There is a reason takeout exists. Consider the many scenarios when a fast mid-week meal is exactly what you need. Late night at work. Hungry kids. Hungry kids when you had a late night at work. Post-soccer practice, play rehearsal, possibly standing in your kitchen hungry kids with hungry friends. No hungry kids but a hungry you! Maybe you’re sick, tired, or low energy. All of these situations call for a last minute and very fast mid-week meal. The following ideas are so good you can eat them whenever really, even on the weekend or when you have your day off. No takeout needed.


Set yourself up for mid-week meal success by stockpiling our quickest cooking cuts, things you can simply sear in your favorite pan on the stovetop for a few minutes per side and that’s it. You can marinate or not, depending on your timing. Keep staples to go with these quick proteins and you’ll always be only minutes away from a home cooked meal: pasta, rice, quinoa, bread, canned beans, frozen corn and peas, lettuce, pickles, tortillas. You know what you like. 

You can stop by and pick up our quickest cooking cuts 24/7. But if you don’t have time to come to the store, they don’t take long to defrost so keep some of the following in your freezer: stir-fry beef, minute steaks, flat iron steaks, chicken breasts, pork cutlets, pork tenderloin, merlot steak, sausage, ground beef, meatballs. All of these can be done in twenty minutes or less — mid-week meal heaven.


So you have your staples, now what to make? We asked Josh Applestone, speed-round style, to share what he would do with the following cuts last minute, confronted with his hungry kid after a long day at work.

*Chicken Breast

I’d make a giant salad and some grains. I’d  put some bottled teriyaki sauce on the chicken, then I’d sear it on both sides, stick it in the oven briefly, and cut it into strips to go over the salad. Or I’d stir-fry it. Or I’d pound it flad and make a cutlet. Many options. 

*Beef Minute Steak

Sear, sear, done. Don’t even stick it in the oven. 

*Pork Cutlet

Marinate and sear really quick and serve with vegetables. Or slice and stirfry with cabbage and apples and apple cider. Serve with a sweet potato—nuke it in no time flat.

*Stir-Fry Beef

I cook this almost raw; it covercooks so easily. Before it even starts purging liquid, like a minute, it’s done. By the time you get it to the plate, it’s cooked through. I do everything with stir-fry beef, it depends on what’s in the fridge. The days of me planning ahead for a meal are long gone. It’s equally good marinated or not.

*Kebab Meat

We have beef and lamb. The problem with kebabs is that people put stuff on skewers that take way less time to cook than the meat. You need things that cook in same amount of time. Put a tomato on there or mushrooms and they will overcook. Peppers get too burned. Make a skewer of meat and another of vegetables and cook them separately on a gas grill. Just don’t use a sugary marinade on your meat or it will burn. The timing is always different, it’s never the same. We all try to do what we can, quickly. Good luck!