+
Home Cooking

Quick weeknight dinners and/or strategies

pistachio peas | Oct 31, 201807:13 AM     132

Hi everyone, I'm looking for advice on weeknight dinners that can be fully prepared in 30 minutes or less OR things that take 30 minutes or less to prep and can be made in advance. I am working full-time with almost one-year-old twins and need a quick way to get a wholesome dinner on the table so that I don't have to spend my free evening hours cooking and/or waiting for my food to finish cooking. We go to bed early, so need to eat early and that's why I am looking for FAST recipes.

Generally I make dinner the night it will be eaten. I am not sure if strategies like cooking ahead on Sunday will work for me because I am currently not up for spending more than 1-2 hours per weekend day in the kitchen. But I'm open to hearing if big weekend prep strategies (like Food52's A New Way to Dinner) have worked for people. Open to hearing about favorite cookbooks that address these strategies as well.

Some parameters:

-We generally eat whole, fresh foods and do not rely on prepared foods (but I do love a good fish stick taco!)

-We can't have pasta more than twice per week, maximum

-I have an Instant Pot but I'm not sure if it saves a lot of time, given the time required to come to and release pressure. If I'm wrong, educate me. If I can take 15 minutes from afternoon work to prep something in there and have it ready to eat after the babies go to bed, I'm interested.

-I'm not super keen on slow cooker fare (and have never used that function on my Instant Pot). I feel like a lot of the other threads on this topic recommend these types of meals.

-We are omnivores but eat vegetarian 2-3 times per week and happy to do more.

Some of our favorite dishes are Fuchsia Dunlop's vegetarian mapo tofu, pasta with Marcella Hazan's tomato, butter, & onion sauce, the salt & pepper pork chops from the Prune cookbook, and David Thompson’s stir-fried beef with basil, chile, & fried egg.

Perhaps this thread can also be useful to others in a similar situation. Thanks, and looking forward to discussing this topic.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

Invite a friend to chime in on this discussion.

Email a Friend

More from Chowhound

10 Must-Buy Food Souvenirs You'll Want to Bring Back from France
Chow with Me

10 Must-Buy Food Souvenirs You'll Want to Bring Back from France

by Hana Asbrink | My latest haul. Welcome to Chow...

Chefs Share Their Favorite Summer Meat Marinades for Steak, Chicken, Shrimp & More
Guides

Chefs Share Their Favorite Summer Meat Marinades for Steak, Chicken, Shrimp & More

by Dan Koday | You ever notice how a great marinade can instantly elevate what otherwise would end up as a pretty...

Tokyo to Texas: Austin Chef Reflects on His Multicultural Upbringing
Spotlight

Tokyo to Texas: Austin Chef Reflects on His Multicultural Upbringing

by Eric Silverstein | By Eric Silverstein Chef Eric Silverstein is the founder and owner of The Peached Tortilla in Austin...

Foil Packets Are Your Best Camping Food Friend
Recipe Round-Ups

Foil Packets Are Your Best Camping Food Friend

by Joey Skladany | Going camping? Foil packets are the best way to cook your food (and they're pretty great in the oven...

See what's new!

View latest discussions ›

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.