A Decent Meal in 15 Minutes or Less!

I didn’t think it was possible to cook meals in 30 minutes.  Let alone 15.  I watched Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals’ cooking show on Food Network.  And with everything she’s cooking in that show.  I am simply skeptic to turn out meals in 30 minutes.  There’s no way!  Even if I am working extra fast in the kitchen.  Which I seldom do.  Because I don’t like being rushed.  And because by nature I am a slow person.  And even they admitted, in one of Rachel Ray’s documentaries, that it takes them about 8 hours to film each episode of her “30 minute meals.”

Is it really possible turn out a decent meal in 30 minutes? Or Less?

Well.  Two weeks ago, my son, Ramon gave me a list of food, a menu, he wanted to start eating.  Sort of similar of what he used to eat back when he was going to school in Tulsa.

In that list he had pan fried steaks: NY strips or rib-eye; wilted spinach and canned beans: kidney or black beans.  Drained and rinsed. Then warmed in a small pot.

And this combination of pan fried steaks, wilted spinach, and beans, literally takes me less than 15 minutes to cook.  I couldn’t believe it!  I guess it’s just a matter of choosing what I can actually turn out 15 minutes…

I kinda like this way of cooking.

Now I’m excited to experiment what other meals I can prepare in 15 minutes or less!

Here is an example of a 15 Minute Meal.  I have prepared this a number of times this past few weeks:  Pan Fried Steaks, Wilted Spinach, and Kidney Beans.

At least 15 minutes before you start cooking.  Take out the steaks you need to cook.

Season the steaks with ground sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Here in this pick… is a 3/4 of New York Strip steak.  And I cut them in three smaller strips.  Of course , you don’t have cut them like I did here.  I just did this because I like my steaks medium well.

Ramon likes his steaks medium rare.  Which is even faster to cook.  About Three minutes on each side.

Note: A slice of New York strip steak or Rib-eye is usually between 12 and 16 ounces.  And that is plenty of meat.  For me, a good serving is usually 7 – 10 ounces.  So what I do and even for Ramon, I cut a New York strip or a Rib-eye steak  in half.   And it serves two people. And Willie can have a whole slice of steak… 🙂

Not sure if you are familiar with the cuts or grades when it comes to steaks.  But there are 3 grades of steaks that available for consumption:

USDA Prime – is the highest grade.  Usually supplied to upscale restaurants and fine steak houses.

USDA Choice – is the second highest quality.

USDA Select – This type of steaks are lowest on the scale of quality.  These steaks are commonly available in supermarkets and used by most restaurants.

I usually buy a choice cut.  Which is available at Sam’s Club.

Get a can of kidney beans.  Or canned black beans.  Open the can and pour the contents into a strainer.  Drain the liquid from the beans and rinse under cold running water.

Allow half  a can of kidney beans per person.

Place beans in a small pot.  Add 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp. sea salt and 1/2 cup water.  Place the pot over medium heat until it boils.  Reduce heat to low and simmer the beans while you cook steaks.

Take out the spinach from the fridge.

I love buying this type of spinach.  Clean. Washed.  And ready to use. I get this at Sam’s Club too.

Allow 3 handfuls for each person.

OK… here goes:

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add extra light olive oil.   About 3 3 tablespoons.

Just right before the oil starts to smoke, add the steaks.

Cook steaks according to doneness preferred.

Ramon likes his steaks medium rare.  So I cook it 3 minutes on each side.

A medium steaks is about 4 minutes on each side.

And a medium well is 5 minutes on each side.  And 6 minutes for a well done steak.

Remove steaks to a platter.

Keep the oil and steak drippings in the pan.  Especially if you are cooking for 3 people.  Otherwise, if you’re only cooking for one person.  Remove but 1 tablespoon oil and steak drippings.

For one person.  Add 3 handfuls of spinach to the same skillet with the oil and steak drippings.

Toss the spinach, using a tong or spatula, until welted.  About two minutes.  Season with sea salt (1/4  tsp.) and freshly ground black pepper (1/8 tsp.)

Remove to a platter with the steak (s).

Serve Pan Fried Steaks with spinach and warmed kidney beans.

15 Minute Meals or Less!

Serve 3 people.

Pan Fried Steaks:

3 slices steaks – NY Strips or Rib-eye.  About 7 – 10 ounces each

1tsps. ground sea salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

3 TBSPs. extra light olive oil

Take out the steaks from the fridge at least 15 minutes before cooking.  Season each steaks, on both sides, with ground sea salt and ground black pepper.

Heat a large, nonstich skillet.  Add olive oil.  Just before oil starts to smoke, cook the steaks.  Three minutes on each side for medium rare. Four minutes on each side for Medium.  And 5 – 6 minutes on each side for medium well and well done.

Warmed Kidney Beans:

2 cans kidney beans – drained and rinsed

1 tsp. coarse sea salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 cup filtered water

Open the can and pour the beans into a strainer.  Rinse beans under cold running water.

Place beans in a small sauce pan.  Add salt and black pepper.  Pour water over the beans.

Heat beans over medium heat until it starts to boil.  Once boiling.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes.  Serve warm without the liquid.

Wilted Spinach:

6 cups – firmly packed, baby spinach (washed and ready to cook)

Oil and steak drippings – about two tablespoons

½ Ground sea salt

¼ ground black pepper

Over medium heat, and while the skillet and drippings are still hot.  Add the spinach.  Toss or stir spinach until wilted.  About 2 minutes.  Season with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Serve with the steaks.

Tess’ Kitchen Secrets:

#1 – Always season the steaks at least 10 minutes before cooking.  This will give the seasoning time to penetrate into the meat.

#2 – The oil and drippings from steaks make the spinach taste great.

#3 – Canned beans are great substitute for bread and rice.  Rich in fibers and complex carbohydrates.  And canned beans are much less gassy. Hsssshh. Don’t tell anybody that.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!

Tess Harris

6 thoughts on “A Decent Meal in 15 Minutes or Less!

  1. I like quick and simple meals. After coming home from school, and working with food all day long, the last thing I want is to be making some long drawn out meal. Most of the cooking I do during the week at supper-time is 30 minutes or less. I do enjoy cooking roasts on Sunday, and making a big dinner, and having the boys over. To be honest with you Tess, I’ve never thought about eating kidney beans by themselves. I do like the taste of them, but honestly, not sure if I can stomach them with all the gas they throw off. You say that canned beans are much less gassy. Is that because they are rinsed? Anyways, I like what you cooked here. That spinach looks good, and different. My dad used to make something similar with vinegar, fried bacon, onions, and some of the grease. Warmed up this mixture, and poured it over the lettuce. Called it wilted lettuce. I will have to give this a try when Megan comes home. I could see her liking it. Thanks for the quick & easy recipes. Keep them coming. They get my vote 🙂

    • Hi Tess!

      I know what you mean. After a long, hard day’s of work, the last thing I want to do is cook. When I used to work.. I hardly ever cook. Especially when we were in Las Vegas.

      As for the kidney beans. Me neither. Until Ramon wanted to try them as is. But kidney beans are so perfect for chili! As for the gas it throws off… Yes. It’s because canned beans have been submerged in liquid for so long that the sugar content of the beans also known as oligosaccharide is removed. That’s why it is always advisable to rinse canned beans before they are used. To get rid most, if not all, of the oligosaccharide, which our body cannot digest. And therefore causes gas in humans.

      Cooking the spinach this way is just very simple. But of course your dad just took it up a notch.

      You’re welcome Tess!

  2. I watch Rachel Ray if I’m home during the day cause her meals are simple & fast. Now making a meal in 15 mins is awesome. Now I like the steak & kidney beans but spinach is one of those veggies I only eat in soup cause I really don’t like it. I mentioned on MT not to long ago about not liking this dish my gurl makes with squash & sweet potato…well I have come to realize its sweet potato I really don’t like cause she made this butternut squash dish that I just can’t get enough of. So I’m thinking replace the spinach with that & I’m good to go with the steak & beans.

    Keep the 15 minute meals coming………life is crazy busy at it is so coming home & making a meal that quick would be SWEET 🙂

    Have a gr8 weekend Tess…..huggggerooos.

    • Hi Mario!

      Me too. I used to watch Food Network a lot, including Rachel Ray. She is a natural cook! And fast in the kitchen.

      I know what you mean about spinach. My husband doesn’t like it either. And I can only have so much of it. But darn… this vegetable have so much to offer…

      Mmmm…! You’re right. Steak and butternut squash soup. That sounds delicious…!

      I’ll definitely keep my eyes on meals that are simple and quick…

      I hope you are having a great week… We are supposed to get snow showers tonight and tomorrow…


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