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Easy Meal Ideas for Mothers ... & Others

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Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Healthy Recipes

5 Minute Dinners

With family sit down together dinners slowly becoming a thing of the past due to busy lifestyles and more, here are some great tips for making quick and easy meals that leave you more time to enjoy them together. Each of the meal ideas you'll find here take 5 minutes or less to prepare.

Dinner in 5 Minutes or Less

Family dinners just aren’t what they used to be thanks to a faster paced society along with after school projects and longer working hours. The number of families who are lucky enough to have the whole family together for dinner in the evenings is declining more every year.

The answer to the on the go lifestyle of today’s families are quick meals that don’t take long to prepare. You’ll be happy to know quick doesn’t have to mean microwave meals every night. Some of the more popular quick meal ideas are the 30 minute meals you see on the television, but you’ll find it doesn’t even take that long to prepare a healthy and nutritious meal that will leave more time for your family to enjoy dinner together.

Here are a few recipes that take only 5 minutes to prepare. Yes, I really did say 5 minute meals!! The best part about these 5 minute recipes is your family will love them!

Angel Hair Pasta: The easiest pasta to prepare.

Angel hair pasta takes less than five minutes to cook because it is so thin. You can pick up a box of it at your local grocery store. Simply add it to boiling water with a bit of salt and cover. Within minutes you’ll have a delicious meal.

The key with this pasta is to have pre-made sauce ready. Take the time one weekend day to prepare a large batch of your pasta sauce. Split the sauce up into several containers and freeze until you need it the next time. Simply pull a container of sauce out of the freezer and place in the refrigerator in the morning and it will be ready to heat up while you’re boiling the pasta. You can also store any leftover pasta in a freezer bag and use later, by thawing in the microwave.


Cook a whole chicken or chicken breasts one day of the weekend and freeze. Remember, the thinner the breasts, the faster the cooking time – so pound them out until thin. When you’re ready to cook, just pull from freezer, thaw in the refrigerator and that evening, you have another 5 minute meal you can prepare any night of the week. Chicken breasts are also great for adding to a salad.

Pork Chops

Pork chops can be cooked for two minutes per side. Throw a bag of rice in boiling water; add a quick salad, and you’ve got another 5 minute meal ready to eat.

The secret to cooking 5 minute meals is in the preparation. When you buy salads and other vegetables on your next shopping trip; wash them and put them into a plastic zip lock bag. This will cut down the time needed to slice and dice. Cook your sauces on the weekends, as well as other meat and poultry dinners you may want for the coming week’s dinners. Freezer bags work great to preserve the food you prepare ahead of time.

You can also find quick and easy side dishes at your local supermarket. Four minutes in the microwave and you have a delicious side dish to go along with your 5 minute meal.

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