Dinner in Under 45


After a long day at work the last thing I want to do is spend hours in front of my stove. These recipes make four servings but you can just as easily quarter them to scale down for one.

Pan-Seared Scallops with Lemon Vinaigrette

Fitness Magazine

Makes: 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes


12 ounces sea scallops, thawed if frozen

2 lemons

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound asparagus spears

1 medium red onion, cut into wedges

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon dried basil


  1. Rinse the scallops and pat dry. Set aside.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to peel very thin strips of lemon peel. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze two tablespoons of juice from the lemon. Reserve. Note: If you want you can use bottled lemon juice and skip the lemon peel in a pinch, but I think the zest adds a lot to this dish.
  3. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and onion and cook for 2 to three minutes; season to taste with the salt and black pepper. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm.
  4. Combine the lemon peel, basil and remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Cook for one minute or until heated through. Remove the lemon peel and basil sprigs with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the skillet.
  5. Cook the scallops in the hot oil for three to five minutes or until opaque, turning once. Stir in the reserved lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  6. Place the scallops over the asparagus mixture.

Nutrition facts per serving:

190 calories| 11g total fat| 1g fiber

Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction


Makes: 4 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes


3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

4 lamb chops

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup minced shallots (Note: These are a cross between an onion and garlic. If you don't have shallots feel free to substitute a mixture of both.)

1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon butter


  1. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture onto the lamb chops on both sides. Place them on a plate, cover and set aside for 15 minutes to absorb the flavors.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb chops in the skillet and cook for about three and a half minutes per side for medium rare, or continue to cook to your desired doneness. Remove from the skillet, and keep warm on a serving platter.
  3. Add shallots to the skillet, and cook for a few minutes, just until browned. Stir in vinegar, scraping any bits of lamb from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the chicken broth. Continue to cook and stir over medium-high heat for about five minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter. Pour over the lamb chops, and serve.

This is delicious served aside rice or the sweet potato recipe below.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

258 calories | 19.5g total fat | 65mg cholesterol

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Oxygen Magazine

Makes: 2 servings

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes


2 medium sweet potatoes

1 egg white

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

2 crushed garlic cloves (Note: A garlic press comes in really handy. Find one at Ross for about $10)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and ground pepper


  1. Cut potatoes lengthwise to create 1/2-inch thick and 1/2-inch wide strips. (Note: Keep the skin on for fiber and extra vitamins.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk egg white until frothy. Whisk in oil, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Add potatoes, tossing to coat. Spread on parchment-paper-lined, rimmed baking sheets.
  3. Bake in top and bottom thirds of 425 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes (switch to bottom or top third of oven halfway through) until tender and edges are browned and crisp.

Nutrition facts per serving:

164 calories | 5g total fat | 27g carbohydrates: 27 g | 4g fiber

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