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(Possibly less than) Ten Minute Dinners


We all have days when we have a jam packed day or simply want to spend all our time on creativity and need to get something tasty and vaguely nutritious on the table in as little time as possible. Here are two extremely speedy ideas:


Bacon pesto pasta


I favour bags of fresh pasta of any kind over the dried variety and they can be cooked from frozen. To add goodness serve with a salad from a bag. To speed up all cooking boil water first in an electric kettle rather than a pan and bring back to the boil.

Both recipes are for two people but easily scale up or down. None involve precise measuring. You don’t have time for that!

Bag 250g fresh pasta

2tbsp – 4 tbsp to taste pesto from a jar

About 6 heaped serving spoons of greek or natural yoghurt

4 rashers bacon

2 portions frozen peas.

1. While boiling the kettle and using scissors, cut two bacon rashers per person into small bite size bits discarding the fat. Put int a frying pan with a small dash of oil and leave to fry.

2. Pour kettle contents into a pan and bring back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for the time on the packet. For fresh usually about four or five minutes

3. Put the peas in a microwave for about two mins. Stir the bacon so it does not stick.

4. When the pasta is done, drain it and return to the pan. Add in the bacon and peas, a big dollop of greek yoghurt and pesto to taste. Stir over the heat until sizzling ( about thirty seconds).

5. Serve.

To extend to a twenty minute or so receipe, replace the bacon with chopped up grilled chicken breast and serve with store bought garlic bread.



Chicken Chow Mein

This is quicker to make than it is to go to the takeaway for it!

2 nests of dried egg noodles

1 packet Blue Dragon chow mein sauce or similar brand

1 large chicken breast

Vegetables. I used a tin of bean shoots, a tin of water chestnuts, a half courgette and an orange bell pepper

1. Boil kettle, transfer water to a pan and bring back to the boil.

2. Heat small dash of oil in a wok or deep frying pan.

3. Quickly open cans and drain contents and chop any other veg. Chop chicken into small pieces and add to wok. After about a minute add all the veg then add the noodles to the boiling water for duration of time on packet instructions. Usually 4 mins or so.

4. Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Add the packet sauce.

5. Heat the sauce through for a minute or so. Serve.

Thank you to reader Alison Reeves for this post idea. Please, if you have any requests for posts let me know.


One Comment Post a comment
  1. Alison Reeves #

    Thanks for this Helen – I have a a very, very busy time coming up so looking forward to trying these recipes! Hope to see more as time goes on.

    December 29, 2012

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