MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Aug 30, 2012) - (Family Features) Don't think you have time to make a delicious meal for your busy family? Think again; with these handy tips and easy recipes -- which call for just four ingredients -- you can get a satisfying supper on the table in no time. Make it even easier by including Minute® Steamers into your family's favorite meals, for wholesome, hearty, time-saving dishes everyone will love.

Use these tips to make meal prep easier during busy nights:

Stock Up -- Always keep some basic ingredients on hand to make last-minute cooking a lot easier.

  • Frozen vegetables -- Can be served as a side or added to soups and rice dishes.
  • Broth -- Beef, chicken and vegetable broths can be used to make soups and sauces, and to add flavor when cooking vegetables and rice.
  • Add-ins -- Nuts, sesame seeds, parsley, dried fruit and cheese can be added to main dishes, sides and salads to make them even more flavorful and nutritious.

Time Savers -- Take advantage of grocery items that do some of the work for you.

  • Frozen rice -- For a tasty side or a starter for a full meal, try Minute® Steamers -- exceptional-quality, flavorful rice that heats in the microwave in a self-ventilating steamable bag. It only takes four minutes to have one of six varieties on your dinner table.
  • Pre-cut vegetables -- Save some prep time by using pre-cut vegetables. Give them a quick wash and they're ready to use.
  • Pre-seasoned ingredients -- Look for canned, diced tomatoes with garlic and onions, cheese made with jalapeño, or marinated chicken or pork cuts. These are all ways to add flavor without adding time.

Plan Ahead -- If you have more time on the weekend, you can do some prep work to cut down on your weeknight cooking time.

  • Prep ingredients -- Chop vegetables and shred cheese, and keep them in storage containers or resealable bags in the fridge. You can also brown ground beef and cut any meats into recipe-ready pieces.
  • Herb cubes -- Put a tablespoon of chopped herbs in each well of an ice cube tray. Fill with either water or olive oil, then freeze. Once frozen, pop them out and store in a freezer bag -- you'll have fresh herb flavor in a flash.
  • Cook once, eat twice -- Double up on a recipe, then freeze one half for later. Or, plan a second meal around leftovers. For example, use Monday night's taco meat for Tuesday night's taco salad.

For more delicious ways to get a speedy supper on the table for your family, visit www.4ingredientmeals.com.

Simple, Time-Saving Solutions to Spruce up Rice

Don't get caught in a dinner-as-usual rut -- here are some quick and easy ways you can add a little flair to the family meal, without spending hours preparing dinner:

  • Citrus Rice -- To hot cooked white rice, add grated orange, lemon or lime zest for a fresh, lively taste.
  • Nutty Rice -- To hot cooked brown rice, add peanuts, cashews, pine nuts or sunflower seeds; stir in dried cranberries or cherries for added flavor, texture and color.
  • Portobello Mushroom Rice -- To hot cooked brown rice, add sautéed chopped portobello mushrooms and toasted chopped pecans. Top with crumbled feta cheese.
Basil Rice and Tomato Soup 
Serves: 4 (1 1/4 cups each) 
    1 bag Minute® Steamers Brown Rice
    1 jar (24 ounces) pasta sauce
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Prepare rice according to package directions.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine pasta sauce, cream and basil. Cover loosely and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Stir in prepared rice.


  • If a thinner soup is desired, add 1 cup heated chicken broth.
  • Serve with cheese crostini and olive tapenade.
  • Top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Easy Arroz con Pollo 
Serves: 4 
    1 bag Minute® Steamers Spanish Rice
    1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
    1 small tomato, diced
    6 ounces (about 1 cup) cooked, diced chicken
    1/4 cup sliced Spanish olives, sliced
    1 green onion, sliced

Prepare rice according to package directions.

In medium microwave-safe dish combine rice, peas and carrots, tomato and chicken. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.

Add olives.


  • Garnish with green onions.
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Casserole 
Serves: 4  
    1 bag Minute® Steamers Broccoli and Cheese Rice
    1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of chicken soup
    6 ounces (about 1 cup) cooked, diced chicken
    1/2 cup milk

Prepare rice according to package directions.

In medium microwave-safe dish, combine soup, chicken and milk. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Stir in rice.

South of the Border Turkey Dinner 
Serves: 4  
    1 bag Minute® Steamers Brown Rice
    1 pound ground turkey, cooked and crumbled
    1 can (11 ounces) southwestern corn blend
    1 cup prepared salsa

Prepare rice according to package directions.

In medium microwave-safe bowl, combine turkey, corn and salsa. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Stir in rice.


  • Add 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Use as filling in tortillas and top with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes.
  • Roll into burrito-sized tortillas and serve with sour cream.

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