When running a startup, it can be hard to take the time to cook healthy meals for yourself or your family. But eating well is essential for working well. Thankfully, a quick 30 minute meal can give you the energy needed to keep the machine running.
Our brains need specific nutrients to store memory, and if we don’t get them, it can affect productivity and emotions, Jesse Haas, certified nutritionist and co-founder at Wellness Minneapolis, said. Haas recommends making cooking and mindful eating a habit in order to create sustainable change around nutrition.
“It can become something you don’t have to think about, but you actually have to interrupt what you’re doing to bring some mindfulness to that action,” Haas said of creating a habit.
To make it a bit easier, we talked to some local food bloggers and compiled a list of easy, 30 minute meals for a busy week — complete with tips on what makes good leftovers, what stuff can easily be paired with, and more!
Click the recipe titles or the images for the full rundown of each 30 minute meal!
Vegan Chickpea Curry
by Annie Wang (@j.anniewang)
Deemed the “perfect weekday meal” by Annie Wang, who started her blog Frites and Fries in 2008, this dish is a delicious 30 minute meal and contains only 12 ingredients.
This recipe makes six servings, so it can easily be shared with the family or saved as leftovers. Serve with naan or basmati rice and enjoy!
Alongside her blog, Wang does consulting and recipe development in the restaurant industry. With a husband who is a tech entrepreneur, she understands better than anyone the importance of convenience and small, easy ways to prepare healthy meals.
Wang is passionate about experimenting with new ingredients, especially spices. She mentions pre-cut veggies paired with a whole grain and some spices or sauce is a great, simple grain bowl that she makes for her husband, who’s often busy.
“Don’t make meal planning a burden,” Wang said. “Try to add meals as a fun, interesting task.”
Caprese Pasta with Italian Chicken Meatballs
by Jamie Preuss (@sohappyyoulikedit)
This quick and healthy meal by food blogger Jamie Pruess of So Happy You Liked It might sound like it has a lot of moving parts, but it’s truly a 30 minute meal — 15 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cook time.
It’s also a fun one to make with kids or a partner because one person can focus on the meatballs while another focuses on the sauce and pasta!
Preuss started So Happy You Liked It about four years ago but said she’s gotten “a lot more serious about it” in the past two years. She still works a full-time day job but is very passionate about cooking and recipe development and wanted to share with others.
“Food has always been very central to my social background,” Preuss said, mentioning her audience on her blog is primarily women ages 20-40 who like to entertain.
Preuss likes to keep a balance of 80 percent of her recipes being clean and light and 20 percent being “smart indulgences.”
“What you put in your body is so important for your energy, your mood, and how you feel,” she said.
Grilled Honey Soy Pork Chops
from Michele Phillips (@baconfatte)
“Make it easy, and make it good!” says Michele Phillips of Bacon Fatte. This 30 minute meal works well with chicken as well as pork.
This dish pairs well with grilled veggies or pasta and can be repurposed for lunch the next day into pork tacos with Phillips’ Corn Sauté with Fresh Ginger, Garlic and Cilantro dish.
After owning a floral business in downtown Wayzata for 13 years, Phillips chose to pursue small business marketing and food blogging.
“That’s where my heart is,” she said. “Food is my new flowers.”
She started her blog, Bacon Fatte, in 2015, when the name was inspired by saving bacon fat for a recipe, but she added a twist: “Fatte” loosely means “made by hand” in Italian.
Phillips’ blog attracts many different types of people from small businesses to those who are into gardening, but they all have one thing in common — they love to eat.
Sheet Pan Chickpea Loaded Sweet Potatoes
by Kathleen Hansen (@kathleenscravings)
Use up what’s in your pantry with this simple dish that only has six ingredients. While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, conjure up the easy hummus sauce and ¡Voila!
Kathleen Hansen of Kathleen’s Cravings suggests mixing it up by changing the spices in the hummus drizzle, or preparing the ingredients separately for meal prep and assembling the next day.
“Cooking has always been a passion of mine,” Hansen said, explaining that her blog is on the side to a full-time gig, but she loves helping people cook for themselves.
A firm believer that food is fuel, Hansen said she doesn’t think there are “good” or “bad” foods, but our bodies definitely tell us what they need.
“By eating balanced meals filled with protein, fiber, healthy carbs, and fats, we’re giving our bodies the energy needed to be at their best,” she said. “This is especially important for those with a never-ending to-do list and are trying to get it all done.”
Summer Mediterranean Salad
by Elle Yorobe (@whats.elle.eating)
Save the easiest for last. This next-to-effortless dish has only seven ingredients and keeps well for leftovers all weekend.
Elle Yorobe of What’s Elle Eating makes her simple summer salad as follows:
- 1 cup quinoa (cooked)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cucumber diced
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1/2 white onion diced
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives (sliced or whole)
- 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
- Juice from one lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Cook quinoa and mix all ingredients in a bowl. Top with the above dressing or your favorite dressing from the store!
Yorobe began her Instagram foodie adventure by trying out different restaurants’ fries every Friday, coining the term “52 French Frydays.”