Hump day blues can make you just want to slouch in your couch and probably order in your dinner. Now, this is me telling you to get into the kitchen and make yourself a quick hump day friendly dinner in 30 minutes because we know you are in the mood to cook.
Yes, in just 30 minutes, you can save yourself some extra cash and eat your fill with ingredients you have sitting in your fridge and shelf that may be nearing their expiration dates. These weeknight meals can help you get through the entire week as a matter of fact.
Shrimp & corn stir-fry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small yellow summer squash, sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 pound uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
- 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Hot cooked brown rice, optional
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add squash and onion; stir-fry until squash is crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes.
- Add next 6 ingredients and, if desired, pepper flakes; stir-fry until shrimp turn pink, 3-4 minutes longer. Top with basil. Serve with rice if desired.
Chicken chop suey
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 cup unsweetened pineapple tidbits, drained (reserve juice)
- 1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 1 medium tart apple, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened pineapple juice
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 cups hot cooked brown rice
- In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, herbs and lemon zest; saute until lightly browned. Add next 5 ingredients. Stir in 3/4 cup water, pineapple juice and teriyaki sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until chicken is no longer pink and the carrots are tender, 10-15 minutes.
- Combine cornstarch and remaining water. Gradually stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve with rice.
The ultimate fish tacos
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 6 mahi mahi fillets (6 ounces each)
- 12 corn tortillas (6 inches)
- 2 cups chopped red cabbage
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Salsa verde, optional
- 2 medium limes, cut into wedges
- Hot pepper sauce (Tapatio preferred)
- In a 13×9-in. baking dish, whisk the first 5 ingredients. Add fillets; turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes.
- Drain fish and discard marinade. On an oiled grill rack, grill mahi mahi, covered, over medium-high heat (or broil 4 in. from heat) until it flakes easily with a fork, 4-5 minutes per side. Remove fish. Place tortillas on grill rack; heat 30-45 seconds. Keep warm.
- To assemble, divide fish among the tortillas; layer with red cabbage, cilantro and, if desired, salsa verde. Squeeze a little lime juice and hot pepper sauce over fish mixture; fold sides of tortilla over mixture. Serve with lime wedges and additional pepper sauce.
Teriyaki glazed chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
- 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 4 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 medium sweet onion, julienned
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- Hot cooked rice
- Sesame seeds, toasted, optional
- Sliced green onions, optional
- In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken in 2 tablespoons oil until no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
- In the same skillet, stir-fry carrots in remaining oil for 2 minutes. Add onion; stir-fry until vegetables are tender, 2-4 minutes longer.
- Combine soy sauce and brown sugar; add to skillet. Bring to a boil. Return chicken to skillet. Boil until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions if desired.
Health tip: A simple swap to reduced-sodium soy sauce will decrease sodium to about 1,200 milligrams per serving, but that’s still high. To cut even more, replace some of the soy sauce with water or reduced-sodium broth.
Quick Chili Mac
- 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small green pepper, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) chili with beans
- 1 can (11 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook and crumble beef with pepper and onion over medium heat until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes; drain.
- Stir in chili, corn and macaroni; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese.