My perfect 25 minute meal

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Posted on Posted in Culinary Science, Recipes
My perfect 25 minute meal

Today was a really really long day at work– summer’s in full swing, and coming back from a beautiful but blazingly hot weekend to an empty baked good case meant a lot of work for me!  For the last few hours of work, all I could think about was getting home and cooking a nice meal.  I was getting a little shaky and was really craving some well-seasoned veggies and chicken (weird tastebuds), but I was also pretty darn tired.  What to do?  Pasta takes too long for nights like these (waiting for water to boil is painful!) and I don’t know if I’ve said this 35 times yet in this one post, but it’s so hot!!!  So I took two of those nifty chicken breast/tender things out of the freezer ($6.99 at Trader Joe’s for about 20) and defrosted them under running water while I rummaged through the fridge to plan the rest of dinner.  I took out a tiny zucchini and 3 small tomatoes.  I also took out some garlic, balsamic, salt, garlic salt (love it), and olive oil, of course!

As soon as the chicken defrosted, I splashed the balsamic and oil in my cast iron pan over medium low heat, seasoned the chicken with a little salt and garlic salt, and placed it in.  Then I minced the garlic and threw it in a saute pan with olive oil over high-ish heat, followed by the zucchini in slices.  When the zucchini was brown on one side and the chicken was half done (about 3-4 minutes), I flipped the chicken and moved it to the edge of the pan, away from the center of the heat source, and added the tomatoes to the zucchini, diced.  I did dishes while waiting for everything to cook through.  Then I just dumped it all on a plate, finished the dishes, pour a glass of too-warm rose wine (also Trader Joe’s), and added some homemade whole wheat bread with olive oil and Romano for dipping.  And the whole process took only 25 minutes!  Perfect!

25 Minute Dinner- Chicken and Veggies


  • 1 tsp balsamic
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced into sticks
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat balsamic and olive oil in a cast iron pan. When hot, season chicken with salt and pepper, place in pan, and sear for 4-6 minutes per side, or until internal temperature is 155F.
  2. Meanwhile, saute garlic in the olive oil in another pan. When garlic is softened, add zucchini and sear until browned on one side. Add tomatoes and saute until warmed through.
  3. Season vegetables and serve with chicken and a whole grain.


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