Dinner Tonight: Pork
Quick-cooking and easy to work with, lean cuts of pork can work in all sorts of dishes.
Time: 30 minutes
Serve with Haricots Verts Salad: Cook ¾ pound trimmed haricots verts in boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge beans into ice water; drain. Place beans in a medium bowl; add ½ cup slivered red bell pepper. Combine 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, 2 tablespoons minced shallots, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinaigrette over bean mixture; toss to coat.
Simple Sub: Regular greens beans will work great in the salad, but you’ll need to cook them a few minutes longer.
Time: 40 minutes
Make-Ahead Tip: You can freeze the stew for up to two months.
Serve with Jalepeño Corn Bread: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine 1 cup low-fat buttermilk, ¼ cup canola oil, 3 tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and 2 large eggs in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Sprinkle 4 teaspoons baking powder over batter; whisk until blended. Fold in 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 4.5 ounces (about 1 cup) all-purpose flour, and 1 chopped jalepeño pepper (do not remove seeds). Spoon batter into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minute or until lightly browned.
Time: 40 minutes
Time-Saver: Use bottled ground fresh ginger, found in the produce section.
Serve with Honey Oranges: Peel and section 4 large oranges over a bowl, reserving excess juice. Combine juice, 1 tablespoon honey, and a dash of ground allspice; stir with a whisk. Add orange sections to honey mixture; toss to coat.
Time: 40 minutes
Simple Sub: Replace the coriander with paprika or smoked paprika in the spice rub.
Serve with Lemon Green Beans: Steam 8 ounces green beans 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Toss with 1 teaspoon
olive oil, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
And Sweet Potato Wedges: Cut 1 large peeled sweet potato lengthwise into 10 wedges. Combine potato wedges, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, and 1/4 teaspoon paprika; toss to coat. Arrange wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 500º for 16 to 20 minutes or until done, turning after 9 minutes.
Prep Pointer: Adding ricotta to the meatballs keeps them moist.
Serve with Spinach and Mozzarella Salad: Combine 1 cup julienne-cut red bell pepper, 1 cup sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar in a large bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Add 6 cups baby spinach, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Toss. Top with 6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mozzarella. CALORIES 98; FAT 7.3g (sat 2.3g); SODIUM 167mg
Time Saver: Quick-cooking grits shave off more than 15 minutes.
Serve with Wilted Spinach: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon minced garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add 1 (9-ounce) package fresh spinach; sauté 2 minutes. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. CALORIES 47; FAT 3.6g (sat 0.5g); SODIUM 198mg
Flavor Hit: Mustard adds tanginess to the pork and helps the crust adhere to the meat.
Serve with Roasted Root Vegetables: Preheat oven to 450°. Combine 8 ounces quartered small red potatoes, 2 thinly sliced carrots, and 2 thinly sliced parsnips in a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1 minced garlic clove; toss well to coat. Arrange vegetable mixture on a rack placed in a broiler pan. Bake at 450° for 28 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Serves 4 (serving size: 3/4 cup). CALORIES 144; FAT 3.7g (sat 0.5g); SODIUM 106mg
Flavor Hit: Fresh rosemary infuses the sauce with pinelike fragrance and taste.
Serve with Grilled Peaches: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 4 peach halves to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side. Cut each half into 3 wedges. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 wedges). CALORIES 34; FAT 0.2g (sat 0g); SODIUM 0mg
Serve with Wild Rice Salad: Cook 1 cup fast-cooking white and wild rice per directions, omitting seasoning. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 2 tablespoons chopped dried cherries, and 2 tablespoons chopped pecans. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup). CALORIES 199; FAT 2.8g (sat 0.3g); SODIUM 153mg
Time: 40 minutes
Flavor Hit: Cook tortillas over an open gas flame or in a grill pan for chargrilled flavor.
Serve with Radish and Fennel Salad: Combine 1 cup thinly sliced radishes, 1 cup thinly sliced fennel, 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery, and 1 tablespoon finely chopped niçoise olives in a large bowl. Combine 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Drizzle juice mixture over radish mixture. Yield: 4 servings. CALORIES 48; FAT 2.7g (sat 0.4g); SODIUM 199mg
SimpleSub: Use finely chopped green onions in place of chives for the potatoes.
Serve with Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes: Prepare 1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated mashed potatoes according to package directions. Stir in 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon butter and ½ teaspoon minced fresh chives.
Prep Pointer: Use a mandoline or julienne slicer to help the slaw come together faster.
Serve with Radish-Squash Slaw: Combine 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce, 2 teaspoons honey, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add 3/4 cup each of julienne-cut carrot, daikon radish, and yellow squash; toss. Top with 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves. Yield: 4 servings. CALORIES 101; FAT 7.5g (sat 1g); SODIUM 234mg
Prep Pointer: Toasting cumin seeds deepens their smoky flavor.
Serve with Lemon Broccolini: Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add 2 (6-ounce) bunches Broccolini, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; sauté 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat; stir in 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind. Yield: 4 servings. CALORIES 55; FAT 2.3g (sat 0.3g); SODIUM 173mg
Time: 30 minutes
Simple Sub: If you don't have mirin, use 2 tablespoons dry sherry plus 1 teaspoon sugar.
Serve with Soy-Buttered Sugar Snap Peas: Steam 1 pound sugar snap peas 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and place in a bowl. Combine 5 teaspoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper. Drizzle butter mixture over peas; toss to coat.
Simple Sub: Use any fruit you like in place of melons—peaches, pineapple, or mango.
Serve with Garlic Texas Toast: Preheat oven to 375°. Combine 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 minced garlic clove in a small bowl. Brush 1 side of each of 4 (1½-ounce) slices country sourdough bread with butter mixture. Place bread on a baking sheet; bake at 375° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
Shopping Tip: Try colorful heirloom tomatoes from your local farmers' market.
Serve with Sweet Potato Fries: Preheat oven to 450°. Cut 1 large, peeled sweet potato into ¼-inch strips. Combine sweet potato, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper in a large bowl; toss to combine. Arrange in a single layer on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. CALORIES 58; FAT 3.4g (sat 0.5g); SODIUM 138mg
Flavor Hit: Grade B syrup has the strongest maple flavor.
Serve with Goat Cheese Toasts: Preheat broiler. Place 8 (½-inch-thick) slices baguette on a baking sheet. Spread 1½ teaspoons goat cheese over each bread slice. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme; broil 2 minutes or until toasted. CALORIES 112; FAT 3.6g (sat 2.1g); SODIUM 217mg
Budget Buy: Purchase bone-in pork chops instead of boneless.
Serve with Haricots Verts and Mustard Vinaigrette: Cook 2 (8-ounce) packages microwave in-a-bag fresh haricots verts according to package directions. Combine 11⁄2 teaspoons olive oil, 11⁄2 teaspoons cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard, 14⁄ teaspoon kosher salt, and 14⁄ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl. Add beans; toss well to coat. CALORIES 51; FAT 1.8g (sat 0.3g); SODIUM 143mg
Feed a Family: Substitute green beans for bitter Brussels sprouts.
Serve with Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Preheat oven to 425°. Combine 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, 2 teaspoons canola oil, 1-1⁄2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 pound halved Brussels sprouts on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 425° for 17 minutes, stirring once. CALORIES 122; FAT 7.1g (sat 0.6g); SODIUM 176mg
Simple Sub: Use bacon instead of pancetta.
Serve with Pear and Winter Lettuce Salad: Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Add 2 heads thinly sliced Belgian endive, 1 small head thinly sliced radicchio, and 1 large sliced pear; toss to combine. CALORIES 103; FAT 7g (sat 1g); SODIUM 188mg
Flavor Hit: Grated lemon rind perks up ordinary peas.
Serve with Mashed Potatoes: Place 2 cups frozen precut baking potatoes (such as Ore Ida Steam n' Mash) in a bowl. Microwave at HIGH 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat milk, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; mash potatoes. Sprinkle with additional pepper, if desired. CALORIES 88; FAT 3.5g (sat 0.6g); SODIUM 251mg
Serve with Lemon-Mint Peas: Place 2 cups frozen green peas and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl; cover. Microwave at HIGH 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon chopped mint, 1 teaspoon butter, ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; toss. CALORIES 68; FAT 1.3g (sat 0.7g); SODIUM 86mg
Flavor Swap: For a fruitier vinaigrette, use balsamic vinegar.
Serve with Bacon-Herb Salad: Cook 2 center-cut bacon slices in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Pour drippings into a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt to bowl; stir with a whisk. Add 1 (6-ounce) package herb salad mix; toss to coat. Sprinkle with bacon. CALORIES 30; FAT 1g (sat 0.5g); SODIUM 203mg
Flavor Swap: Use honey mustard instead of Dijon for a sweeter sauce.
Serve with Rolls with Honey-Orange Butter: Preheat oven to 450°. Combine 1½ tablespoons softened butter, ½ teaspoon grated orange rind, and ½ teaspoon honey in a small bowl. Place 4 frozen dinner rolls (such as Alexia Artisan French Rolls) on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until heated and lightly browned. Serve rolls with butter mixture. CALORIES 150; FAT 4.8g (sat 2.7g); SODIUM 266mg
Simple Sub: If you can't find five-spice powder, simply substitute a mixture of ground ginger and cinnamon.
Serve with Snap Pea Sauté: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil; swirl to coat. Add 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 2 cups trimmed sugar snap peas and 2 cups trimmed snow peas. Stir-fry 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and 1½ teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce to pan; cook 30 seconds. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds. SERVES 4 (serving size: ½ cup) CALORIES 67; FAT 4.3g (sat 0.6g); SODIUM 70mg
Make Ahead: Prepare the pork mixture, without the sour cream, up to a week in advance. To serve, cook noodles, reheat pork mixture, and stir in sour cream.
Serve with Apple Salad with Mustard Dressing: Combine 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1½ tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon minced shallot, 2 teaspoons whole-grain Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons honey, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 2 cups thinly sliced Fuji apple and 1 (5-ounce) package mixed spring greens; toss to coat. CALORIES 93; FAT 5.1g (sat 0.7g); SODIUM 221mg
Budget Buy: A bundle of fresh poultry herbs, found in the produce section, contains both rosemary and sage.
Serve with Arugula Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette: Combine 4 teaspoons lemon juice, 4 teaspoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, and 1 chopped green onion in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 4 cups arugula, 1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; toss gently to coat. CALORIES 67; FAT 5.8g (sat 1.3g); SODIUM 129mg
Quick Fix: If you don't have a grill, you can roast the corn ears at 400° for 30 minutes and cook the pork and zucchini in a cast-iron skillet or grill pan.
Serve with Grilled Corn with Lime: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Combine 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 teaspoon grated lime rind, and 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, stirring with a whisk. Place 4 ears shucked corn on grill. Grill 15 minutes or until lightly charred, turning occasionally. Place corn on a serving plate; brush with juice mixture. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. SERVES 4 (serving size: 1 ear) CALORIES 114; FAT 4.3g (sat 2.2g); SODIUM 161mg
Time: 40 minutes
Downside: This meal halves easily, but consider roasting all the tomatoes; use leftovers in omelets or sandwiches.
Make Ahead: The corn cakes can be made a couple of days ahead and stored in an airtight container. Reheat them in the microwave.
Serve with Silver Dollar Corn Cakes: Combine ½ cup yellow cornmeal, ¼ cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Combine ½ cup low-fat buttermilk and 1 large egg in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in cornmeal mixture, 1 cup fresh corn kernels, and 2 tablespoons chopped green onions. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 8 (1-tablespoon) mounds batter to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove corn cakes from pan. Repeat with remaining batter to yield 16 corn cakes total. SERVES 4 (serving size: about 4 corn cakes) CALORIES 170; FAT 2.3g (sat 0.7g); SODIUM 239mg
Time: 30 minutes
Prep Pointer: Cut one-third off each potato to scoop out and stuff more easily. For a flavor swap, sub 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken breast for the ham.
Serve with Apple and Almond Salad: Combine 1½ tablespoons olive oil, 1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 6 cups mixed spring greens, ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds, and 1 thinly sliced medium apple. Toss to coat. SERVES 4 (serving size: 1½ cups) CALORIES 110; FAT 8g (sat 0.9g); SODIUM 120mg
Time: 30 minutes
Shopping Tip: Look for sweet-savory hoisin sauce on the Asian foods aisle. Other uses: Brush over salmon, or combine with soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil for a flavorful marinade.
Serve with Radish and Carrot Slaw: Combine 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 2 cups matchstick-cut carrots, 1 cup shredded radishes, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro; toss to coat. SERVES 4 (serving size: about 1/2 cup) CALORIES 38; FAT 0.2g (sat 0g); SODIUM 244mg