This complete meal is made from scratch and on the table in 15 minutes. Don’t believe me? Try it and see!
Have you ever tried to make one of Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals? I did. I made Ricotta Fritters with Tomato Sauce and Zucchini Salad. I really tried to make it in 15 minutes. I even followed his “rules”, where you start with all the ingredients on the counter, washed and ready to go, the pan on the stove on high heat and a full kettle of boiled water.
It took me just over 20 minutes to get on the table so not bad on timing. But I was a stressed out wreck. Red in the face, sweating and the kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off in it.
Mind you, dinner was delicious. But it took almost as much time to cook as it did to clean up afterwards!
Just so you know, I am a huge fan of Jamie Oliver. I think he’s been instrumental in the “food movement” and inspiring people to cook more at home and use less processed ingredients. And I love a lot of his recipes.
So my 15 Minute Meals are not like Jamie’s. They are totally do-able and stress free, and you don’t need to use every appliance in your kitchen to make them!
This is a typical midweek meal for me – simple but tasty (of course!). It doesn’t require any preparation in advance and is a fresh meal without any cream or canned soup in it, but is super fast to make. I also love that it’s one of those dishes where you can just “throw it all on the BBQ” – handy for summer nights! But I’ve provided directions to make this on the stovetop which is how I usually make it.
This meal has a few shortcuts that makes it so fast to make.
1. Lemon Pepper seasoning – you can get this from the herbs & spice section of any supermarket nowadays and it costs the same as other herbs (just over $1 at my local supermarket). I used to think it was just lemon + pepper. Then I used it once to season couscous, adding stock and other flavours and the flavour of the couscous was too strong because I didn’t realise the Lemon Pepper seasoning had all sorts of other flavouring in it, including salt, onion, garlic, parsley and a heap of other flavourings. So a little sprinkle of Lemon Pepper is like adding 10 different herbs and spices;
2. Couscous – for a fast meal, you can’t beat couscous to add bulk and carbs. You simply combine equal quantities of hot liquid and couscous in a bowl, cover and set aside for a few minutes. Couscous lends itself to adding all sorts of flavours. Being such small grains, it’s great for soaking up thick casserole sauces (like tagines) as well as lightly dressing with salad dressing; and
3. Feta – this is my secret cost conscious way of adding a punch of flavour to all sorts of things, from frittatas to salads, crumbled over cooked meats, in pastries, thick soups and even in stuffings. The reason I love feta so much is that it is so cheap and yet because the flavour is quite sharp and salty, you only need a little bit to add a whole heap of flavour to a dish. I also love its crumbly texture which means you don’t need to cut it.
I hope you enjoy it! Just leave a comment below if you have any questions.
- 2 pork cutlets , at room temperature (200g/7oz each, bone in) (see notes)
- 1 tbsp lemon pepper (see notes)
- 2 tbsp olive oil , separated
- 2 zucchinis , sliced
- 1 small red capsicum (bell pepper), sliced
- 1 small red onion (spanish onion), sliced
- 1/2 small lemon
- 1/4 cup mint leaves (loosely packed)
- 1/2 cup couscous
- 1/2 cup boiling water (or chicken or vegetable stock/broth)
- 50 g / 1.5 oz g / 1.5 oz feta cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon wedges or cheeks , to serve (optional)
Combine couscous and boiling water in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and set aside for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle lemon pepper on both sides of each cutlet and pat to make it stick.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in fry pan over high heat. Place pork in fry pan and cook the first side for 2 minutes and the second side for 1 1/2 minutes or until cooked to your liking. I like mine medium rare. Remember the pork will continue to cook while resting.
Remove pork from the fry pan onto a plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest.
Heat remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in the fry pan still on high heat. Add onion and capsicum and sauté for 1 minute, then add the zucchini. Stir and cook the vegetables until charred and just cooked through. Remove pan from heat.
Fluff up the couscous with a fork. Add the vegetables and mint leaves. Squeeze over a drizzle of lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.
Divide couscous between plates, scatter over feta cheese. Top with pork cutlet and drizzle over resting juices. Serve with lemon cheeks or wedges on the side, if using.
1. The pork cutlets I used were about 1.5cm/ 2/3 inches thick. The cooking times assumes that they are at room temperature.
2. You can get Lemon Pepper in the dried herbs and spices aisle in supermarkets. They cost around the same as other herbs and spices.
3. Nutrition per serving.