30-Minute Meals For Busy Fall Days

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How can you prepare a home-cooked meal in fast food time?

Easy, with today's recipes which combine ready-to-serve ingredients with fresh meat and vegetables.

Convenience foods, like bottled marinara sauce, canned soup and broth, and refrigerated pizza dough make it easy to put a delicious meal on the table in record time – 30 minutes or less. The next time a busy fall schedule threatens to preempt dinnertime, pull out one of today's choices and get ready for the compliments!

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The recipes include: Seafood with Zesty Tomatoes and Wine, Nacho Casserole, Honey Dijon Chicken, Chicken and Nectarines with Chutney Dressing, Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili.


1 T. olive oil, 1 sm. onion, chopped, 2 lg. garlic cloves, crushed, 1/4 tsp. red pepper, crushed, 16-oz. jar marinara sauce, 1/4 c. dry white wine, 3/4 lb. monkfish, cut up, 2 lb. mussels, scrubbed, 1/2 lb. shelled shrimp, 1 T. fresh parsley, chopped

In five-quart Dutch oven heat oil. Add onion; cover and cook five minutes or until golden brown and tender. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, uncovered, for 30 seconds. Stir in marinara sauce and wine; cook three minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in monkfish; cover and cook two minutes. Stir in mussels; cover and cook two more minutes. Stir in shrimp; cover and cook another two minutes or until mussels open and fish and shrimp turn opaque. Discard any unopened mussels. Sprinkle with parsley to serve. Makes four servings.


1 can Cheddar cheese soup, 1/2 c. low fat milk, 16-oz. salsa, 7 oz. baked tortilla chips, 16-oz. can fat free refries, 1 c. Cheddar, shredded, 1 to 2 jalapenos, sliced thin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 13 by 9-inch ceramic of glass baking dish stir undiluted soup with milk; spread evenly. Top with half of the salsa and half of the chips. Carefully spread beans over the chips. Top with remaining chips and salsa. Sprinkle with chilies and Cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot. Makes six servings.


1 T. olive oil, 1 T. flour, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 lb. boneless chicken breast halves, cut in chunks, 1 med. onion, chopped, 14-oz. can chicken broth, 1/4 c. honey Dijon mustard

In 12-inch skillet heat oil. In medium bowl combine flour and pepper; add chicken and toss to coat. Place chicken in skillet and cook four to six minutes or until it just loses its pink color throughout, stirring frequently. Transfer chicken to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to skillet and cook for three to four minutes or until browned. Transfer to plate with chicken. Increase heat to high. Add broth to skillet; cook six to eight minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. With whisk stir in mustard. Return chicken and onion to skillet; heat through. Serves four.


1 lemon, 1 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast halves, 1/4 c. mango chutney, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. curry powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper, 5 oz. baby spinach, 3 med. nectarines, sliced, 3 radishes, sliced thin

From lemon squeeze 2 T. juice. Place lemon halves in 10-inch skillet with 1 inch water; cover and heat to boiling over high heat. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes or until it just loses its pink color throughout. Drain; cool slightly. In blender puree lemon juice, chutney, mustard, curry, salt, crushed red pepper, and 2 T. warm water. Slice chicken lengthwise into thin strips. Divide spinach among 4 dinner plates; top with nectarines and radish slices, then chicken. Drizzle with chutney dressing. Serves 4.


1 T. olive oil, 1 med. onion, chopped, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, 2 med. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced, 1 T. chili powder, 16-oz. jar mild salsa, 2 15-oz. cans black beans, 1/2 c. reduced fat sour cream, 1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

In 4-qt. saucepan heat oil. Add onion and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in sweet potatoes, chili powder, salsa, and 1 c. water; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 12 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender, stirring occasionally. Add beans with their liquid and cook 3 minutes to blend. In small bowl combine sour cream and cilantro. Serve chili with cilantro cream. Serves four.