Quick and Easy Meals for Someone on the Go

Twenty minute recipes, ah what a concept for a college student.  Twenty minute healthy recipes – even better.  Although Cara Lyons stated that quick and easy meals aren’t what she tends to blog about, she was able to share a healthy, delicious and even fall-friendly dish that doesn’t take long to prepare.  Of course, I’m talking about her recent Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash with Warm Maple-Mustard Dressing recipe that definitely got my mouth watering!  Squash, Brussels sprouts, and maple-mustard dressing – what’s not to love!?  As a busy college student these kind of meals light up my eyes.  So I figured I’d take a cue from Cara and share some of my favorite, time-saving recipes too.

Stir-fry. Stir-fry can become a meal in just about 20 minutes.  Stir-fry can include vegetables, protein, rice and so much more.  Sauces can range from soy sauce to Teriyaki to olive oil; whichever your taste buds are calling for at the moment.  Now, we’re making this a healthy stir-fry, so let’s chop up some yummy vegetables.  Some ideas are peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, artichoke, and tomatoes.  The smaller you chop up your food, the less time you’ll need to cook them.  Put it on a flat pan, pour your desired sauce on the vegetables and cook on medium-high, while mixing and flipping your ingredients.  And what do you know, about 20 minutes later you have a meal.  Just a side note, veggies aren’t the only thing you can add to your stir-fry.   Remember adding protein to your meal will you keep full for longer.  You can easily accomplish this by adding chicken or tofu.  However, if you choose tofu, remember to let it sit in the sauce before cooking (the same way that you cooked the vegetables).  This will allow more absorption of the sauce and enhance the flavor.

Quesadillas. Quesadillas are a simple meal that won’t take too long, and yet tastes as if you’ve been slaving over the stove for days.  My mouth is watering already just from thinking of the melted cheese on a tortilla shell.  Making a quesadilla only involves the following easy steps:

1. Buying a whole wheat tortilla.

2. Filling it with low-fat cheese, veggies, beans, or even leftover ingredients from the stir-fry you just whipped up.

3. Putting it in the toaster oven until the outside is golden and crispy and the inside is melted.

4. Whaa-la it’s time to eat!

And if you’re a sour cream lover like me, this is a perfect opportunity to add it to your meal.  Four easy steps under 20 minutes.  Simple, simple and simple.  If you’re not someone who is constantly running out the door though, there is room for advancement with this meal.  You can boil a pot of brown rice or quinoa to add into or under your quesadilla wedges.

These recipes are just a few ideas that a busy someone can incorporate into his or her busy schedule.  Constantly being on-the-go doesn’t mean that nutrition or appetizing meals should be compromised!  Next time you’re going to the grocery store try to keep quick meals such as these in mind.

Do you have any recipes that are under 20 minutes that you’d like to share? We would love to check them out, so please let us know about them in the comments below. 

An Intern Around the Plate


Cara’s Cravings is a blog written and maintained by Cara Lyons. Cara is one of Around the Plate’s Recipe Gurus and is a member of thePlate Community. As a recipe guru, Cara shares creative dishes and healthy recipes that anyone on a budget can enjoy. Find other nutrition experts, recipe gurus, and healthy eating champions on our community blog network.


  1. Lynda says

    Thanks for the great ideas!! I love this time of year & I’m always looking for healthy new recipes to try out!! :)