Open-face roasted veggie melts pair amiably with steaming mugs of tomato soup.
For the veggies, coat strips of red pepper and slices of portobello mushrooms with olive oil and season with coarse salt. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Set aside.
Toast bread and then spread with mixture of mayo and minced garlic. Spoon on roasted veggies and top with slices of Gouda cheese. Broil for about 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and a bit browned.
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Tuesday: Shrimp’s on
Put a spin on messy New Orleans barbecued shrimp with Greek shrimp and orzo.
Place 3 pounds of peeled, uncooked shrimp in a zip-top bag with a bottle of Greek salad dressing and the juice of 1 lemon. Let it marinate for about an hour. Prepare orzo according to package instructions, giving it more flavor by cooking in chicken or veggie broth. Drain most of the marinade off the shrimp and cook seafood in large skillet over medium-high heat.
When shrimp are cooked, serve over orzo and top with feta cheese crumbles and strips of fresh mint (or basil).
Wednesday: Cheesy sprouts
Carve up a rotisserie chicken and serve it with parmesan brussels sprouts.
To make the veggies side dish, halve as many brussels sprouts as you want to serve. In a large skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter. Add the sprouts, cut-side down, and season with salt and pepper. Add another tablespoon of butter and let cook for about 4 minutes, until brown. Flip and add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Cook another 4 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and serve.
Thursday: Fish bake
Baked Cod with Artichokes, Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (see recipe) is a flavor-packed fish dish that pairs well with couscous to soak up some of the juices.
Any thick, white fish could be substituted, including halibut or grouper. You can use thinner fillets, but you’ll need to reduce cooking time by about 5 minutes.
Friday: French-style pizza
Crusty French bread white pizza is a snap to put together to end the workweek.
First, sauté spinach in olive oil and garlic and set aside to drain. Split the bread and toast in the oven slightly. Remove and spread with Alfredo sauce, then top with spinach and lots of shredded mozzarella. Add some strips of finely cut prosciutto if you’d like. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting or cheese will run.
Serve with a green salad loaded with fresh veggies.
Saturday: Easy Entertaining
Invite guests for your pork tenderloin. Try your pressure-cooker skills with Mushroom Risotto (see recipe), it’s a keeper.
Green peas (frozen) make a pretty plate. Add a Boston lettuce salad and Italian bread. For dessert, pineapple sorbet and butter cookies are easy.
Sunday: Family Day
For family day, bring a new taste to an old favorite with baked turkey breast with cherries.
Serve it with packaged long-grain and wild rice and fresh brussels sprouts. Add sourdough bread. Pound cake drizzled with chocolate sauce is a simple, delicious dessert.
Baked Cod with Artichokes, Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 pound frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
3/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, 1/4 cup oil reserved
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped coarse
4 (6- to 8-ounce) skinless cod fillets, 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 450 degrees. Toss artichokes with 2 tablespoons tomato oil in bowl, season with salt and pepper and spread into 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Roast artichokes until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Remove baking dish from oven and stir in lemon zest, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and 1 tablespoon tomato oil and season with salt and pepper. Pat cod dry with paper towels and nestle into vegetables. Brush cod with remaining 1 tablespoon tomato oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until cod flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife and registers 140 degrees, 15 to 18 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle with basil and serve. Serves 4.
Source: “The New Family Cookbook,” America’s Test Kitchen (2014, $40).
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
1 cup arborio rice
2 1/4 cups fat-free chicken broth
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Black pepper to taste
Melt butter in pressure cooker over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes or until soft; stir often. Add mushrooms and cook 2 minutes. Add rice and cook another 2 minutes; stir constantly. Stir in broth and mix well. Lock lid in place; cook on high heat to bring to high pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain high pressure; cook 7 minutes. Turn off heat. Allow pressure to come down naturally, about 10 minutes. Tip lid away from your face and remove. Stir in parmesan cheese; season with pepper. Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 194 calories, 4 g protein, 7 g fat (34 percent calories from fat), 4.4 g saturated fat, 27 g carbohydrates, 19 mg cholesterol, 167 mg sodium, 1 g fiber. Carb choices: 2.