|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Since You Asked: Fast dinners also can be healthful

  • Now that the holiday season is in full swing, what can do to get weeknight dinners on the table more quickly?
    • email print
  • Now that the holiday season is in full swing, what can do to get weeknight dinners on the table more quickly?
    — Lori W., Ashland
    Ah, the holiday rush. There's nothing like it for speeding up other pursuits.
    Most haphazard cooks are disappointed to hear the truth about fast dinners: They don't happen by accident; they require planning, even if you're taking some shortcuts.
    But take heart. Plenty of foods can be prepared quickly — some even faster than packaged alternatives. Commercially breaded fish fillets, for example, typically need 18 to 20 minutes to bake. Fresh fish can be breaded and pan-fried in less than 10 minutes.
    Half the battle of getting dinner on the table fast is knowing what to prepare, so you don't waste time staring into the cupboards or refrigerator praying for inspiration. To start, make a mealtime plan of attack after surveying the family's weekly schedule and figuring out the time constraints on the dinner hour. Then shop with that schedule in mind.
    Select boneless, skinless cuts of meat, such as chicken breasts or tenders, because they cook quickly. Save the whole chicken or bone-in pieces for the weekend. The same goes for pork. Select tenderloins or boneless chops. Larger cuts, however, can go in a slow cooker.
    Get prepped over the weekend, or work a night ahead for the following day. Sure, you can buy bagged lettuce, but you'll save lots of money and have better salads if you buy loose greens and take a few minutes to wash, spin dry and tear them in advance.
    Don't sacrifice healthful eating for convenience. If relying on frozen foods, select items like vegetables and rice that cook in microwave steam pack and usually contain no added salt or fat.
Reader Reaction

      calendar