How many recipes have you tried that promised "30 minute dinner!" and it took 45 minutes, an hour or longer? Usually, the 30 minute goal is only achievable if you prep ingredients ahead of time. To me, that's part of the cooking process. I need recipes that take 30 minutes, start to finish, including prep time, including screw ups. 'Cause.....come on. Nothing ever goes planned, right?
I made tonight's dinner with no goal in mind, I just wanted to see how long it would take and if I would be able to recommend it as a true time-saving dinner.
And....I can! The only thing I did ahead of time was make sure I had the ingredients. Which it turns out I didn't and I had to improvise. Makes the whole experiment that more realistic, I think.
I made spaghetti with homemade turkey meatballs and sauteed garlic corn. The corn was not planned. I was going to do a salad when I realized my spinach was bad. So I had to scramble mid-cooking to find a side I could make in the time left to cook meatballs AND that I had the ingredients for. Like I said, nothing ever goes exactly as planned.
So here's the breakdown:
1. Turned on the oven to heat to 400 degrees. Filled the pasta pot with water to boil.
2. While the oven pre-heated and the water came to a boil, I prepped the meatballs for baking. I realized that I was out of breadcrumbs (after a few minutes of digging EVERYWHERE) and had to sub panko. Oh, well. I threw in extra italian seasoning and moved on.
3. As I put the meatballs in the oven, the pasta water was boiling and ready for spaghetti. In went the noodles to boil.
4. While the pasta was boiling, the meatballs were cooking, I straightened up the mess I made, checked on kiddo and started the salad.
5. Only to realize my spinach was gross. Tossed it and searched the freezer. Score, frozen corn! Searched pinterest and found a recipe that I had the ingredients for AND would only take 10 minutes, prep and cooking. Which was good because I was down to about 15 minutes on the meatballs and the pasta would be done in 2 minutes.
6. Got the corn started, pasta finished and I drained it. Returned it to the pot, added pasta sauce and stirred the corn. I cooked the corn for an extra 2 minutes since it started life frozen then pulled it off the heat.
7. Meatballs were done, pulled them out and VOILA - 31 minutes, 31 seconds, start to finish including prep and a couple mishaps. Woohoo!!