Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dinner in 30 Minutes

The weather was beautiful this afternoon in West Michigan!  The kids were playing outside with their dad, so I had a quiet house.  I lost track of time (OK, I'll admit, I wasn't busy cleaning or folding laundry, I was checking out some different food blogs!), and when our five-year-old came in complaining he was hungry, I realized it was 5:29PM. 

The race was on!  Almond Tilapia Fillets, Oven-Roasted Asparagus, and Seasoned Rice were on the menu for tonight, but besides having the tilapia thawed, nothing was prepped yet. 

Dinner was ready at 6:02PM.  And it wasn't Hamburger Helper, Rice-r-oni, or anything else processed (not that I have anything against Hamburger Helper...I actually kind of like it!)  I guess that's technically 33 minutes.  But I can subtract at least 2 minutes for helping above-referenced five-year-old set the table, right?  No, I'm not Super Woman.  I DID hurry, but all three parts of the meal were quick and easy.

Here's how you can have this meal on the table in 30 minutes:
  • Preheat oven for the asparagus.
  • Wash asparagus and snap off the tough ends.  (hurry, hurry!  I have to do two bunches because my kids love asparagus, so this takes an extra minute or two.)
  • Pat asparagus dry with paper towels, then toss with olive oil, cheese, and dressing according to recipe.  Line jelly roll pan with foil and arrange asparagus.
  • Start prepping fish by microwaving the butter and almonds together.  Grease a 9x13 glass pan and arrange fillets in the pan.
  • Pop the asparagus in the oven if it's preheated by now.
  • Finish prepping tilapia by topping with almonds, spices, and cheese.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • Boil 2 cups water with 2 cubes of chicken bouillon.  Smash up the bouillon cubes to aid in dissolving them.  Stir in the rice, margarine, and spices as called for in the recipe.  (hurry, hurry...good thing you need to measure the same amount of each spice so you don't have to think too hard!)  Turn off the heat and cover the pan.
  • Put tilapia in microwave for 4-5 minutes. 
  • Use your 4-5 minutes to put some of your prep dishes in the dishwasher, because your kitchen might be a little messy by now!
  • Voila.  Everything should be done at about the same time, and dinner is served!


  1. Hi Lisa....tried your tilapia! It was delicious and like you said.....very fast! Thanks...i love reading your blog! Aunt Pat

  2. HI Lisa, I have a bit of odd question for you, I have never cooked asparagus ... Only because some one told me a long time ago that one end of it is poisonous, is that true? If so which end?

    I see several recipes that look great that have asparagus int
    Them, but will not try it because of the "Story" from long ago. After you get through laughing, I would love you thoughts on this...

    Swappin' Spoons

  3. Honestly, I have never heard or read anything about asparagus being poisonous. My family has eaten it for years (in fact, it's one of my kids' favorite vegetables) and we're all still here :) Most recipes do recommend that you break off the tough end (the opposite end of the "flower") of each stalk before cooking, but only because it's hard to chew...not because it's poisonous. Asparagus is even on the "clean 15" list...a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the lowest amounts of pesticide, so are not worth buying organic. My personal opinion is that you should try it and see what you think :)

  4. Hi Lisa-I just came upon your blog. Great job! Instead of cutting off too much of the ends of the asparagus, my family likes it when I peel it with my potato peeler. Weird huh? But it makes it easy to chew the tough end and the little ones have no excuse not to eat it. It adds an extra step to prep but I find my kids don't have to fight over the flower end and gobble up the whole stalk instead.