13 Quick Dinner Ideas with Alison Lewis of Ingredients, Inc.
Many days what I could use most are quick dinner ideas. You know, tips for the starting point for a quick easy dinner recipe that can be tossed together in less than 20 minutes. I've always enjoyed watching cooking shows … watching the ease with which they toss beautiful ingredients together, listening to their commentary and tips. Never fails when I travel that I end up watching a variety of food and cooking shows in my hotel room (saw Iron Chef last night before bed, here in Door County, WI), ending up in a relaxed, almost-comatose state of food-induced relaxation (or is that travel exhaustion?). Of course, reality hits quite suddenly once I'm home again, in my own kitchen. But wouldn't it be awesome to get the inside line on what chefs and recipe developers do to pull together quick meals? Lucky for us, Alison Lewis is here! Here are her ideas for getting dinner on the table fast -- and she's one busy gal, working as a recipe developer, television spokesperson, food educator, nutritionist and president and owner of Ingredients, Inc., a food consulting company in Birmingham, Alabama.
Keep this list close by -- it's an excellent starting point for pulling together tasty summertime meals. I love it so much I'm going to post it up under my Quick Starts menu so we can refer to it all summer long. Thank you, Alison!
1. I like to purchase chicken cutlets or thinly slices boneless pork loin chops because they cook much quicker.
2. I get my kids involved in making dinner and helping out. (try Alison's Fresh Basil and Red Pepper Tuna Salad)
3. I like to purchase already peeled and deveined shrimp or frozen shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. (try Alison's Fresh Shrimp-Dill Salad)
4. I love to cook with shelled edamame beans. (try Alison's Edamame Corn Salad)
5. I use rotisserie chicken a ton when recipes call for chopped, cooked chicken. (try Alison's Tortellini Chicken Salad)
6. I love to grill a lot. It's quick and easy. If I can't get outside, I love my grill pan over the stove.
7. I used ready-made pizza crusts alot and purchase lots of fresh vegetables, good tomato sauce, pesto and fresh herbs for toppings.
8. Panini makers and slow cookers are a life saver.
9. I like to prep while my kids are at school so my nights aren't so crazy (of course, in summer, that's not so easy).
10. I use precut carrots and bagged, washed greens.
11. I make very organized grocery lists.
12. When I grill salmon, steak or chicken, I grill extra for a main-dish salad the next night.
13. When I purchase hamburger (beef or turkey meat), I buy extra to also make a meatloaf for another night.