What’s for dinner? That’s a question heard around the world, usually about 4 or 5 PM, when we all start thinking about supper. Quick, easy and, most important of all, delicious meals are what we’re all looking for. Added to that, eating great food that’s good for us, too, is my goal. This has been the basis of my nationally syndicated column, “Dinner in Minutes”, my 16 cookbooks and my National Public Radio program.
And now, I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts and recipes with you.
To give you a little background, my latest books, Good Carb Meals in Minutes and Good Carb Diet for Life, are based on my work with Dr. Arthur Agatston and the South Beach Diet. My Prevention’s Fit and Fast Meals in Minutes and The Portion Plan help you enjoy guilt-free breakfasts, lunches and dinners. And my Mix ‘n’ Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes helps the more than 70 million Americans who have diabetes or are prediabetic.
Some of the features that my readers have told me make Dinner in Minutes unique and user-friendly are:
- All of my recipes have nutritional analysis.
- All of the ingredients can be bought in a local supermarket – no special market trips needed.
- Helpful Hints give you cooking tips and possible ingredient substitutes.
- A countdown helps you get the entire meal on the table efficiently.
- A shopping list organized according to supermarket departments helps you get in and out of the store quickly.
I love interacting with my readers, so please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And now, let’s get this column started!
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How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? It’s about this time in the New Year that some of us find our good intentions disintegrating.
Don’t give up. This meal will help you trim your budget and waistline.
It’s a thick and hearty soup made with vegetables, pasta and red kidney beans that takes only 30 minutes to prepare. It’s a whole meal in one bowl and a great way to brighten up a winter evening. I find that my family, no matter what the weather, still loves a bowl of soup. It warms them up and gets them chatting around the table.
Soups and casseroles are great family fare, but usually take too long to make for a mid-week meal. This quick meal solves that problem. The horseradish and vinegar add a little kick and help blend the flavors of the vegetables. The cheddar cheese adds flavor and texture.
I find that this soup tastes great the second day. You can make double the recipe and have another quick meal on hand. If you make it in advance or are rewarming on the second night, it may become thick. Just add more vegetable broth while rewarming.
This is the type of meal that you can make in a hurry even if you haven’t been to the supermarket. Here’s what I keep on hand for quick dinners: vegetable broth, canned tomatoes and canned beans are staples in my pantry. I normally have onions, celery and carrots in the refrigerator. If you don’t have spinach or cabbage, leave them out or use frozen spinach and lettuce and any fresh greens you have in the refrigerator. Use any type of short cut pasta such as elbow macaroni or penne. Or, use up different types of pasta you have on hand. If they’re long, break them into smaller pieces and add to soup.
Caramelized Onion and Garlic Toast is an optional side dish.
This meal contains 601 calories per serving with 13 percent of calories from fat.
- Slice all of the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a thick slicing blade.
- A few drops of hot pepper sauce can be used instead of horseradish.
- Any type of cheese can be substituted for the cheddar cheese.
- If making the side dish, slice the onion for both dishes at once and divide accordingly.
- Make soup.
- While soup cooks, make side dish.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.
- To buy: Grocery section: 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 15.5-ounce can red kidney beans, 1 small package fusilli pasta, 1 jar prepared horseradish, 1 small whole grain bread
- Produce section: 1/2 small white cabbage, 1 small package washed, ready-to-eat fresh spinach (or frozen)
- Dairy section: 1 small package low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
- Staples: low-sodium vegetable broth, yellow onion, carrot, celery, balsamic vinegar, salt and black peppercorns.
Cheers and bon appetite!
Linda Gassenheimer is a TV and Radio Personality, Syndicated Journalist, Best Selling Author, Spokesperson, and Food Consultant. She is the producer and host of the weekly segment, “Food News and Views,” on WLRN 91.3 FM National Public Radio and has made guest appearances on numerous radio and television programs throughout the United States and Canada. Her column “Dinner in Minutes” is syndicated to over 4 million readers each week. Her latest books are Mix N’ Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes (new edition, January, 2008), The Portion Plan (January, 2007), Prevention’s Fit and Fast Meals in Minutes, (August, 2006), Good-Carb Meals in Minutes and Good-Carb Diet for Life (September, 2005), Low-Carb Meals in Minutes (October 2000). Visit Linda on her website, www.DinnerInMinutes.com.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.