Save Time During Busy School Nights With These 30-Minute Recipes To Eat With The Family

Save Time During Busy School Nights With These 30-Minute Recipes To Eat With The Family


Sep. 22 2022, Published 12:47 p.m. ET

We all know those evenings when everything is happening back-to-back and sometimes all at once. What kid is at what after-school activity, who needs help with their homework, which one has a project due the next day, and the list goes on. Those are also the nights that we typically cave into buying our kids their favorite fast food meal because we simply don't have time to cook. And, there's nothing wrong with treating your kids [and maybe even yourself] to some salty french fries and crispy nuggets. But, if you find yourself having to do this often and are looking to reincorporate family dinner even on those busier days, keep these 30-minute recipes in your back pocket. Or should I say, on the back burner? (bu-dum, cha!)

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Filling, Nutritious and Quick!

Fried Brussels Sprout Tacos

Total Time: 30 minutes

What you'll need:

  • 16 Brussels sprouts (about 12 oz.), trimmed and outer leaves removed

  • Canola oil

  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 jalapeño chile, very thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup crema Mexicana or sour cream

  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed

  • 1 cup very thinly sliced or grated carrots (2 large carrots)

  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves

  • Hot sauce

    • Lime wedges

    How to:

    1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Cut Brussels sprouts into quarters.
    2. Pour oil to a depth of at least 3/4 inch in a Dutch oven. (Oil should be just deep enough to submerge Brussels sprouts.) Heat oil over high to 325°F. Add about half each of the Brussels sprouts, shallot slices, and jalapeño slices to hot oil.
    3. Fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fried Brussels sprouts, shallots, and jalapeños to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.
    4. Transfer baking sheet to preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining Brussels sprouts, shallots, jalapeños, and salt.
    5. Place 1 tablespoon crema on each warmed tortilla; spread to edges of tortilla. Top tortillas evenly with Brussels sprouts mixture, carrots, radishes, and cilantro. Serve with hot sauce and lime wedges.

    *if you need more protein in your diet, cook up some chicken in a pan to throw into your tacos as well OR replace the brussels sprouts*

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    Creamy Kale and Pasta Bake Recipe

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    What you'll need:

    • 4 quarts water

    • ¼ cup plus 1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

    • 1 (16-oz.) package chopped fresh kale

    • 4 cups whole milk

    • 6 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into pieces

    • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 onion)

    • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    • 1 (8-oz.) package preshredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 cups)

    • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

    • ½ teaspoon black pepper

    • 8 ounces uncooked medium-size shell pasta, cooked according to package directions

    • ½ cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    How to:

    1. Preheat broiler with oven rack 8 to 9 inches from heat. Bring 4 quarts water and ¼ cup of the salt to a boil in a Dutch oven over high.
    2. Add chopped kale; cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Cool 10 minutes
    3. Meanwhile, place milk in a 1-quart glass measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on HIGH 3 minutes.
    4. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Whisk in hot milk. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a low boil, whisking often.
    5. Cook, whisking often, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in cheese, hot sauce, pepper, and remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Roughly chop kale. Fold kale and cooked pasta into cheese sauce. Pour into a greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
    6. Stir together panko and 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle over pasta mixture. Broil until panko is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
    7. Tenderize hardy greens like kale by blanching them in a large stockpot of boiling water. Cook the kale in salted water until tender, and then drain the kale and pat dry with paper towels. Look for bags of prewashed and chopped kale to save prep time.

  • Chicken and Fontina Panini

    Total Time: 10 minutes

    What you'll need:

    • 1 (8-oz.) loaf ciabatta bread, cut in half horizontally

    • 3 tablespoons pesto sauce

    • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced

    • 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
    • 2 slices fontina cheese
  • How to:

    1. Preheat panini press or toaster oven
    2. Spread bottom half of bread with pesto. Top with tomato slices, chicken, and cheese. Top with bread.
    3. Place sandwich in panini press or toaster oven; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese melts and bread is toasted. Cut into quarters, and serve hot.
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    Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges

    Total Time: 25 minutes

    What you'll need:

    • 4 tablespoons honey

    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

    • 1 teaspoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

    • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

    • 1 pound fresh medium asparagus

    • 8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed

    • 1 small orange, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    • 4 (5- to 6-oz.) fresh salmon fillets
    • Garnish: toasted sesame seeds
  • How to:

    1. Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Whisk together honey and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl.
    2. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Place asparagus, green beans, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss to coat.
    3. Place salmon in center of a heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined sheet pan. Brush salmon with about 2 Tbsp. honey mixture. Spread asparagus mixture around salmon
    4. Broil 4 minutes; remove from oven, and brush salmon with about 2 Tbsp. honey mixture. Return to oven, and broil 4 minutes more. Remove from oven, and brush salmon with remaining honey mixture. Return to oven, and broil 2 minutes more. Serve immediately.
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