Tag Archives: 30 Minute Meals

chicken stir fry

Easy Chicken Stir Fry

My dad went to culinary arts school. So growing up I had a chance to taste all sorts of creations! 

When I got married and started cooking for my husband (at the time I could NOT cook) and we had some adventures. I tried simple recipes. After awhile I started making and mixing my own stuff. This has been a slow process simply because I am a busy woman! I have things to do besides slave over a complicated recipe… oh did I mention I am not that patient? :)

So a couple weeks ago I made a dish.. from scratch! It was SO easy! I had to share with all you other busy women out there! (Also this was my VERY FIRST time cooking with ginger! I loved it)

Easy Chicken Stir Fry


  • 2 boneless chicken breast
  • 1 bag of minute rice / instant / boil in a bag
  • 2 green peppers or red peppers
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Vegetable or Olive oil
  • Salt
  • ginger powder
  • garlic powder
  • soy sauce


Preheat oven to 425. Cut chicken breast into strips. Season chicken with salt, ginger powder, and garlic powder. Sprinkle evenly across the chicken. I did not measure this. Just eyeballed it :) Cook the chicken until done. Then cut into bite sized chunks. 


Cut the peppers and onion into strips. Then heat up a skillet or frying pan to medium heat with a little oil. I didn’t measure the oil, but my guess is that it was about 3-4 tablespoons. Add 1-2 tablespoons of ginger and 1 tablespoon garlic powder. Saute with the onions and peppers (when the onions are clear they are done). 

OK, now I had some instant rice because that is the extent of my talent with rice :) I followed directions on box. 

Add the chicken to the veggie pan. Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Thoroughly mix into the rice. 

Viola! You have a healthy, yummy dinner!! 

Disclaimer: I made this portion for just the two of us, so you may want to add more if your cook for a larger family. Also add or take away spices for your families taste buds. Feel free to add more veggies if you want (carrots, snow peas, red onions, water chestnuts, or broccoli). I used what I had on hand. If you have fresh garlic and ginger, use it. It will make it even better!!!


Aunt LaLa

Blueberry-vanilla muffins

Blueberry Vanilla Muffins {gluten-free}

Who doesn’t love blueberries?  In July we loaded up the kids and went blueberry picking.  It didn’t last long. 

The kids were hot and the thrill wore off faster than I would have liked.  But we did come away with 15lbs of blueberries when it was all said and done.

We ate some fresh, others we froze in anticipation for use in other recipes like smoothies, oatmeal, and muffins!

One of my favorite muffin recipes I am sharing with you today, blueberry vanilla muffins.  Blueberries are good for so many reasons.  Yes, they taste good and generally are a kid (and hubby) favorite.

Did you also know they are packed full of anti-oxidants and micro-nutrients?  They contain vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and don’t forget the fiber!  

Blueberries are often over sprayed with pesticides so look for organic berries or low spray berries. And if you can’t find those then enjoy what you can get in moderation.    

Double or triple the recipe and store some in your freezer or fridge for an easy on the go breakfast for those busy got to get to school or work days.  Simply re-heat in a warm (250 degree) oven for 10-12 minutes while you are getting ready in the morning.  Or pack a frozen muffin in a lunch box for a lunch time treat (the muffin should be completely thawed by the time you or your child sits down to lunch).  

blueberry-vanilla muffin



  • 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon gelatin granules* 
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients mixing to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the wet ingredients and whisk together.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in blueberries.
  6. Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes or until done. 

*Gelatin is a natural food source, helps aid digestion, and great for joint health.  The purpose for gelatin in this recipe is to lessen any crumble gluten-free baked goods seem to have.  Don’t have gelatin on hand?  Substitute xanthan gum in it’s place.  

Healthy Frugal Spinach Salad 2

Healthy and Frugal Spinach Salad

Church potlucks are not known for their healthy fare and there’s a reason.  When you’re making a dish that serves 15-20 people, the cost of ingredients quickly add up. Quality produce and meat can be expensive, so we trim those out. 

Pasta and rice are inexpensive, so we add those in.  Plus, there’s the unwritten tradition that potluck dishes are baked and smothered with cheese. 

What we end up with is a very long table, lined up with orange 9″ x 13″ rectangles and everyone playing the “guess what’s inside” game.

I strive to bring a vegetable to every potluck, but I’m often low on frugal ideas that feed the masses.  My luck turned one day when I flipped over a bag of kale from Costco. 

The recipe on the bag was inspiring, but honestly, it used expensive ingredients:  sun-dried tomatoes, bacon and pine nuts?  Those are too rich for my potluck budget. 

With some easy substitutions and using ingredients I usually have on hand, I’ve created a healthy and frugal salad that is just as tasty with plenty of nutrition!

  • Spinach is a nutrition powerhouse, can be purchased in bulk and extras can be used at home in smoothies
  • Sunflower seeds are a good source of protein and more affordable than many cuts of meat. 
  • Onion adds a bit of crunch and jazz, while sweet, juicy tomatoes add a bit of fun. 
  • A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese adds a touch of class!

Be a rebel with me and break the rules.  At the next potluck, let’s bring something that’s completely opposite of tradition:  fresh, frugal,  green and delicious!  This spinach salad is just what every potluck table needs.  And who knows – maybe this one will spark a new tradition!

Healthy and Frugal Spinach Salad

4 cups of spinach, washed and dried (use this frugal, all-natural produce wash)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 red or white onion, sliced thinly
1 cup cooked, chopped bacon (only if the budget allows!)

1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp lemon or orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil (guide for buying/testing quality oil)
salt & pepper

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake together vigorously, or in a shallow bowl whisk together well.  Saturate the salad with the dressing and allow to stand for 15-30 minutes for the dressing to permeate the salad.  Toss again before serving.

Have a blessed day!  Tiffany @ Don’t Waste the Crumbs


Chicken Tacos


These chicken tacos fall into the healthy, quick and easy category which makes them an ideal weeknight dinner. My husband and I love them for many reasons. Using tender shredded chicken thighs instead of ground beef as the base is not only more nutritious, but we think they make for a more interesting, chunkier taco. 


We pile on fresh cold veggies, with varying textures and levels of crunch, so they’re light and refreshing for hot summer nights.  I like to make the chicken in advance and store the shredded thighs in the fridge so that all I have to do at dinnertime is warm the tortillas and chop the vegetables. 


Tacos are also highly customizable (everyone makes their own!) so they are a good choice for guests or picky little eaters. 


I’ve listed some ideas for toppings, but really, anything goes! In the past I’ve thrown on some leftover cooked kale, squeezed a little lemon juice on top, and added a few torn basil leaves. Just don’t skimp on the vegetables, they truly are the best part.


Chicken Tacos


For the chicken:

1 package chicken thighs

1 onion

1 bay leaf

3-5 cloves garlic, slightly crushed with the flat part of your knife

1 tablespoon cumin

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Rinse the chicken and put it in a medium-sized pot, along with the rest of the ingredients.  Add enough water to cover all of the chicken. You can add more or less of each of these ingredients, or simply simmer the chicken in salted water–the aromatics and spices lend a subtle flavor to the chicken. Bring to a low boil, cover partially, and cook for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and falling apart. Let cool and then shred with your fingers or a fork, discarding any excess fat.


For the tacos, heat up several tortillas (corn, flour, spinach–whatever you like!) wrapped in tin foil in a 350-degree oven.


You can use any kind of taco toppings you like, but here are some of our favorites:

Sour cream


Cheese (feta, shredded cheddar or Monterey jack)

Sliced green, red, yellow, or orange bell peppers

Pickled jalapeno and banana peppers

Shredded red cabbage

Diced tomatoes

Mashed avocado

Diced cucumbers

Fresh spinach or arugula






Chicken Asparagus Penne

Chicken with Asparagus and Penne

You want a quick meal? How about 20 minutes using just 5 ingredients?  If so, this recipe is for you! This is one of our favorite go to meals because it is quick and easy. Cooking everything simultaneously cuts down on time since only three items need to be cooked, this is a breeze! Mix it up by using something other than asparagus.  I have tried this with various veggies, and enjoyed it with broccoli, as well as cauliflower, but my husband prefers asparagus.  So here we are.  Also, you can omit the cheese if you’d like, which would negate the need to broil this. Since everything is cooked beforehand, you can serve it up right away!

Chicken with Asparagus and Penne


  • 1 pound of Asparagus
  • 12 ounces of Penne Pasta
  • 1 pound of Chicken breast, cubed
  • ½ cup of Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil


  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add penne pasta.
  2. While water is boiling, heat up a medium sized skillet with cooking spray and begin cooking cubed chicken.
  3. Steam asparagus. You can do this a variety of ways, so use your favorite. Personally, I place a colander over my pot of boiling water and place the asparagus inside and cover it. Yes, it takes a little bit of skill to stir the pasta, but they cook at almost the exact same amount of time. You can use the microwave if you are more comfortable, it will cook quicker so that is an advantage.
  4. Place steamed asparagus on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  5. Drain pasta and pour on top of asparagus. Add chicken over pasta.
  6. Drizzle olive oil over top and stir a little to evenly coat pasta and chicken.
  7. Add the Parmesan cheese on top of everything.
  8. Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese browns a little bit.


Nicole Glass for Glass on the Outside

Creamy Shrimp and Artichoke Casserole

Creamy Shrimp and Artichoke Casserole

This is another recipe courtesy of my wonderful mother-in-law, Shari, and the amazing cookbook she gave me prior to marrying her son almost five years ago. At my bridal shower, she presented me with a gift that is worth its weight in gold-a cookbook filled with my husband’s favorite recipes! This one is a particular favorite and even though I personally hate seafood, I make this because I love how excited my husband looks when he walks in the house and can smell the dish!

It is so easy and quick (way under 30 minutes!) that I tend to prepare this dish for him if I’m going out of town for the weekend and want to make sure he’ll eat something other than milk and cookies!

Creamy Shrimp and Artichoke Casserole

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 ounces fresh mushrooms
  • ¼ cup margarine or butter (plus a tablespoon to sauté mushrooms)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup half & half
  • 12 ounces of shrimp meat (approximately)
  • 2 jars (6 ounces each) marinated artichoke hearts
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

First, let me start by saying that this dish cooks extremely fast! By fast I mean that if this dish takes longer than 15 minutes, you are doing something the hard way!! My advice is to measure out all of your ingredients and line them up in the order needed. I wish I was kidding, but I am not. The first time I made this dish I almost ruined it because I was trying to measure out ingredients after things had already started cooking.

How to Make It:

  • Sauté mushrooms in butter: melt butter (tablespoon) in a small pan and add mushrooms. Cook until golden.
  • While sautéing mushrooms, melt butter (¼ cup) into a large pan on medium heat.
  • Stir in flour and salt and cook until smooth and reduce heat to low. (You may need to add a tiny bit more butter)
  • Stir in half & half slowly and bring mixture to a boil. Stir constantly.
  • Stir in shrimp and artichoke hearts. Cook about 5 minutes or until shrimp is cooked thoroughly at medium high heat.
  • Stir in cooked mushrooms and wine, heat until hot.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

You can serve this dish over rice, as my mother-in-law suggests in my cookbook, but my husband will eat it out of the pan with a slotted spoon if I let him! Really though, you can serve this with a nice salad or grilled veggies, but you might want to start those before you start this dish as it cooks fast!


Nicole @ Glass on the Outside

Chicken With Butter Cream Sauce

Chicken with Butter Cream Sauce

I made this dish for the first time recently and was pleasantly surprised with how quick and easy it was. I really think what took me the most time was crushing the Ritz crackers! I don’t have a food processor so it was was just me, a zip lock bag and a rolling pin! Even so, this dish and it’s side, took less than 30 minutes from start to finish and I hope you like it!

What you’ll need:

  • 1lb of chicken tenders **
  • 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers (or breadcrumbs if those are on hand, but Ritz work better!)
  • Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup of half and half, plus 2 tbsp set aside
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • salt and pepper
  1. Grind crackers into crumbs either by hand or using a food processor.
  2. Cover each piece of chicken with crumbs (cover well!) and set aside.
  3. Add about 3 tbsp of olive oil to a large pan and cook half of the cracker crumb coated chicken for about  4-5 minutes per side or until cooked all the way through and golden brown on medium high heat. Set cooked pieces aside and cook second half of chicken strips.
  4. Once chicken is cooked, add butter to still hot pan. Allow butter to melt and add chicken broth to mixture. 
  5. Whisk in cup of half and half, as well as spices and bring to a boil.
  6. While mixture is heating, mix the 2 tbsp of half and half with cornstarch until smooth.
  7. Once boiling, add cornstarch mixture and allow sauce to boil until it thickens. Remove from heat.
  8. Cover desired amount of chicken in butter sauce and enjoy!

I served this dish with some oven roasted asparagus and it was fantastic! While my chicken was cooking I tossed some asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and put it in the oven at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Dinner and sides in under 30 minutes!


Nicole @ Glass on the Outside

** You can use boneless, skinless chicken breast as well, but I found using chicken breast tenders to be easier and faster!**

I love chicken! I’m not afraid to admit it- I love chicken and every now and again I crave chicken tenders. I have tried a myriad of recipes to get the perfect chicken tenders and this one is as close to prefect as I’ve found! This is a meal that I have made in 30 minutes or less, including sides. I love that I can make mashed potatoes or quinoa while the chicken cooks. These are pretty decent sized strips and using the ingredients below will make approximately 8 strips, which is about 4 servings. You may need to adjust depending on the size of your family. Since it is just the husband and I, 4 servings lasts us for days of tasty leftovers!

Parmesan Chicken Tenders

 What You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/2- 2lbs Chicken Tenders
  • 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)**
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 6 tablespoons Olive Oil

1. Combine the buttermilk and egg and pour into one shallow dish, flour into another shallow dish and combine Panko and Parmesan cheese into a third shallow dish. 

2. Season both sides of the chicken tenders with salt and pepper. 

3. Dip each piece: first into buttermilk mixture, second into the flour, third back into the buttermilk mixture and fourth into the Panko and Parmesan. Set aside.

4. Once all pieces have been dipped and completely covered, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Cook half of the chicken tenders until they are a golden brown on each side, about 5-6 minutes. Use last 3 tablespoons of olive oil for the last half of the chicken tenders. 

Serve with mashed potatoes, quinoa, veggies or oven fries!


-Nicole @ Glass on the Outside

** I use Panko because I like the texture more than normal breadcrumbs. You can absolutely use regular breadcrumbs if that is what you have on hand!**


Cinco de Mayo Mexican Pizza

Cinco de Mayo: Mexican Chicken Pizza

Let me start off by saying that at my bridal shower almost five years ago, my amazing mother-in-law gave me a gift that has been worth its weight in gold- a cookbook full of my husband-to-be’s favorite recipes! I think this should be a standard gift because oh my goodness, it’s been fantastic!

I remember him flipping through it saying, “I love that” and “oh man, I love that!” on every page! I know that on any given day I can open this cookbook and bam- something he’d love to eat.

This is another quick meal, assuming you are like me. When I know I’ll need any kind of cooked chicken, I tend to prep it at the beginning of the week. I cook all my chicken breasts so that on the day I need it I can shred it, cube it, ect. This has saved me tons of time!

This meal, once chicken is cooked, should take approximately 5 minutes to assemble and the best part is you can add whatever you want to it! I like to add different spices to it and some hot sauce as well, but this should be as quick as tossing ingredients on pizza dough and sticking it in the oven.

So here you go- Mexican Chicken Pizza courtesy of my mother-in-law, Shari!

Mexican Chicken Pizza

What You’ll Need:

  • Pizza crust  (I use a ready-made)
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp. chopped green chilies, drained
  • Salsa
  • 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ cup chopped tomato, drained
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, chili powder, cumin and garlic salt, mixing well.
  3. Spoon chicken on to dough evenly. Top with tomato, olives, onions, green chilies, Jack and cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-24 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
  5. Serve topped with avocado and salsa.

Your finished product should look something like this:pizza


-Nicole @ Glass on the Outside