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20 minute dinner for summer

Feed Your Body Friday: 4 Simple & Summery 20-Minute Dinners

Between the half-empty refrigerator and the climbing temperature, it takes effort to eat well during the summer when the last thing you want to be doing is slaving over a stovetop. But with a little bit of organization and a few easy and quick recipes on hand, it’s possible to prepare delicious meals, night after night, even in the summer heat.

Deciding on dinner at the last minute, especially after a day in the summer sun, is far from easy and too many trips to the grocery store can get expensive (not to mention exhausting). To eat healthy, homemade food, we must first start to be better organized. That way we can enjoy cooking, even when the weather is hot and our schedules are busier.

I know that having a weekly menu can take time to plan, but they save valuable time, not to mention stress and money. All you need to do is to simply identify 5 meal ideas each week and keep the last 2 days for leftovers or eating out. Knowing what you are going to eat during the week allows you to organize yourself accordingly and have all the ingredients at your fingertips when it’s time to cook.

To inspire you, here are 4 meals ready in 20 minutes that will save your life on a busy and/or hot summer night.

1. Vegetable Pasta with Hummus

This well-balanced recipe is ideal for finishing off any leftover hummus while getting to enjoy a hearty a pasta dish!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pasta of your choice
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped in small cubes
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup classic hummus (homemade or store-bought)
  • Pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Cook the pasta according to its instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the other ingredients in a large bowl and season to taste.
  3. Add the pasta to the bowl and serve.

2. Asian Rice Noodle Bowl

A cool recipe, ideal for a quick dinner! The ingredients association works very well, the mint and coriander bring freshness.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. boiling water
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • 4 oz. rice vermicelli
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup cucumber chopped in small cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews

Preparation:

  1. In a bowl, combine lime juice, sugar, boiling water and fish sauce, garlic and hot pepper flakes. Book.
  2. In a large bowl, soak the rice vermicelli in boiling water for 5 minutes.
  3. During that time roast the cashew in a saucepan pan until lightly brown.
  4. Drain the vermicelli and rinse under cold water. Drain again by squeezing the vermicelli.
  5. Add the vermicelli in the bowl. Add reserved lime juice vinaigrette, bean sprouts, cucumber, mint and coriander. Mix to coat all ingredients.
  6. Sprinkle with cashews

3. Veggies & Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadillas are almost always the perfect meal! The recipe is very versatile, allowing you to use a little of everything you have in the fridge and freezer. It only takes a few minutes to do without asking for special cooking skills. And it’s so good and satisfying!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 10 tsp. sriracha sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Preparation:

  1. Pour oil into a large skillet and fry the onion, pepper, zucchini and garlic for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add chicken and seasonings. Reserve
  3. In another pan, pour the rest of the oil. Place a tortilla and grill for about 1 minute.
  4. Place about 1/2 cup of chicken and vegetable mixture on the tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese and close with a second tortilla. Cook for 2 minutes to let the cheese melt.
  5. Return the quesadilla to grill the tortilla on the other side. Cook another minute.
  6. Repeat the last steps with the other tortillas.
  7. Cut before serving. Serve with salsa if desired.

4. Beef Taco Salad

Mexico and the sun are in the spotlight in this salad that tastes like tacos! Ground beef, corn chips salsa and sour cream… impossible to resist!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 450g ground beef
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 tsp. Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped in cubes
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 can red bean
  • 1 cup marred cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups corn chips

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the ground beef for 5 to 6 minutes until the meat has lost its pinkish color.
  2. Stir in the rice and spices and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
  3. In a salad bowl, mix the ingredients of the vinaigrette.
  4. Add the cheddar, tomatoes, corn, beans, iceberg lettuce, and the beef mixture to the salad bowl. Stir.
  5. Garnish with corn chips and serve.

Here’s something I like to do to save some time, stress, and sweat when cooking. Before starting your recipe, prepare the ingredients you need, your utensils, your pots, the cutting board, and everything else you’ll need - that way you can avoid rummaging in the back or the bottom of your pantry to find the right ingredients or utensils.

There’s no need to break a sweat when it comes to cooking a healthy meal. Remember the simplest meals are often the most effective… and the most appreciated!

Related Article: Feed Your Body Friday: 4 Refreshing Water Blends

Sophie Viau

Sophie Viau

Sophie is a blogger, writer, entrepreneur, world traveler, and photographer. As a young woman, she had an unusual dream: to discover Iceland! "Nobody in my entourage had an interest in this type of trip" says Sophie, so she decided to go alone. What she discovered was that, not only was... Read More

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