With Easter brunches on the horizon — it’s April 5 this year — Spinach and Artichoke Quiche (see recipe) is a good recipe to perfect. You could make a crust from scratch, but a frozen version will give you a head start.
Tuesday: Fast Italian
Scour the contents of the fridge for Quick Weeknight Stromboli. Divide 1 pound of store-bought pizza dough into 4 pieces and roll to a rectangle shape. You can come up with your own combination, but we’re using thawed and squeezed frozen spinach, minced garlic, chopped fresh basil, diced mozzarella and slices of pepperoni. Spread it evenly on the dough and roll to close. Bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with green salad.
Wednesday: Get the grill
Carve up a cooked chicken and serve with Grilled Vegetables. Cook them on the grill outside or inside on a grill pan. Brush sliced onions, zucchini, mushrooms and peppers with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until soft and transfer to a big bowl. Scatter with chopped fresh mint before serving. Couscous on the side.
Thursday: Stir it up
Beef Vegetable Stir-Fry starts with a pound of skirt steak cut into thin strips. Heat oil in a skillet and add strips to hot pan. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in a 1-pound bag of frozen broccoli mix plus 1/2 cup of bottled teriyaki sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook another 5 minutes; add some sliced water chestnuts and heat through. Serve with rice.
Friday: Salad night
It’s not what you know as a Greek salad, but Grilled Shrimp Salad with Feta has a lot of the same elements. Start with a mix of tender butter lettuce and crunchy romaine and add sliced cucumbers and onions, plus diced tomatoes. Top with grilled shrimp, feta cheese and briny kalamata olives. Dress with a tangy vinaigrette. Bread sticks on the side.
Saturday: Easy Entertaining
Your guests will enjoy Grilled Arctic Char and Niçoise Salad (see recipe) for its flavor and appearance. Serve with a side salad. Add baguettes. There were no leftovers when I served our guests cappuccino ice cream pie for dessert.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 (1.4-ounce) package sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix and pie filling, 1 to 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules, 1 cup 2 percent milk, and 1 cup fat-free vanilla ice cream. Beat 2 minutes or until creamy and smooth. Stir in 1 cup light whipped topping and pour into a reduced-fat graham cracker crust. Chill 30 minutes or until firm. Slice and serve with additional whipped topping.
Sunday: Family Day
Celebrate a family Easter next week with a Spiral-Sliced Ham and baked sweet potatoes on the side. Drizzle the split potatoes with fresh orange juice and sprinkle with cinnamon. Add vegetables and biscuits. For dessert, buy a coconut Easter cake.
Spinach and Artichoke Quiche
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup minced shallots
4 large eggs
4 ounces goat cheese (can substitute Gruyere or Monterey Jack)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces cooked spinach (if using frozen, thaw first), squeezed to remove excess water, finely chopped
1/2 cup packed, finely chopped artichoke hearts
2 tablespoons minced chives or green onion greens
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 (9-inch) frozen pie crust
To make the custard filling, melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the minced shallots and cook 3 to 4 minutes until translucent. Remove from heat.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the goat cheese and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the milk, cream, salt, pepper, chopped spinach, chopped artichokes, cooked shallots, chives and lemon zest. Pour filling into the frozen pie crust. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for 30 minutes, or until the center of the quiche has set. Remove from oven and let sit and cool to room temperature before slicing and serving. Serves 6.
GRILLED ARCTIC CHAR AND NIÇOISE SALAD
1 pound small red potatoes
1/2 pound thin green beans (haricots verts)
4 (5-ounce) skinless Arctic char fillets
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted chicken broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 Boston lettuce leaves
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
8 Niçoise olives
Cover potatoes with cold water in a medium pan; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Remove with slotted spoon; reserve water. Cool potatoes, then slice 1/4-inch thick. Return water to boil. Add green beans; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Drain; rinse under cold running water. Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Heat grill to medium-high. Sprinkle char with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Grill fish 4 minutes or until just opaque in center. Transfer to cutting board. For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together broth, vinegar, oil, shallot and mustard. Place char on platter; serve with potatoes, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, olives and dressing. Discard skin before eating. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 343 calories, 35 g protein, 10 g fat (27 percent calories from fat), 0.6 g saturated fat, 30 g carbohydrate, 52 mg cholesterol, 356 mg sodium, 5 g fiber. Carb choices: 2.
Source: Adapted from “Weight Watchers Complete New Cookbook,” Theresa Di Masi, editor; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.