Hearty meals in 10 minutes or less

Feb 18, 2011 at 12:57 p.m. ET

Do you hunger for both more time and a hearty, healthy dinner? These easy and filling meals will provide all the comfort you seek without taking more than 10 minutes of your day to prepare.

Shrimp taco

Meal Makeover Moms Janice Newell Bissex and Liz Weiss are both registered dieticians and two of the nation's top experts on family nutrition. Their advice for making hearty meals in a hurry starts with always keeping a well-stocked panty of "go to" items: freeze favorite meats, seafood, poultry and veggies; stock non-perishables like beans, starches, sauces, olive oils and vinegars; and keep commonly used spices like thyme, basil, parsley, cumin, coriander, chili and garlic powder on hand.

The pair share one of their favorite hearty and quick recipes, Polynesian Shrimp Tacos, from their new family cookbook, No Whine with Dinner.

Polynesian shrimp tacos


  • 1 box taco shells
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 1 pound frozen, small, cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1, 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1, 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional toppings: diced avocado, chopped tomato, light sour cream, shredded lettuce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F; bake taco shells according to package directions and set aside. While shells are baking, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shrimp, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder and cook for about 1 minute, until the shrimp are warmed through (they'll turn pink); stir in beans, corn, pineapple and salsa and heat for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cheese and heat until melted; season with salt and pepper to taste; put the taco mixture into shells using a slotted spoon.

If you seek the a hearty meal that's as satisfying as traditional comfort food, but don't eat meat, nutritional therapy practitoner and founder of Authentic Self Wellness Margaux J Rathbun has you covered. She shares her favorite quick recipe for a hearty vegetarian comfort food alternative.

Comforting bean dish recipe


  • 1, 14 1/2-ounce can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup organic red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons black olives, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (*hint: fruit flavored balsamic vinegars taste great with this dish!)


  1. Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 6 minutes.
  2. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

If you really don't have time to cook when you get home from work, experiment with a slow cooker. They're a great way to multi-task by cooking roasts, veggies, chicken, stews and soups all day while you're away. The only thing you need to make time for when you get home is eating a delicious meal!

Looking for the same taste but even quicker? Grab a can of bean with bacon soup at your local grocery store. It has the same comforting appeal -- with a delicious, smokey bacon bonus!

More quick & healthy meal ideas