40 minute meals includes baked chicken and couscous salad that contains protein, carb, fat and fiber. Makes it a well balanced nutritious meal made from scratch with a little prep work the previous night.
Points to note :
- 40 minute meals cooking is approx time. ( I am not too fast in cooking hence if I can you too can.)
- Simply follow the STEPS given in the step by step instructions in the same order given in the recipe card. This will allow ample time for soaking, marinating, frying etc and still allow you to finish the cooking in 40 minutes.
- Plan your meals ahead of time so you have all the grocery in stock. No meal can be put together without proper planning and execution.
Invest in kitchen staple appliances like rice cooker and electric pressure cooker (not sponsored). They are crucial work horses in getting your everyday food ready on time as all of them can be put to work at the same time and frees up a lot of burner space.
These appliances can be timed and do not need individual attention which makes it ideal on a busy day. Just make sure to take care of it and cook as per their cooking instructions and these appliances can last a long time.
INGREDIENTS SUBSTITUTION IDEAS :
- Instead of Couscous (instant variety) you can use other fast cooking whole grains quinoa, rice or whole grain pastas, gnocchi or cauliflower rice.
- Crumbled Feta adds a tangy flavor but you can replace it with Parmesan cheese, Romano or Asiago
- Canned chick peas or any other beans can be used like kidney beans cannellini beans etc.
- Uses veggies available in season for Spring you might want to go with the greens , asparagus avocado etc. Fo the Fall switch it up with Brussels sprouts sweet potato or butternut etc
Other meal ideas that are my family favorite – 30 minutes Taco bowl
Recipe steps :
Wash the chicken pieces and drain all the water thoroughly, dry with a paper towel( if needed). Take a large size ziplock bag add the first marinade and chicken then zip it. Shake vigorously until the pieces are coated well then refrigerate it overnight. Pre heat oven and bake the chicken for 40 minutes.
Soak chick peas previous night then pressure cook and add the vinaigrette when warm so it absorbs the flavors fast.
Add boiling water to couscous and let it stand for 20 minutes undisturbed. I have used fast cooking variety of couscous here.
Fluff the couscous make sure there is no water underneath. Allow it to cool if warm then add the vegetables and the vinaigrette along with the chickpeas set aside. Gently stir without bruising the vegetables then finally add cheese.
Refrigerate the salad as soon as you assemble so it gets a chance to set well and the flavors mingle. Check on the chicken after 40 minutes. Internal temperature should be more than 165 ° F allow it to rest for 5 minutes if you have the time. Now the meal is ready to serve. Enjoy the baked chicken with couscous salad and pickled red onion
40 minute meals
- —FIRST MARINADE-–( OVERNIGHT )
- 5 pieces chicken thigh (boneless) 1 per serving
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- 1/3 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- Salt to taste
- —SECOND MARINADE–– (OPTIONAL)
- 2=3 tsps Olive oil
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp Tikka paste or any readymade paste
- 1 cup Couscous (instant variety)
- 1 1/2 cups Water
- 4 oz Feta cubed
- 1/2 cup Chick peas (cooked) or canned (drained well)
- —- VEGETABLES & HERBS —–
- 2 Persian cucumber
- 10 – 12 Cherry tomatoes
- Few sprigs Mint
- Few Scallions / spring onion
- Few sprigs Cilantro
- Few slices Pickled jalapeno
- —-VINAIGRETTE –—
- 2-3 Tsps Olive oil
- 1 Lime – juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Marinate the chicken overnight with first marinade and refrigerate it in a ziploc bag.
- Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water.
- Prepare 2nd marinade. Arrange the chicken on a greased tray and brush a little of the 2nd marinade.Preheat oven to 390 F and start baking the chicken
- If using dried chickpeas.Drain the soaking chickpeas and add fresh water and pressure cook. If using instant pot –> MANUAL mode –> 10 minutes natural pressure release for 10 minutes then drain the water and use.
- Boil 1 1/2 cups of water to a rolling boil. Measure 1 cup of couscous keep it ready in a large bowl. Add the boiling water n salt stir once and keep the bowl covered for 20 minutes undisturbed.
- Check the chicken in between after 20 minutes. Turn once apply the rest of the marinade. Return to the oven.
- Check the couscous. Fluff up with a fork and there should not be any water content in it.
- Check the chickpeas.
- Make the vinaigrette for the salad add the warm chick peas into it so chick peas gets a chance to absorb all the flavors.
- Chop all the veggies and herbs.
- Cube the Feta cheese.
- Gently mix the couscous and the veggies, any picklesthen the chick peas with vinaigretteFinally Feta cheese.Cover and refrigerate.
- Check the chickenafter 40 minutes remove from oven.Now the meal is ready to be served. (Slice the chicken if required. )Warm chicken with cold couscous salad is super delicious.
Hope you get to try this 40 minute meals.