30-Minute Meals for Busy Professionals
When I first started working, I ate a lot of protein bars for dinner because I was too exhausted/lazy to cook. And while some folks absolutely crush weekend meal prep, it's not my strong suit.
Having talked to a number of coworkers and friends, I know I'm not alone in this. Whether you work from home or in an office, finding time to cook can be a struggle.
So if you weren't able to meal prep this weekend (or just didn't care to) and you need some ideas for nutritious meals that you can make during the week in less than 30 minutes, we've got you covered! I reached out to my coworkers (and my favorite chef of all time, a.k.a my mom) to get the recipes for meals they love to make when they're super busy.
Check them out and let us know your favorite, easy-to-cook (or no cook!) meals in the comments below!
*Pictures are for inspiration only, they are not exact representations of each recipe*
Spicy Tuna Fish
"This is one of my go-to lunches, which requires no cooking and no bread (if you are into the no carbs thing). I take two cans of tuna fish (in water, not oil) and put that in a bowl. Then I add spicy mustard and hot sauce (instead of mayo). After you mix that up, I like to add things that provide more flavor (and spice) like olives and peppers. Finish with black pepper, salt, dill and garlic powder (or the spices of your choice). And that's it! ...Of course, if you live with someone who HATES fish like I do, be sure to properly scrub down your bowl afterwards!" - Rob R., Production Lead
Savory Chicken Crescent Squares
"I love this because it's comforting like a pot pie but packs well for lunches & they freeze and reheat easily. It's a perfect use for leftover grilled chicken breasts OR you can make it even simpler by using a store-cooked rotisserie chicken or canned chicken in a pinch. Soften a brick of cream cheese, mix it in a bowl with 3 tbl of melted butter. Add 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/8 tsp of pepper, 2 tbl milk, 1 tbl chopped chives/onion, 1 tbl mushrooms (can add or sub celery, carrots, any small-cut veg as desired). Fold in 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken. Unroll a tube of crescent roll dough & pinch closed the diagonal perforations to form 4 rectangles. Spoon 1/2 cup of the meat mixture into the center of each. Pull the 4 corners to the top-center and twist/pinch the edges to seal it into a hobo pouch. Brush the tops with butter if you want them extra crispy. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown." - Megan A., Talent Advocate
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
"One of my favorite easy meals is Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I dice a chicken breast into pretty small pieces, cook in a pan with a little bit of olive oil, then remove from heat. In that same pan, I will add a little more olive oil, then minced garlic and minced ginger (if I have it on hand), diced red bell pepper and onion, and some orange zest. Once the veggies are tender, I'll add the chicken in and throw in some soy sauce and hoisin sauce or teriyaki sauce (again, whatever is in the fridge!). Take the largest leaves from a head of lettuce, and spoon in your chicken and veggies and you're good to go! Loosely inspired by this recipe." - Abigail V., Senior Talent Advocate
Pasta e Fagioli (a.k.a Pasta e Fasule)
"This vegetarian, tomato-based soup is perfect for fall. You just need: 4 large carrots, 4 stalks of celery, 1 medium-sized onion, 2 cans of butter beans, macaroni noodles, 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, and Romano cheese. Cut the carrots, celery, and onions into 1/4 inch pieces, then place them in a large pot — add enough water so that the veggies are covered, then add salt, lots of black pepper, a tablespoon of olive oil, and a tablespoon of oregano. Cook until tender (don't overcook!). Add both cans of tomatoes and 1 and 2/3 cans of beans. Smash the leftover beans before adding them to the soup. Cook the macaroni and keep it separate until serving — put noodles in a bowl, and pour soup over top. Add a dash of Romano cheese and enjoy!" - Lynn S., Accountant
Chicken Pineapple Macaroni Salad
"All you need is chicken (or shrimp or different protein of your choice), macaroni, canned pineapple chunks, onion, and mayonnaise. Cut chicken into cubes and sauté with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook the noodles and combine with pineapple chunks, 1/4 onion (diced), and then mix with some pineapple juice and mayonnaise. You can serve warm or cold!" - Lynn S., Accountant
Help us add to this list and share your favorite 30-minute meal in the comments below!
I thought about writing this blog piece like one of those quizzes that used to be on the back pages of Seventeen and Cosmo where each question would offer several answers of varying point levels and you'd pick one answer per question, tally up your points at the end, and match your score to one of several possible results.
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