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#TashaTests 10, 20 and 30 minute meals: Your ultimate guide

It’s a weekday and you get home and all you want to do is relax in front of the TV and watch your favorite shows. But you can’t do that because you still need to make dinner! So, what can you make that won’t take up your whole night but instead will leave you with enough time to relax and get recharged for the next day?

I found three meal ideas from Good Housekeeping magazine that will not only be delicious, but will impress everyone. So, pick one depending on how much time you want to spend in the kitchen.

10 minutes: Creamy fried gnocchigarden mushrooms resize

Serves 4


2 tbsp olive oil

25g butter

1kg gnocchi

250g portabellini or brown mushrooms, sliced

4 bacon rashers, sliced

1 tsp dried thyme

50ml brandy (optional)

175ml double cream

50g baby spinach


Heat 1tbsp of the olive oil and all the butter in a large, deep frying pan over high heat and fry the gnocchi, tossing occasionally, until the gnocchi is crisp and golden. This will take about 8 minutes.

While you are waiting for the gnocchi, heat the remaining 1tbsp of oil in another large frying pan over a high heat and fry the mushrooms, bacon and thyme for 3 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Add the brandy if you decided to use it; let it bubble for 10 seconds and add the cream and spinach. Heat until the spinach wilts.

Add the sauce to the gnocchi pan (or other way around if easier), mix well and check the seasoning and serve.

20 minutes: Beef stroganoffthyme resize

Serves 4


1 tbsp sunflower oil

500g rump steak, fat trimmed (discard) and sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

300g button mushrooms, roughly sliced

2 tbsp cake flour

¼ tsp paprika

50ml brandy (optional)

300ml beef stock

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp tomato purée

100ml sour cream

Large bunch parsley, roughly chopped


Start by making some pasta or rice.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the steak and onion for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and the paprika; cook for 1 minute, stirring all the time.

Stir in the brandy (if you decided to use it) and the mustard, stock and tomato purée, and let it bubble for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Stir through the sour cream and check for seasoning and serve with your pasta or rice.

If you want to be a little fancier, serve fillet instead of rump steak.

30 minute: Pan lasagneBeetroot and tomatoes

Serves 6


1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely sliced

500g lean beef mince

500g tomato and basil pasta sauce

Large bunch basil, roughly chopped

500g ricotta

50g Parmesan cheese, grated

1 medium egg, beaten

5 to 6 large lasagne sheets

75g mozzarella cheese


Heat the oil in a deep ovenproof frying pan (about 23cm across the base) and fry the onion and mince for 5 minutes until the mince is brown and onion is soft.

Stir in the pasta sauce and half of the fresh basil, simmer for 1 minute.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix ricotta, Parmesan and the egg. Add some seasoning.

Preheat grill to high.

Scoop two-thirds of the mince mixture out of the pan and into a bowl.

Lay a single layer of lasagne sheet over the mince mixture in the pan (you can break the sheets to fit in the pan). Spoon over one-third of the ricotta mixture and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Repeat the layering twice more using the mince from the bowl. Finish with a layer of the ricotta on top and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Cover pan with a lid or baking tray, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.

Once pasta is tender, put the pan under the grill for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle over the remaining basil and some freshly ground pepper and serve.

By Natassha Burrell


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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