I’m no Rachel Ray, who could compete with that butt anyways (or at least that’s what my husband says). But I have come to master some pretty simple 30 minute meals since going back to work. Since food, and particularly healthy, quick, budget friendly food always seems to be such a challenge, I thought I would share.
What makes my meals 30 minute meals is a bit of prep work the night before. My husband will do up the dishes and I’ll prep for the next day’s dinner.
One of my favorites is chicken fingers and fries with a side of coleslaw. For this meal I use some homemade food and some pre-packaged food.
1 chicken breast per person (frugal tip: use dark meat to save money, and if you de-bone it yourself it’s also a lot cheaper)
1 med. sweet potato per person (or a bag of sweet potato fries will work in a pinch. And yes, you can do the recipe with regular potatoes, but they’re not quite as nutritious.)
Bag of premade coleslaw & dressing
½ c Italian Bread Crumbs
1 c Cereal crushed (cheerios, rice krispies, cornflakes, special K, any neutral cereal will work)
Butter (1/4c will do 2 and a bit breasts)
The Night Before:
1. Crush up about 1 cup of your cereal and mix with ½ c bread crumbs and 2 tbs flour.
Melt your butter in the microwave. Cut chicken into strips.
2. Coat the chicken strips in the butter, then place them into the cereal mixture. Coat well.
3. Place them on a baking sheet, cover and put them in the fridge. (Time saver: you can make a large batch when you have more time. Freeze them on a cookie sheet then transfer portion sizes to a freezer bag so they are ready and on hand when you need them!)
4. Cut sweet potato into wedges or strips. Place them on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until they are fork tender.
5. Let the potatoes cool (silly me, burnt my hand the first time). Place them in a bowl, dress with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix until they are all well coated. (You can use any spice of your choosing to dress these up even more. We like Cajun spice.)
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Place chicken fingers and potatoes on a large cookie sheet topped with parchment paper. (Kitchen Tip: parchment paper helps the sweet potato to crisp up).
3. Cook for 25 minutes turning once at 15mins.
4. Open your bag of coleslaw, add the dressing and serve!
Yes, you could use store bought chicken fingers and store bought fries. What I’m trying to avoid is the huge amount of sodium found in pre-packaged food. Homemade = healthier.