Thursday, November 7, 2013

What We Ate {16 Minute Dinner}

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Some nights it seems like I have no time between when I get home from work and when I need to leave again for an exercise class or an evening walking date with my mom and aunt. The reasons for this vary, but it seems like at least once a month or so, I get home less than 45 minutes before I need to leave again.

Which wouldn't be a big deal, except I pretty much have to eat dinner before I workout.  Or else I'm a grumpy, irritable nightmare.  It's not pretty. In my defense, I eat lunch at 11AM, so by 5:00 or so I. am. starving. And I'm definitely a grumpy-when- hungry girl!!

So for these occasions, I have a fabulous go-to dinner plan that needs no prep, is super quick, and requires almost no clean up.  Plus, it's SOOO yummy!

Obviously, any dinner that goes from having nothing prepped to a meal on the table in 16 minutes is going to get some help from packaged products.  BUT, I find this to be a cheap and healthy meal, which is really all that I ask for from a weeknight dinner.  Prepped from scratch is nice, but on such a short amount of time, most anything I prep from scratch will be barely past the conceptualizing stage in just 16 minutes. go-to Meal on crazy nights is some sort of frozen tilapia or salmon fillet, parmesan couscous and the steam-able veggie of my choice (aka whatever happens to be in the freezer). All of these items can go from the pantry or freezer to done in just a few minutes.

You can see that I started dinner at 4:54PM. Tonight's selection was chipotle-lime tortilla crusted Tilapia and green beans.  I also love tortilla crusted salmon!

Part of the beauty in this meal is that it creates almost no dishes.  I simply bake the fish on a cookie sheet covered in foil (so it doesn't have to be washed) for about 14 minutes.  While that bakes,  I heat water and a few teaspoons of olive oil in a small saucepan (the measuring cup doesn't even need washed, because all it measures is the water!), along with the couscous seasoning.  Once the water boils, I stir in the couscous, cover the pot, and remove from the heat for 5 minutes. I also microwave the steam-able veggies while the fish bakes (right in the bag, so no dishes there!).  I time it so all three items are done cooking at the same time, so all I have to do when the bell ring is give the coucous a stir and plate it all up!
I generally eat 1 1/2 fish fillets, 3/4 cup couscous and as many veggies as I want.  The calorie total is right around 500.  But the best part is that it's so good and ready so fast! 
Dinner plated and ready to go at 5:10!!  YUM.
And like I said, the dishes are totally minimal.  I mean, I'm going to throw it all in the dishwasher anyway, but it's STILL exciting that there's not even much to rinse and put in there. 

That's it. Awesome.

Excluding takeout, can you get dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes?  I'm sort of proud of the fact that I have it down to such a science.  What's YOUR go-to dinner on nights where you don't have much time and have nothing prepped?

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