Weeknight dinners – do they have you panicking in the supermarket aisle at 6pm wondering how you’re going to get a healthy dinner on the table? If you can’t plan your weeknight dinners in advance (it’s what I aim for but not always possible), I have the book that you will want to carry around in your purse – The Canadian Living Test Kitchen’s Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less. Basically, it’s a book of blueprints for weeknight dinners that are ready in 30 minutes or less. Fab, right?
The best thing about these meals is that they take less time to get on the table than delivery and, of course, they cost less and are more nutritious. Sounds like exactly the type of meals you’re after on a busy weeknight, right? Each recipe comes with the Canadian Living Tested-Till-Perfect guarantee, so you can be sure it will turn out perfectly. The meals are divided into chapters according to how long they will take to make – 15, 20, 25 or 30 minutes and none of the ingredient lists are too long so you can easily flip through the book and figure out what you have time to make based on the ingredients you have on hand or can easily pick up on your way home.
Throughout the book, the Canadian Living Test Kitchen team share their best time-saving tips for whipping up a nutritious dinner in no time including invaluable information about stocking your pantry (having certain items on hand at all times will help in your food prep) and how you can save time during the week by spending a little time prepping ingredients on the weekend. Other time-saving tips include:
- Reading the recipe the entire way through before you start will ultimately save you time in the end as it will help you get and stay organized as you cook.
- Cleaning up as you go. It’s all very well to make a meal in under 30 minutes but if you have to spend another 30 cleaning up afterwards, it defeats the point!
- Using boneless or thinner cuts of meat will reduce your cooking time.
- Turning on the oven as you arrive home so that by the time you’ve got your ingredients organized, it’s pre-heated.
I tried this Coconut Curry Shrimp and it took exactly 20 minutes from the time I stepped in the kitchen to the time I served it (to be fair, I did have most of the ingredients “ready” i.e. on hand in the pantry or fridge – I didn’t have to go hunting around and I knew for a fact that I had them all!) – it was super flavourful and the leftovers even more so. The recipes serve 4 (and include nutritional information as well which is handy) so if there are 2 of you, you’ll have some left for lunch the next day. Score!
What I loved about this book was the absolute simplicity and “do-ability” of the recipes. They are simply, yet beautifully photographed and, unlike a lot of food photography, these days, you look at the dishes and think “I can do that!” Un-fussy, beautiful food. Every night of the week. With this book you can achieve that! The recipes themselves include information about the ingredients (and substitutions or adaptations, although the vast majority of the recipes call for very standard ingredients that you will probably have on hand anyway or will be used to buying) and any techniques involved in their preparation (nothing too complicated, I promise!), tips on how to shop smarter (saving you time in the end), storing foods and planning ahead – all factors which can help weeknight meal planning. At just over 150 pages, it’s large enough to include a large variety of meal ideas, yet small enough to keep in your purse or on your desk at work. It’s the perfect book to flip through for dinner inspiration, even when you think you don’t have time for dinner.
A Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less giveaway!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada, I have one copy of Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less to give away to one lucky eat. live. travel. write. reader in Canada!
How to enter:
There are 2 ways to enter (maximum of two entries per person for the duration of the contest).
1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your tricks for getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less!
2. Tweet the following message: Enter to win @CanadianLiving ‘s Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less from @SimonSchusterCA + @eatlivtravwrite ! Details: http://bit.ly/1snHMao then come back to leave a second comment letting me know you did.
Eligibility and contest rules:
– Open to Canadian residents only
– No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
– Winner will be chosen randomly (using www.random.org) from all qualified entries on Wednesday September 17th 2014 after 6pm EST.
– Winner will be notified via email Thursday September 18th 2014.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less for review purposes. All opinions are my own.