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Great Food Fast: Real Business Owners Share Their Quick Tasty Recipes These entrepreneurs know the best way to enjoy a homecooked meal: making it themselves.

By Marjorie Backman

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Not content to settle for takeout, these entrepreneurs (who moonlight as columnists for invent or adapt recipes to please their own palate after a long, busy day. Plus, a few of their recipes below help prime them for extra productivity when they're back on the job. Do any of these inspire you to perhaps pick up a saucepan?

Dan Yoo's Stone Kalbi

This is a modified recipe for Korean-style beef short ribs from a restaurant I co-own, Stone Korean Kitchen in San Francisco. I love barbecues in the summertime. I would not characterize this as a healthy dish but it's one that reminds me of growing up with my mom's Korean food.

3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons granulated cane sugar
5 tablespoons water or Sprite
4 tablespoons red wine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
Pinch of ground black pepper
4 beef short rib strips (about 2 ounces each)


Combine all the ingredients (except the short ribs) in a bowl and stir well with a spoon to make the marinade and set aside.

Lightly score and tenderize the short ribs with a tenderizing hammer or fork. Pour marinade in a plastic Ziploc bag and add short ribs. Shake gently to fully cover short ribs and let sit in refrigerator for at least eight hours or as long as 24 hours.

Grill short ribs over charcoal for best results. The short ribs can also be cooked over medium-high heat in a frying pan. Serve with rice, green-leaf lettuce and kimchi. Serves two people.

Barbara Bates' Spaghetti Carbonara

½ pound bacon
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound of dry spaghetti
2 large eggs, preferably farm-raised organic brown eggs
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Fresh cracked black pepper and salt (optional)


In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Let cool, crumble into bits and set as aside, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons of bacon grease. Add onions to the same skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons bacon grease and sauté until caramelized.

Fill a large pot with water, add olive oil and salt. When water is boiling, add pasta. When pasta is finished, drain water and remove from heat.

Whisk eggs together in separate mixing bowl. Quickly, while the pasta is still warm, pour egg mixture over pasta. Toss to coat and ensure the eggs thicken, but do not scramble.

Add bacon, sautéed onions, toasted pine nuts and 1 tablespoon bacon grease into the pasta, then toss everything together.

Add Parmesan cheese and toss again. Add fresh cracked black pepper and salt, if desired. Serve immediately.

Jaclyn Mullen's Spaghetti Squash With Poached Salmon in Vodka Sauce

I grew up helping my Armenian grandmother, mom and aunt cook. Now I cook very intuitively. I once had penne with salmon and vodka sauce in Miami. Years later when I spotted a spaghetti squash in the produce aisle in Los Angeles, it dawned on me that I could enjoy it as a healthier alternative to pasta. I'd only tried spaghetti squash once as a kid but knew its texture would compliment poached salmon. Spaghetti squash is low in calories, full of nutrients and cooks fast. Salmon is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and poaching is a time saver. Combined with vodka sauce (ideally I'd make it from scratch) these ingredients create a dish robust with flavor and texture.

1 24-ounce jar, store-bought vodka sauce
1 spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon butter
½ pound of salmon filet
1 dash of sea salt

Clean spaghetti squash with quick rinse of water. Cut spaghetti squash in half. (You may want to wear gloves with grips and try out a few of your kitchen knives to see which you feel the most comfortable using).

Bring 2/3 pot of water, with a tablespoon of olive oil and dash of sea salt, to a boil. Place spaghetti squash halves with the exposed (cut) side down in the water for 10 minutes.

While spaghetti squash is cooking, prep and poach the salmon in a frying pan. To poach, pour 1 cup of water in frying pan over medium heat. Add salmon filet and one teaspoon of butter. Cover and set timer for 5 minutes. Once timer goes off, check to see that salmon is cooked. It should be light pink in color and flake easily with a fork.

Remove spaghetti squash from boiling water. Place on a cutting board and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour jar of vodka sauce into 1.5-quart saucepan. Cover and cook for 4 minutes over low heat. Pour sauce contents into a round casserole dish along with flaked salmon.

Using a fork, remove seeds from spaghetti squash halves. Discard and continue using fork to pull off long strands of spaghetti squash. Empty contents from both halves of spaghetti squash into casserole dish along with vodka sauce and salmon. Mix all contents together witha spaghetti spoon. Reheat if necessary.

Serve and enjoy. Among my circle of friends, I'm known for this delicious, healthy dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make. This is a meal that an entrepreneur can easily make then enjoy leftovers for a day or two. Talk about a return on investment!

Kelsey Ramsden's Fast Gourmet Mac and Cheese

I invented this dish in a friend's kitchen in Melbourne, Australia, while sewing a bathing suit for myself back when I thought I might begin a line for curvy gals. I never started the company but the mac and cheese I ate for dinner that night was a great thing that came of the idea-vetting process.

2 boxes macaroni and cheese dinner
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
½ onion, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1½ tablespoons butter
1 cup mixed grated cheeses

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Make the macaroni according to the directions on the box.

At the same time, fry up the mushrooms and onion in butter.

When the macaroni is done and the mushrooms and onions browned, mix them together, then add the fresh oregano and half the grated cheeses. (I usually use some Cheddar, mozzarella and a bit of Parmesan.) Stir a few times.

Put the mixture in an oven-safe dish and sprinkle the remainder of cheese on top. Place in oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

If you want to get fancy, broil on low for the last 5 minutes to get a nice brown top.

Robert Reid's Tahitian French Toast


1 loaf Texas toast (or French bread, sliced in 1-inch rounds)
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Tahitian vanilla
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more if desired)
Nutmeg (optional)

Preheat skillet or griddle to medium-high temperature; coat with nonstick spray. Mix together milk, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.

Dip bread slices into milk mixture, then place on griddle. Sprinkle on cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of the toast while cooking. Serve immediately.

Kate Swoboda's Kate Courageous Breakfast Smoothie

This is my take on a breakfast smoothie I had once at a dining spot, only I changed the regular milk to coconut milk, the peanut butter to almond butter and added the flax and chia seeds.

16 ounces of coconut milk (the kind for cereal, not the thick kind from a can)
1 banana, sliced
3/4 cup frozen blueberries (or fresh, if available)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon chia seeds
3 tablespoons almond butter
Honey or a boost of green nutrition powder or maca powder (optional)

This smoothie comes out with a better consistency if the ingredients are blended in phases. Start by blending in a high-powered blender the coconut milk, banana and blueberries to a smooth consistency. Then add flaxseed and chia seeds and blend those in. Finally, add the almond butter and blend again. If more sweetness is desired, blend in added honey, and green nutrition powder or maca powder for an extra boost of nutrition.

Matthew Toren's Power-Me-Up Snack

I can prepare this quick, healthful snack before I start a workout or a conference call and get an energy boost in less than an hour.

1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
4 heaping tablespoons finely ground raw cacao nibs
1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon of ground chia seeds
3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon of finely chopped raw organic almonds

Blend the first five ingredients. Fold in the the almonds. Roll them into 1-inch balls and place on a wax paper-covered cookie sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes, but don't eat them all at once! It's a great 3 p.m. pick-me-up snack.

Jonathan Long's 30-Second Protein Pucks

I make these on Sunday nights and they provide a quick healthy breakfast that I can warm up in 30 seconds before heading out the door. They will take you 20 minutes to prepare and you'll have your breakfasts lined up for the week.

8 egg whites
½ cup almond milk
¼ cup chopped red pepper
¼ cup chopped green pepper
¼ cup chopped onion
Cheese (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350ºF while you mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Generously coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and then pour the mix into the 12 cups, evenly distributing among them.

Bake for 20 minutes and then let the pucks cool for 5 minutes. Refrigerate and then microwave two of them for 30 seconds each morning for a healthy and quick breakfast. Serve with 2 slices of Ezekiel toast for a complete, balanced breakfast to kick-start your day.

Marjorie Backman

Assistant Editor,

Marjorie Backman is an assistant editor at  

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