Zero Time Recipes for Parents

Jacqui and Lindsay’s Absolutely No Time Recipes


These recipes are meant to be done when you have absolutely no time. And I mean, NO TIME. Like, while a toddler clings to your leg, a preschooler is yelling for you from another room, and your third child is trying to eat dog food. Most of them are meant to be done in the time it takes to say, “Just a minute! I’ll be right there!… I’m coming! Here I come!”


It helps to have certain kitchen appliances to let you “set it and forget it” because you can’t be watching food while trying to manage your kids. I use a t-fal actifry for a lot of roasted vegetables, an instant pot for chicken, and a slow cooker for a lot of things. My other favourite is the quick slice from pampered chef for chopping up peppers.


Spare Ribs

Put spare ribs on a baking pan and cook beside baking potatoes (poke holes) for 1.5 hours at 350 (Sometimes I like 375 to get extra crispy meat). You can also bake sweet potatoes if you like. I grew up on this recipe. Never does me wrong!


Chicken Wings

Cook in oven with salt and pepper at 425 for 45 minutes (or in t-fal for half an hour). Toss with BBQ sauce if desired.


Instant Pot Chicken

Place frozen, whole chicken in instant pot with about an inch of water at the bottom. Set it on Poultry for one hour. I like to give it at least 30 minutes of release time but it has turned out okay with just 20. Start it around 3:00 or 3:30pm for a 5:00-5:30 dinner.


Maple Dijon, Pecan Crusted Salmon

Combine a table spoon of Dijon mustard with a tablespoon of maple syrup. Brush on top of 4 salmon fillets. Press chopped pecans on top. Bake at 425° for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.


Roasted Salmon and Asparagus (by Caitlin Reid)

– preheat oven to 400 degrees f

– Rub salmon in olive oil, salt and pepper 

– Drizzle olive oil on asparagus and cover with salt and pepper

– Put both on same roasting pan or two if not enough space

– Cook in oven for 20 mins 

– Turn over asparagus halfway through

– Cool rice on stove top (boil in medium pot, then turn down to simmer for approx 15-20 mins – depending on rice) (Omit this if you can’t while watching kids).

– Squeeze lemon juice on salmon if desired 



2 lb ground beef or 1 lb beef and 1 lb pork.

2 tbsp steak spice,

2 tbsp worchestershire sauce,

2 eggs. Make into patties and BBQ (hopefully while the kids play happily outside). (Or store half the patties in the freezer for next time before barbecuing.


“Italian” Chicken Thighs

Put boneless skinless chicken thighs in slow cooker and pour pasta sauce on top (I like curry tomato sauce). Serve over spaghetti squash.


Spaghetti Squash

Martha Stewart had a good method that seems simple: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a small sharp knife, prick squash all over. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. When cool enough to handle, halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands.


This is the method I have always used, but I hear microwaves kill off some of the nutrients. But in a pinch, it’s better than nothing!

For Microwave: cut in half and scrape out insides. Lay face down on dinner plate with about a 1/4 cup water on it. Microwave about 10 min or until tender. Scrape out with fork.


Slow Cooker Roast Chicken with Vegetables

Slow cook small whole chicken with some water. Three hours before it’s done put in potatoes. Two hours before it’s done, toss carrot and celery sticks in the water. (Don’t bother chopping up carrots or potatoes. You can do that quickly when they are cooked). Salt and pepper. Take out when cooked. 


Pulled pork

Slow cook pork tenderloin or pork shoulder or pork loin in about two inches of water or chicken broth. Cook for 8 hours. Pour off broth and remove bones (if necessary) and fat (not necessary for pork tenderloin). Shred and pour bbq sauce over it and mix (Newman’s Own has pretty good ingredients). Serve as pulled pork sandwiches with extra bbq sauce, or pulled pork tacos, or pulled pork nachos!

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