School, work, household chores, family moments: Who has time to cook? Food author Michael Pollan maintains that the average household in the U.S. spends about 27 minutes each day on food prep [source: Wilson]. Rachael Ray to the rescue! On the Food Network's "30 Minute Meals," the energetic and confident Ray demonstrated recipes for busy viewers with limited budgets. The food was prepared in real time, so the 30-minute time limit couldn't be faked.
The series, which ran from 2000 to 2012, focused on simple recipes, common ingredients, and, occasionally (gasp!), store-bought shortcuts. Sure, you could make cornbread from scratch, but you can also use a decent mix from a box while you concentrate on the rest of the meal. Ray had recipes to cover all your food needs. Need reduced-calorie ideas? She had 'em. Want something the kids will like? Maybe homemade versions of takeout food! Planning on hosting a tailgate party? Look no further. Ray even offered variations of the classic American burger.