Life seems to be getting more hectic by the day and sometimes we genuinely run out of time to prepare meals especially on weekdays. But if we allow our busy schedules to get in the way of healthy eating, then we’re looking at the inevitable consequences like indigestion, dull skin and hair, weight gain, lifestyle diseases and overall poor quality of life.

All is not lost. Solutions are always there if we look around and put a bit of effort. Welcome to the world of 20 minute meals. For those evenings you get home so late and so beat that the thought of spending any time in the kitchen is unfathomable. With a little imagination advance shopping, you can see to it that you never go to bed hungry or on junk food for lack of time to cook. Here are 5 weekday dinners that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less.

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1. Liver/Kidney Stir Fry

What you need – Liver and/or kidney, onion, vegetable oil, bell peppers in different colours.

  • Fry chopped onions in a shallow pan
  • Add in cut up liver/kidney and fry, stirring continuously until cooked
  • Add chopped bell peppers and remove from fire before they cook too much so they retain some crunch.
  • Serve hot.

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2. Egg fried rice

What you need – Rice, soy sauce, onions, eggs assorted vegetables.

  • Boil a cup of rice and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, fry the onions in a pan or wok
  • Throw in diced vegetables
  • Add the eggs and break them as they cook
  • Add a dash of soy sauce
  • Add the cooked rice and stir.

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3. A vegetable stir fry

What you need – Onion, vegetable oil, garlic, and any assorted fast cooking vegetables of your choice.

  • Fry onions and garlic in a pan or wok
  • Add any spices or sauces of your choice
  • Throw in chopped vegetables. If there are any that take longer than others to cook, wilt them first before adding the rest.
  • Serve hot.

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3. Pasta Salad

What you need – quick cooking pasta, onions, avocado, bell peppers, tomato and salad dressing.

  • Boil pasta until ready but still firm and set aside to cool.
  • Wash and chop all the vegetables and avocado and mix them in a bowl.
  • Toss in the cooled pasta and mix.
  • Drizzle salad dressing or vinegar and serve.

Open Avocado sandwich

5. Open sandwiches

There’s no recipe to this, just a slice of bread piled high with all the healthy goodness you have in the house. My favourite combination is avocado tomato and fried egg. You can mash the avocado roughly with a folk so it sits better on the bread. Short of putting bread on bread, feel free to go all out and get as outrageous as you can as long as you’re within healthy parameters and not weird at all.

The best thing about these meals is that they’re such blank canvases. They can be had on their own or with boiled pasta, steamed rice or even bread. Raw or steamed vegetables too will combine will with them. If you can spare time in the morning, these meals can also be made and carried to the office for lunch, with the exception of the open sandwich which you can cover with an extra slice of bread to make it easier to pack and less messy to eat. Make an effort. Cooking at home will always be healthier and cheaper than eating at restaurants all the time.

Image Credits:

  1. Egg Fried Rice
  2. Veggie Stir Fry
  3. Pasta Salad
  4. Open Salad

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