Thirty Minute Meals

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Healthy 30-Minute Meals to Keep Your Family on Track Through the Holidays!

During the Holiday rush between Halloween and New Year’s Day, we often neglect our nutritional goals. One easy fix is to plan healthy meals that will not take more than 30 minutes to prepare!! Here are some 30-minute meal ideas that will keep your family on track this Holiday season. They are fast, easy and a little different to keep things interesting.

Chicken and Spinach Pasta


  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, trimmed, cut into bite- sized pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 10 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, salt and pepper, cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Stir in wine, lemon juice and zest, bring to a simmer.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach and the cooked pasta. Cover and let stand until the spinach is just wilted. Divide among 4 plates and top each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 335, Total Fat 12g, Protein 28g., Cholesterol 66mg, Sodium 499mg, Carbohydrates 24g, Fiber 2g.

10 Minute Bean Soup


  • 1 cup canned pinto beans, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added Italian spiced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen chopped collard greens
  • ½ cup elbow macaroni
  • ½ tsp Italian herb seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • black pepper to taste


  1. Place the tomatoes and beans in a saucepan. Mash the beans with a potato masher or hand blender, until about one third of the beans are mashed.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer and cook until the macaroni is done.

Total Preparation & Cooking Time: 11 min. (1 Prep, 10 Cook)

Serves 4. Each 1 ½ cup serving contains  Calories 150, Total Fat 1g, Cholesterol 12mg, Sodium 352mg, Carbohydrates 24g, Fiber 5g.

Arroz con Pollo Salad (Chicken with Rice Salad)

Chicken and rice are delicious together. They are even more wonderful in this light, easy-to-make salad.



  • 6 cups romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 mild chili pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large ripe tomato, cored and diced
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 8 oz skinless white cooked chicken meat


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic or other flavored vinegar
  • black pepper to taste


  1. Assemble the ingredients for the salad in a large salad bowl in the order in which they appear with lettuce on the bottom. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve, up to one day.
  2. When ready to serve, add ingredients for dressing and toss well. Serve immediately.

 Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 324, Total Fat 7g, Cholesterol 48mg, Sodium 63mg, Carbohydrates 42g,  Fiber 4g.

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

(Modified from an Eating Well recipe)


  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 2 ½ to 3 pounds), cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 10 ounces frozen or canned artichoke hearts
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • Crushed red pepper & chopped fresh basil for garnish


  1. Place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish, add 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (Or bake cut-side down on a baking pan for 40 to 50 minutes at 400 degrees, until tender).
  2. Combine spinach and the remaining tablespoon water in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Position rack in upper third of the oven, preheat broiler.
  4. Use fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the bowl. Place the shells on a baking sheet. Stir artichoke hearts, cream cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan, salt, pepper into the squash mixture. Divide it between the squash shells and top with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan. Broil until the cheese is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and basil, if desired.

Serves 4. Each serving contains  Calories 223, Protein 10g., Total Fat 10g, Cholesterol 28mg, Sodium 528mg, Carbohydrates 23g, Fiber 8g.

Nutty Stir Fry Bowl


  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup sliced bell pepper
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ cup mushrooms
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2  tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Sauté the garlic until golden brown then add the peppers, carrots and onions. Sauté until crisp tender then add the mushrooms and broccoli. Cook briefly then add the peanuts and soy sauce.
  3. Stir serve hot over cooked brown rice in a bowl.

Serves 4. Each 1-1 ½ cup serving contains Calories 233, Total Fat 5.3g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 293mg, Carbohydrates 42.4g, Fiber 5g.