtop of the beef on each pepper. Add a dash of ground black pepper to the top of the cheese (which will have melted a little bit by now). Serve!

Black Bean Quesadilla from

What you need:

2 burrito-size flour tortillas

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can refried low-fat black beans

1 cup chunky salsa

1 1/2 cups Mexican-style shredded cheese

1/2 cup prepared guacamole (from the refrigerated section)

2 tablespoons sour cream

What you do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay 1 tortilla on a clean work surface. Spread the beans evenly over the tortilla. Spoon 3/4 cup of salsa over the beans, then sprinkle with the cheese. Top with the second tortilla. Place the quesadilla on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top is crisp and brown. Meanwhile, swirl the guacamole and sour cream together in a small bowl. Cut the quesadilla into 4 equal portions and transfer to a plate. Serve with the guacamole mixture and remaining salsa.

Share your best, easy, under-29-minutes receipes with me!!


by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 12:12 AM

These look delicious :)

by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 12:18 AM
Great! Tfs!
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by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:27 AM
These sound good.
by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 4:01 AM

Oh thank you for these!  I think I might have to try that parmesan one later!

by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 5:03 AM
1 mom liked this

Thanks for sharing....Will have to try these...I'm using the oven and my crockpot these days.....

by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 7:39 AM

The stuffed peppers sound good

by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 7:45 AM
Sounds great. How about breakfast for dinner? That usually doesn't take long. Tacos too.:)
by Platinum Member on Jan. 23, 2014 at 8:13 AM
Veggies like onion celery bell peppers w jimmy dean sausage. Cook some wild rice. mix top w parm cheese n bread crumbs pop in oven
by Platinum Member on Jan. 23, 2014 at 8:13 AM
these sound great
by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I do a parmesan chicken, but I dip in melted butter, then in a mixture od parmesan and bread crumbs. This one sounds much healthier.

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