Revisiting 30 Minute Meals Get Real

Early last year, I did a few posts in a short-lived series that I titled “30 Minute Meals Get Real.” I am a big fan of Rachel Ray, yet whenever I made one of her recipes, it took me quite a bit longer than 30 minutes. I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing wrong. Then I realized that life with little ones underfoot, minus the use of my stolen moments method, meant prep time just took a little longer. And that was okay.

So I thought it would be fun to document the process in pictures, including an actual time check. And it was fun! However, the series died an abrupt death when I realized I always gravitated toward the same types of meals in her cookbooks.

But now I would love to resurrect that series and I’d love for you to be involved. What are some of your favorite Rachel Ray recipes that you’d recommend I tackle for the series?

I’d also love it if you wanted to join me in preparing and documenting a real version of a 30 Minute Meal. More details on that to come soon.

So, what do you think? Send me your recipe suggestions and any thoughts you might have. I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

If you want to catch up on the series, here are the old posts:

13 thoughts on “Revisiting 30 Minute Meals Get Real

  1. You finally gave into my harassment!

    Some of my favorites from 365 are the Italian Sub Stoup (but it’s SALTY–don’t add more salt), Aussie Meat Pies, and London Broil with Caramelized Onion and Zucchini. YUM!

  2. The sweet sausages are one of my favorites too!! But I do agree, it seems I end up cooking most of the same types of meals. My kids can pick out a RR recipe just by looking/tasting the food. Is it me, or is her food just that distinctive?

    I would love to participate in a real version! That sounds like fun! I’ll go get my books, and see which suggestion I have for you!

  3. I usually don’t have a problem that it takes longer than thirty minutes, I never seem to have all of the ingredients on hand to make anything in her recipes. I did find one though, some sort of chicken skewers for the grill with thai peanut sauce that was made with apple juice, curry paste, soy sauce, and peanut butter. I also soaked the chicken in curry powder, apple juice and soy sauce. Oh my goodness, this was fantastic, so I highly recommend it, and the prep time should be minimal, if you buy chicken tenders. Then all you should have to do is soak and skewer then grill, lol. I will be very interested to follow your series. Thanks!

  4. Oh, yes. Please bring back the series. I don’t have a specific recipe, but I think one that includes a little prep work — like chopping vegetables is a good idea. I hate how they have everything prepped on TV and say it takes no time at all. Especially with no kids. Thanks for bringing it back — can’t wait to read it.

  5. Hi – I haven’t made too many recipes from Rachel Ray, but when I do it’s usually a hearty sandwich. My favorite is the Messy Guiseppe… she describes it as Sloppy Joe’s italian cousin. It’s delicious!

  6. I love Rachel Ray also. I know what you mean about the 30 minutes. I just cannot prep as fast as she can. I also am not on TV, ha,ha!!! I do not have little ones, just 16 and 19 year old boys, so I cannot claim that as an excuse.
    You already have one of my favorites – turkey cutlets with cranberry brussel sprouts. I have actually substitued chicken for the turkey when I could not find the cutlets. The brussel sprouts we have alot just as a side with other meals.
    Here are some of the others we have tried:

    Creamy Chicken and Aspargus Toast
    Turkey and Sage Rolls with Cranberry Dipping Sauce
    Chunky Turkey, Potatoes, and Veggies in Red Wine Sauce – this is a favorite. I have fixed it many times over – it freezes well also
    Spanish-Style Pork Chops with Chorizo and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Green Beans – I use Italian Sausage for the Chorizo – this is also a big favorite
    Bacon-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin and Super-Stuffed Potatoes with Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Mushrooms and Onions
    These are the ones I have tried and there are plenty others. I will look forward to seeing what you do.

  7. The RR recipe I make the most is Chicken Noodle Hold the Soup. It is very Stolen Moments friendly because you can save prep time by cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot or even just have the chicken cooked and ready in the freezer. It is yummy and healthy too! I saw this recipe on her talk show and printed it off from her website.

  8. i love her buffalo chicken pot pie and i recently made her satay chicken noodle salad(this one really was 30 mins or less). i do love her recipes and i agree that they don’t always end up being 30 mins

  9. I was just thinking about this series the other day and was missing it! đŸ™‚ I’m so glad you decided to resurrect it. đŸ™‚

  10. I have made the Rachel Ray ” Garlic and Rosemary Chicken” from the It never takes more than 30 minutes, especially if the chicken is already thawed. You basically cube the raw chicken breast, toss it with ingredients throw it in the oven for 20 minutes, and serve over rice. It’s my simple go to meal when the pantry is low, or I just want easy.

  11. sounds like fun i’m game! My favorite meal i can make in 30 mins or less, mushroom stroganoff

  12. I have a few RR recipes that I make regularly. I’ve never timed myself to see how close to 30 minutes they really are – that would be interesting. Here are my faves:
    Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage (sub more chix broth for wine); Emmanuel’s Baked Artichoke Hearts (not a main meal, but SO GOOD!); and Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss (again, sub broth for the wine).

    Good luck – I’ll be interested in your results!

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