Better Choices, Better Results

30-Minute Meals

We had a GREAT cooking demo last night!  Some of our patients came to our monthly Goal Getters Support Group to watch yours truly demonstrate 30-minute meals.

I have to admit that I was a little nervous.  I’d chosen two meals to prepare: Zesty Lime Shrimp & Avocado Salad with a robust Fruit Salad as a side dish, and Juicy Turkey Burgers with Fiesta Salad as its side.

I had made the dishes at home to get a feel for how long they took, but I had not timed myself.  While I knew that going over my 30-minute allotment of time would really not matter in the grand scheme of life, I really wanted to be able to prove that an organized and well-stocked kitchen plus a willing participant could churn out a healthy and delicious meal in less time than it would take to drive to a fast-food restaurant.

One of the patients timed me.  She also kept track of how many minutes I spent in the actual preparation of the different dishes.  I had no opportunity to sneak in even a spare minute!

My only advantage was that I had to pre-wash all the produce because there is no sink in our Solarium.  Then again, since there’s no sink in the Solarium, I couldn’t wash my hands between dishes, so I had to take the time to glove and re-glove often.  I think the playing field was even.

I started off with the shrimp salad.  I pulled off their little tails and chopped all the veggies and even demonstrated how to remove an avocado pit.  Then I moved on to the fruit salad.  The strawberries had been washed, but I still had to removed their caps and slice them up, along with the kiwis, bananas and other ingredients.   (Kiwis are slippery little creatures once their furry skin is removed!)

I got everything prepared with 8 minutes to spare!

Then I moved on to the turkey burgers.  Just like making a meatloaf, I had to mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, and then get my hands in there to mix it up properly.  I actually doubled the batch because we had so many people attending!  I put the first seven burgers on my George Foreman Grill and started on my Fiesta Salad. 

This salad is so easy!  Open a can of black beans, then drain and rinse them.  Add some thawed frozen corn, some spiced canned tomatoes, onion, cucumber, sweet pepper, cilantro, salt and pepper, and you have a tasty (VERY tasty) dish.  By the time that was complete, the first burgers were done and I threw the last eight on the grill.

I made it!  Fifteen Turkey Burgers and a side dish in less than 30 minutes!

Zesty Lime Shrimp with


  • 1 lb jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 Hass avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced fine
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste


In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion.

In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, jalapeño. Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 7/8 cup

Calories: 210; Fat: 9, Pro: 25; Carb: 8; Fiber:4

Moist & Yummy Turkey Burgers

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 4 tsp. seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 heaping teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 tb. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese



Mix all the ingredients together and cook burgers as desired.

Nutrition: 8 small burgers (without bun or condiments)

Cal: 137; Fat: 8; Carb: 4, Fiber:0, Pro: 11


 Fruit Salad

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped or sliced
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 can pineapple chunks, reserve 1/4 cup of the juice
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 2 kiwis, chopped or sliced
  • 1 tb. honey
  • Juice of 1 lime

Combine all ingredients for a delicious, light treat or side dish!

Nutrition: 8 servings

Cal: 73; Fat: 0; Carb: 19; Fib: 3; Pro: 1

 Fiesta Salad

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • A small bag frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 small purple onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 small cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 can chipotle-spiced tomatoes, drained
  • 1-2 tb. cilantro (to taste)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Combine all ingredients for a robust side dish that packs in additional protein!

Nutrition: 8 Servings

Cal: 95; Fat: 2; Carb: 21; Fib: 4; Pro: 4


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