Quick Easy Supper Ideas

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When dinner has to be quick, it's easy to turn to frozen entrees and take-out. With the right ingredients on hand and 20 to 30 minutes, a home-cooked meal can be almost as easy as a trip to the drive-thru.

Home cooking doesn't have to be time consuming.
Home cooking doesn't have to be time consuming. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Salmon, Rice and Broccoli

Salmon is not only one of the easiest to prepare proteins, it is one of the healthiest. Broil or grill fresh or thawed salmon fillets brushed with olive oil, or purchase packaged salmon fillets that can be tossed into boiling water to poach. Serve with boxed rice pilaf and steamed fresh or frozen broccoli.

Salmon is one of the easiest, and healthiest, main dishes.
Salmon is one of the easiest, and healthiest, main dishes. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Pork, Potatoes and Red Cabbage

Thin-sliced boneless pork chops can be the basis of an incredibly quick version of schnitzel (thin breaded and fried meat). Dip chops into milk, and toss in a mixture of flour and dry breadcrumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Pan fry in vegetable oil for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with mashed potatoes (homemade, refrigerated or instant) and jarred red cabbage.

Real pork schnitzel takes time--this shortcut method takes about 15 minutes.
Real pork schnitzel takes time--this shortcut method takes about 15 minutes. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Chicken, Orzo and Spinach

It's no secret that boneless, skinless chicken breasts make quick and healthy meals. While the uses for this ubiquitous cut are almost endless, it can get boring. Try pounding them thin and sauteing in olive oil, lemon and garlic. Serve with buttered orzo (rice-shaped pasta) and streamed fresh spinach.

Tired of chicken breast? Experiment with different flavors and sides.
Tired of chicken breast? Experiment with different flavors and sides. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Stir Fry and Rice

Homemade stir fry may seem like a big production, but it's actually one of the quickest, easiest dishes to make. Purchase beef or chicken already cut into strips, or use bean curd (firm tofu). Cook, stirring constantly, in vegetable oil over medium high heat (a wok is best, but a skillet will work if you don't have one). Remove and set aside. Stir fry vegetables (green onion, snow peas, pre-sliced mushrooms, and bell pepper strips are some good choices), and return cooked meat or bean curd to the pan, seasoning with soy sauce or bottled stir fry sauce. Serve with steamed or boiled white rice.

With prepped meat and vegetables, stir fry is one of the quickest dishes to make.
With prepped meat and vegetables, stir fry is one of the quickest dishes to make. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Red Beans with Eggs

For a quick meatless meal that is full of protein and very filling, try an ultra-quick take on Huevos Rancheros: Heat a can of red beans in sauce in a skillet, and crack four eggs on top. Cover and simmer until the egg whites are cooked through, and the yolks are to your liking. Top with shredded cheese and/or prepared pica de gallo or salsa, and plate over warmed flour tortillas. Serve with fresh (bagged) salad.

Protein-rich eggs are not just for breakfast.
Protein-rich eggs are not just for breakfast. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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References

  • "Joy of Cooking"; Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker; 2006
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