30-Minute dinners for busy women

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Quick and easy dinner ideas

When you get home at the end of the day, slaving for a couple of hours in the kitchen to get dinner on the table is the last thing you want to do; however, fast food or processed microwave meals aren’t particularly appealing and they offer little nutrition. A healthier solution is building a tasty compendium of delicious homemade dinner recipes that are quick and easy to prepare. To get you started, here are three 30-minute dinners for the busy woman.

Herbed chicken breast

Quick herb crusted chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups dry whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 3 to 4 fresh basil leaves, rolled tight and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Pinch of finely crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, gently pounded to even thickness

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat butter and olive oil, swirling pan, until butter is melted. Brush chicken pieces on both sides with melted butter mixture.
  3. In a shallow dish, mix together bread crumbs, herbs, red pepper, salt, and pepper; coat chicken pieces on both sides with bread crumb mixture. Place chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet and spray breasts with cooking spray.
  4. Place chicken in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through and bread crumbs are golden.

Whole wheat penne with prosciutto, artichoke hearts, and peas

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8-ounces whole wheat penne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 paper-thin slices prosciutto, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained
  • 3/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh peas or frozen, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly shaved Parmesan

Directions

  1. Cook penne in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain pasta but reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and cook prosciutto, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes; stir in garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add wine to deglaze pan, and use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes; stir in peas and heat through.
  5. Add pasta to skillet and toss to coat; stir in enough reserved pasta water to moisten pasta; season with salt and pepper and serve warm garnished with Parmesan.

Pan sautéed tilapia with garlic almonds

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4, 4-ounce tilapia fillets
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir in almonds and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 to 2 minutes; set aside.
  2. In a shallow dish, whisk together milk and egg. In a second shallow dish, stir together flour, salt, and pepper.
  3. Dip tilapia in the milk mixture, then in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add fish and cook for 4 to 5 minutes; flip and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.
  5. Return the almond-garlic sauce to the stove over medium heat; stir in lemon juice and cook until heated.
  6. Place tilapia on a serving platter or individual plates; pour garlic almond sauce over the fish and garnish with parsley to serve.

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