Drive-Thru Your Driveway: Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less

cookingI’ve dreamed of having a kitchen in the back of my car, percolating home cooked meals, to be consumed while running from work to practice to meetings and back again. Alas, short of getting myself an RV, this is not going to happen.

The general tendency is to move towards the drive-thru with gravitational pull, or to whip out the phone to order your supper. While this may be time-saving in the short term, you aren’t doing your wallet any favours.

Here are some quick, healthy, more budget friendly ideas. Skip the drive thru. Put down the phone and whip these meals up in no time.

Breaded Chicken

On your counter, place boneless chicken breasts (or thighs, which are cheaper), a small bowl of milk or beaten egg, and a plate of Panko or Italian breadcrumbs.

Dip the chicken in the liquid. Pat both sides with bread crumbs. Bake in a 425 oven for about 30 minutes (or until chicken is no longer pink). Whip up a quick pot of rice and a green salad. Dinner is served.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

No spaghetti sauce in the freezer? Spaghetti and meatballs is still a good go-to staple.

Boil pasta. Meanwhile, microwave frozen store-bought meatballs (or if you’re really clever, maybe you’ve got some homemade ones pre-frozen). Heat a jar of tomato sauce (go for low sodium, high vegetable content if you’re sticking strictly with store bought stuff). Assemble on plates. Throw together a salad or veggies and dip- and you’ve got dinner in about 20 minutes.

Homemade Pizza

Using either store-bought pizza shells or smaller bread (like English muffins, which kids love), make your own pizza at home. Save money and up the nutritional content by putting out a variety of veggies and meats. Make your pizza colourful.

Bake and eat!


So quick and so easy. Slice up strips of whatever you fancy (steak or chicken)- or defrost some shrimp.

Slice up onions and peppers. Sauté all together with a sprinkling of fajita seasoning.  Meanwhile, heat a stack of tortillas in the microwave wrapped in a paper towel for about 20 or 30 seconds.

Assemble with whatever toppings (cheese, sour cream, salsa) you’ve got in the fridge.