Serve earthy Garlicky Mushrooms and Quinoa with a bright tangle of fresh fruit.
To make the main dish, cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and add 1 pound of mushrooms. (I like a combination of wild and button.) Let cook for a few minutes and then add 3 large gloves minced garlic and 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary. Cook for another 5 minutes and then stir in cooked quinoa. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated Romano cheese.
Tuesday: Soupy, Cheesy
Make the family a pot of Cheese Ravioli and Greens Soup by first sautéing finely chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil in a large soup pot. Let them soften and slightly brown. Add 1 diced carrot and cook for another couple of minutes. Pour in 2 boxes of broth, chicken or veggie, bring to a simmer and add ravioli. When the cheese packets are almost done, dump in a bag of baby spinach leaves. Serve with shaves of parmesan cheese.
This Retro Chicken Salad can be served many ways — over lettuce, stuffed in pitas or as an open-faced broiled sandwich with melted cheese. Dice the chicken from a store-bought rotisserie bird and make a dressing of mayonnaise, a bit of sour cream and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix with chicken and add halved grapes and toasted chopped walnuts. Serve with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Thursday: BBQ Pork
The detail-oriented folks at America’s Test Kitchen can be trusted to stir us in the right way when it comes to recipes. Barbecue Pork Tenderloin With Cabbage Slaw (see recipe) sounds a bit odd with its directions to use barbecue sauce in the slaw dressing. But the sweet, smoky sauce adds flavor and helps emulsify the dressing.
Friday: Fish with flair
Spiced Salmon With Mustard Sauce, from myrecipes.com, is a super-fast dish that packs a lot of flavor. Mix 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard with 1 teaspoon honey, 1/4 teaspoon each ground turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper, and a couple of shakes of garlic powder. This is enough to rub on 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets. Broil for 8 minutes on greased jelly roll pan skin-side down. Serve with roasted asparagus topped with lemon zest.
Saturday: Easy Entertaining
Treat your guests to Citrus Lamb Chops (see recipe). Serve couscous and sugar snap peas alongside. Add a mixed greens salad and baguettes. For dessert, buy a coconut layer cake.
Sunday: Family Day
Our extended family couldn’t get enough of Chicken with Olives and Peas (see recipe). Serve the easy, flavor-packed entree over rice. Add a salad and whole-grain rolls. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert.
Barbecue Pork Tenderloin with Cabbage Slaw
2 pork tenderloins (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
Salt and pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup water
3/4 cup barbecue sauce, divided use
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 romaine hearts, sliced thin
1/2 small head red cabbage, cored and sliced thin
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook tenderloins until browned on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add water and 1/2 cup barbecue sauce and cook, turning tenderloins occasionally, until sauce is thickened and meat registers 145 degrees, about 12 minutes. (If the sauce begins to stick to the pan, stir in water, 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time.) Transfer pork to cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
Combine vinegar, cilantro and remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce in a large bowl, slowly whisking in remaining oil. Add romaine, cabbage and carrot to bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange slaw on individual plates. Slice pork and arrange on slaw. Serves 4 to 6.
Source: “The Best Simple Recipes by America’s Test Kitchen” (Boston Common Press, 2010).
Chicken With Olives and Peas
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed olives
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon no-salt-added tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 small bay leaves, broken in half
3 to 3 1/2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken thighs and drumsticks (about 6 each)
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine potatoes, bell pepper, onion, tomato sauce, broth, olives, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, coarse salt, pepper and bay leaves; mix well. Add chicken and mix well. Cover and cook on low 6 hours; add peas and cook 1 hour on high or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender. Discard bay leaves and serve. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 334 calories, 33 g protein, 13 g fat (34 percent calories from fat), 2.9 g saturated fat, 22 g carbohydrates, 162 mg cholesterol, 469 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.
Citrus Lamb Chops
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 loin lamb chops, 3/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons dry white vermouth or unsalted chicken broth
1 orange, peeled and cut into sections
1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat broiler. In a small bowl, mix garlic and oil. Rub mixture evenly on both sides of chops. Broil 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt butter on medium. Add shallots and cook 3 minutes. Stir in orange juice and vermouth or broth; bring to boil. Boil 10 seconds or until slightly reduced. Remove from heat. Stir in the oranges and herbes de Provence. Return to heat briefly to warm the fruit. Season chops with salt and pepper to taste. Place each chop on dinner plate and spoon sauce over chop. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 235 calories, 19 g protein, 12 g fat (47 percent calories from fat), 4.4 g saturated fat, 10 g carbohydrates, 66 mg cholesterol, 126 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.