Don’t Have 30 Minutes To Cook? How About 10?
Balance, that elusive apple pie in the sky. Work, family, friends, exercise, phone calls, emails, grocery shopping, walks with fido, drop-offs, pick-ups, …it’s a precarious juggling act. A friend of mine – the mother of 3 young children and a well-heeled attorney – blurted out in tears that she’d exchange the luxury of eating for a perfectly-balanced meal replacement pill any day. Why? Her quest for quick fixes had sabotaged her mind and waistline. Personally, I’d rather chew off my right arm than never have the pleasure of feasting on succulent grilled artichokes, fresh mixed seasonal berries with just the right sweetness or a perfect pine nut pesto.
In a grab-n-go world, there are simple planning and preparation tips that can help you stay ahead of the hunger curve while saving some serious green. Check our our tips for 10 Minute Meals (who has 30 minutes most nights?) and plan for the week.
When your stomach starts to rumble, let your spatula be your sword and your sauté pan your shield in the battle of the bulge and wallet. Best of all, you’ll know your food was handled properly.
10 Minute Meals – #FitFoodFast from The Fit Foodie
Classic Basil Pesto
When it comes to pesto, we’re purists. Just classic basil and pinenuts make this the real deal. Good quality extra virgin olive oil and cheese are key.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted golden brown in a saute pan (save the 2 Tbsp for topping the pasta)
3 medium sized garlic cloves
Sea salt or Kosher salt to taste
Add the pine nuts and pulse a few times. Add the basil and garlic and pulse a few times more. Slowly add the extra virgin olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the cheese and pulse again until blended. Add salt to taste.
Serve with pasta, grilled vegetables, as a sandwich spread or over toasted baguette slices.
Grilled Rosemary Shrimp and Zucchini Skewers
This is shrimp with some big flavor. If you make the marinade in advance, cook time is only about 6 minutes. A little indulgence that you can afford when made at home.
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves plus sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons olive oil plus oil for brushing shrimp
16 shrimp (about 10 per pound)
2 zucchini, cut into ribbons with a veggie peeler or mandolin
Four 12-inch bamboo skewers, pre-soaked for 30 minutes
Lemon wedges as an accompaniment
Mash garlic and salt together in large bowl. Mix together with minced rosemary, and oil and add shrimp. Let stand, covered in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. Preheat grill. Place 4 shrimp on each skewer and alternate with pieces of rolled zucchini. Brush with oil. Grill for about 3 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Serve with couscous, rice or on a bed of greens. Extra shrimp makes a great filling for weekday tacos,too.
Bocconcini (Bite-Sized) Caprese Salad
Using bite-sized fresh mozzarella and grape tomatoes make this quick to make. Just close your eyes and imagine you’re in the Italian Riviera, sipping on Prosecco and taking in the scenery. Aaaahhh.
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, Bocconcini-style (Bite-size)
1 package grape-sized tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 handfuls of fresh arugula
Combine mozzarella and grape tomatoes in a medium bowl. Finely chop basil leaves and add to mixture. Whisk virgin olive oil and vinegar together until emulsified; season with salt to taste. Serve over a bed of arugula with sliced, toasted Ciabatta bread. These make great sandwich fillings and pizza toppings for the week.