Another 10-minute lunch

photo-145I wrote here last week that I don’t spend much time meal planning or cooking. But this is not the same thing as surviving on fast food for every meal. It’s a false dichotomy to say that fast cannot be decent, as if the time devoted, by itself, is what makes food healthy or interesting.

So, since I’m cranking out 4000 words daily right now on various projects, and am having some trouble summoning up the energy for a lengthy essay, I’ll just post pictures of today’s 10-minute lunch.

My husband grilled steak on Saturday. I’d gone shopping at Costco, so he just grilled all 4 of the huge steaks that came in the package. This means many of our subsequent meals have been steak based. I did a steak and mushroom dish on Sunday night. Today, I sliced some steak up thin, and stir fried it with peas, miniature red peppers, and broccoli (with a bit of soy sauce for taste). I served it with a leftover quinoa-rice mixture.

photo-146While this was cooking, I put together lunches for the kids. My 4-year-old likes cold mac and cheese, so he got leftovers from 2 boxes of Annie’s mac that I’d cooked previously. Then I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be fun to make an all orange lunch? So I added in baby carrots, an orange miniature pepper, and cantaloupe. He licked his plate clean.

The 2-year-old likes steak, so I reheated some small pieces for her. I cut up an apple, and then served this with pretzels and a bowl of hummus, which she usually adores. The idea was that she could dip the pretzels, apples, and possibly even the steak tips into the hummus (as if it were fondue). But, in a normal sequence of events for her completely irrational self, she elected to cry and only pick at the hummus, then take a nap, then eat a large snack after. Oh well. At least the whole meal only took 10 minutes to make.

What’s your favorite meal you can make in 20 minutes or less?

18 thoughts on “Another 10-minute lunch

  1. My son’s favorite quick meal is microwave quesadillas (tortilla, cheese, microwave 30-60 seconds, put salsa on top, eat). My daughter often demands a fried egg for night-time snack.

  2. Stir-fry. I can thaw shrimp or chicken bits in time it takes to clean and cut and stir fry whatever veggies are in the fridge (it’s my “clean out the crisper stir fry”). Boom. Done. The longest thing is bringing water to a boil for the skinny noodles, but ideally there’s leftover pasta or rice!

    Toddlers, sheesh. Good thing they’re cute.

    1. THIS. I sometimes make it more like fried rice – so meat and veggies go in the pan with instant rice and a tube of broth. If I don’t happen to have leftover meat, then I use edamame. YUM. That was dinner at least three times last week….

    2. @Nother Barb – the cuteness is really coming in handy for her right now. Also, I need to clean out my crisper — I have no idea where most of the stuff in there came from…

  3. 20 minutes or less? Sauteed veggies … some form of white fish or shrimp with smoked paprika (my FAVE!) and fast mashed potatoes for the kiddos with their fish.

    For lunch, it’s all about the half avocado, deli meat (love salami!) and bits of sliced cheese. Quick and easy.

  4. Last night I made a pretty fast meal! I sliced chicken breasts in half lengthwise, salted and peppered them, cooked them in a hot cast iron pan, then shredded them and mixed them with BBQ sauce for pulled chicken sandwiches.

    We ate that with sauteed green beans and applesauce (which I made myself, but that was last fall and so it required no effort yesterday!).

  5. Fish with a salad and bread is our quickest healthy meal. Bean tacos (or nachos, quesadillas, or burritos) with cheese, pre-made guacamole and salsa are also faves. Pasta might take slightly more than 20 minutes (for the water to boil and then cook), but its pretty quick…while its cooking I sauté some veggies and chicken sausage and then dump it all together.
    I agree completely that quick does not necessarily mean bland and DEFINITELY does not mean unhealthy. We do spend more time on cooking than you guys, but its partially because we enjoy it and that’s how we choose to spend that time.

  6. I call bluff on the 10 minutes… I bet it took closer to 20. Either that, or I’m doing something wrong, because it would take me 30 minutes to put PB&J on the table for lunch for my crew… course there are a lot of them. 😉

    1. @Carrie – I timed myself! A lot of stuff was leftovers. The steak was already cooked, so reheating in a pan didn’t take long. Threw in frozen peas from the bag. The broccoli was pre-cut. The pepper took mere seconds to slice. Then throwing together the kids’ stuff was also quick. The mac and cheese was leftover, and my kid didn’t even want it heated up! Baby carrots can just be pulled from the bag. The cantaloupe also came pre-cut. I had pulled out his pepper at the same time I got mine. And, of course, I was only making lunch for 3 of us. If I were making lunch for 8 I think it would take a lot longer…

    2. Carrie, this is a very good point. There are some things that don’t require a bunch of extra time if you’re feeding a large group, but for most things, it does tack on extra time, both on the prep end and the cleanup end.

  7. my super quick fallbacks are:

    — eggs (with cheese if i’m fancy!), green beans, toast

    — veggie burgers, oven sweet potato fries (from a bag)

    — fake indian – cut up chicken, indian simmer sauce (from a jar), roast cauliflower in oven (can rub with cumin/etc if feeling fancy) plus whole wheat naan from the freezer section. BOOM. 🙂

  8. My favorite no-cook go-to meal for lunch is salad mix + prosciutto or smoked salmon + goat cheese + vinaigrette dressing. Sides are whatever is available, be it yogurt or leftovers.

  9. Best 10 mins breakfast for me is smoked salmon slices, salad, sun dried tomatoes, sliced boiled egg, still warm, and a few almonds. Strong black coffee. Never hungry before lunch, bouncing off to. Work like a Labrador puppy.

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