A heaping bowl of greens, white bean and potato soup can see the family through a couple of meals (and maybe a lunch) this week.
Drain 2 cans of white beans, mash in a bowl and set aside. Heat some oil in a large soup pot and add diced red bell pepper and onion. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then add 4 medium red potatoes, sliced in thick half-moons. Cook for 10 minutes and add a minced garlic clove. Stir in 4 cups vegetable broth, the smashed beans and a few shakes of nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add lots of green (chard, kale or spinach). Simmer for at least 15 minutes. Serve with shaves of parmesan and crusty bread.
Tuesday: One-pan wonder
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Molly Gilbert’s clever Sheet Pan Suppers is a wonderful source for one-pan dinners — 120 of them. Honey-Orange Shrimp with Baby Bok Choy (see recipe) is a roasted mélange of sweet and savory, thanks to the glaze and the veggies and seafood. Serve it with jasmine rice.
Wednesday: BBQ sandwiches
Barbecued chicken sandwiches are a slap-dash dinner for a busy night. Shred a rotisserie bird and heat the meat with a barbecue sauce of your choice. Pile it on soft rolls and top with coleslaw. Bake frozen sweet potato fries and serve alongside.
Thursday: The thighs have it
Pan-seared chicken thighs with carrots and shallots is a Martha Stewart recipe without the usual complications. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and season thighs with salt and pepper, then sprinkle on all sides with flour. Place thighs skin side down and cook for about 10 minutes. Turn chicken over and push to one side, then add thinly sliced carrots and a minced shallot to open space. Cook for another 12 minutes. Serve with fresh chopped parsley and mashed potatoes.
Friday: Go Greek
Serve up big bowls of Greek meatballs with orzo for dinner tonight. Thaw frozen meatballs (look for a variety that’s not overtly Italian) and then brown in a skillet. Add red sauce and heat through. While that’s cooking, prepare the orzo.
Spoon meatballs and sauce over pasta and top with chopped fresh mint and parsley, plus lots of feta crumbles. Serve with a salad of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers dressed with red wine vinaigrette.
Saturday: Easy Entertaining
Invite friends for a casual dinner of pan-fried trout with lemon wedges.
Coat trout fillets in flour. Heat a little canola oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add trout and cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned and opaque in center, turning once. Serve fish with roasted potatoes, deli coleslaw and sourdough bread. Make dessert light with raspberry sorbet.
Sunday: Family Day
Serve baked lamb shoulder chops for a new flavor today. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle 4 lamb shoulder chops with coarse salt, pepper and chopped fresh rosemary. Place on a bed of sliced onions in a roasting pan, cover with foil and bake 40 minutes; reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake 30 more minutes.
Serve with parsley buttered potatoes and Artichoke and Mushroom Bake (see recipe). Add a red-tipped lettuce salad with pomegranate and a side of crusty rolls. Angel food cake with blueberries and light whipped cream is an easy dessert.
Artichoke and Mushroom Bake
1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichokes packed in water, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped shallots
8 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 1 1/2- or 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon artichokes into dish. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add garlic and shallots and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste, lemon juice and bread crumbs; cook 3 minutes. Spoon mushroom mixture over artichokes; mix well. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until hot. Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 94 calories, 3 g protein, 5 g fat (45 percent calories from fat), 1 g saturated fat, 10 g carbohydrates, no cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 188 mg sodium. Carb choices: 1/2.
Honey-Orange Shrimp with Baby Bok Choy
1 1/2 pounds 26/30 count raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound baby bok choy, sliced lengthwise into quarters
Place the shrimp, orange zest, 1/4 cup orange juice, olive oil, hot sauce, Dijon mustard and garlic in a medium-size bowl or gallon-size zip-top bag, and toss to combine. (Seal the bag and shake gently.) Cover the bowl and marinate the shrimp in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center position. Mist a sheet pan with a lip with cooking spray.
Whisk together the butter, honey, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and remaining 3 tablespoons orange juice in a small bowl. Place the bok choy on the sheet pan, drizzle with the dressing, and toss to coat. Spread out the bok choy in a single layer. Roast the bok choy, rotating the pan halfway through, until it starts to brown and the sauce has thickened, about 25 minutes.
Add the shrimp and its marinade to the pan in a single layer over the bok choy, and roast until the shrimp are bright pink and just cooked through, an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4.
Source: “Sheet Pan Suppers” by Molly Gilbert (Workman, $16).