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By: Rosemary Collins, RDN

30minSaladWhat can I cook for dinner tonight? I have chosen three easy to prepare meals that can be prepared, cooked and served; all in fewer than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Most of them have ingredients that you keep in your kitchen cupboard with the addition of some fresh vegetables or salad that you will need to buy ahead.

These recipes are really a guide and allow you to be creative by substituting some of you own favorite vegetables or adding a little extra flavor of your own to taste – which is what all good chefs do.

I have added some healthier substitutes such as low fat sour cream and whole-wheat pasta to these recipes, which still taste great!

I hope you like them!

Asian saladAsian Salad with Salmon
(Serves 4)

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets (6-8 ounces each)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 small head green Napa cabbage shredded (about 4 cups)
2 large carrots, shredded
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
1/2 cup sliced or toasted almonds
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (optional)

This recipe takes salmon cooked under the broiler and pairs it with a fresh, tasty Asian style salad and dressing.

Directions

1. Heat broiler. Place salmon fillets on a baking sheet, which has been lightly sprayed with canola oil to stop the fish sticking, season with black pepper to taste. Broil fish until just cooked through about 8-10 minutes. When cool lift carefully off pan and remove skin. Cut into bite size pieces.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, oil and honey; season with a little salt and pepper. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
3. To the remaining dressing, add the green crispy Napa cabbage, carrots, onion, almonds and apricots; toss together.
4. Divide the salad among 4 plates, top with the grilled salmon. Drizzle reserved dressing over the salmon.

If you are just cooking for one person today, then use one 4-6 oz. salmon fillet, make a smaller Asian salad or use a ready prepared salad of your choice and save the extra dressing in a small container in the fridge ready for next time. It’s easy to combine a portion of grilled salmon with you favorite salad!

SpaghettiWhole Wheat Pasta with Kale and Tomatoes
(Serves 6)

Ingredients

4 slices bacon (2 ounces) cut into strips
3 garlic cloves
1 packet kale greens (16 oz)
1 packet baby tomatoes cut in half
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb whole-wheat thin spaghetti, penne or other shaped pasta if you wish
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over a medium low heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain.
2. Crush garlic and cook in same skillet over medium heat stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes. Add the baby tomatoes until softened. Add half the kale, cook, tossing until just wilted, 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining kale to the pan season tossing until all the kale has wilted, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, and simmer until kale is tender about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water with a little olive oil until al dente according to package instructions. Drain thoroughly, add cooked kale, tomatoes and Parmesan, and toss to combine with the pasta.
4. Season with ground black pepper. Serve on pasta plates and garnish with a little cheese and reserved bacon.

If cooking for one use 1 cup dried pasta and allow about a quarter of a packet of kale as it reduces down in size.

stroganoffPork Stroganoff with Two Mustards

This is a nice supper dish for 2 people that can be cooked in less than 30 minutes and can be served with easy cook basmati rice and a fresh spring mix salad.

Ingredients

12 oz pork tenderloin
2-heaped teaspoons wholegrain mustard
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 oz small chestnut mushrooms
8 oz light sour cream
1 dessertspoon canola oil
1/2 oz butter
1 small onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
3 oz dry white wine

Directions

1. First of all prepare the pork by trimming it and cutting into strips 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.
2. Next prepare the mushrooms by slicing them through the stalk into thin slices.
3. Now in a bowl mix together the three mustards with the low fat sour cream. Then gently heat the canola oil in a skillet, add the onions and fry on a medium heat until they are softened. Using a slotted spoon remove them from the pan to a plate.
4. Now cook the pork, turn up the heat to medium to hot and fry the strips of pork turning them all the time so they cook evenly without burning.
5. When cooked, add the mushrooms and toss these around to cook very briefly until their juices start to run.
6. Then return the onions to the pan and stir them in.
7. Season with black pepper, add the wine and let it bubble and reduce slightly before adding the low fat sour cream.
8. Now stir the pan and let the sauce bubble and reduce slightly with the lid off.
9. Serve immediately over the rice.

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