Dinner Tonight: Vegetarian
Try going meatless at least one night a week. These vegetarian dinners make it hard to find an excuse not to.
Time: 30 minutes
Simple Sub: In place of chipotle chile powder, you can use ½ teaspoon regular chili powder plus 1⁄8 teaspoon ground red pepper.
Serve with Guacamole and Chips: Place 1 ripe peeled avocado in a bowl; mash with a fork. Add 1 tablespoon minced onion, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 minced garlic clove, and ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced. Stir until well blended. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
Time: 40 minutes
Make-Ahead Tip: Hearty ciabatta holds up well, making this a good brown-bag lunch option.
Serve with Tomato-Parmesan Soup: Combine 2 cups commercial boxed tomato soup, ¼ cup half-and-half, ½ teaspoon dried basil, and 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook in a small saucepan over medium heat 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Time: 30 minutes
Simple Sub: Swiss chard, mustard greens, or escarole can stand in for kale.
Serve with Cheese-Tomato Toasts: Broil 4 (1-ounce) slices ciabatta bread for 1 minute. Turn bread over; top each slice with 2 thin plum tomato slices and 1 tablespoon shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
Time: 40 minutes
Simple Sub: In place of goat cheese, try feta or queso fresco
Serve with Romaine-Radicchio Salad: Combine 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 5 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce and 2 cups thinly sliced radicchio; toss to coat. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper.
Flavor Hit: Walnuts lend crunchy contrast to the mushrooms.
Serve with Roasted Acorn Squash: Preheat oven to 400°. Cut 1 acorn squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds. Cut each half into 6 wedges. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add squash; cook 3 minutes or until browned on one side. Turn wedges; sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Place pan in oven; bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until tender. CALORIES 94; FAT 5.9g (sat 3.7g); SODIUM 192mg
Prep Pointer: Halve leeks lengthwise, and rinse thoroughly.
Serve with Greens and Shallot Vinaigrette: Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add 6 cups gourmet salad greens and 1 sliced shallot to bowl; toss gently. CALORIES 82; FAT 6.8g (sat 0.9g); SODIUM 120mg
Technique Tip: Piercing the tofu allows it to absorb the marinade.
Serve with Cashew Rice: Combine 1 cup water, ½ cup long-grain rice, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small saucepan; cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; stir in 1/3 cup sliced green onions and ¼ cup chopped unsalted cashews. CALORIES 136; FAT 4.1g (sat 0.8g); SODIUM 151mg
Simple Sub: Use eggplant instead of yellow squash.
Serve with Mixed Green Salad: Combine 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl. Add 4 cups mixed salad greens; toss. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup). CALORIES 85; FAT 8.2g (sat 1g); SODIUM 7mg
Time: 40 minutes
Vegetarian Swap: Omit prosciutto; add 2 ounces cubed provolone.
Serve with Lemon-Garlic Broccoli Rabe: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ¼ cup water and 1¼ pounds trimmed broccoli rabe to pan. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Cook, uncovered, 2 minutes or until broccoli rabe is tender. Remove from heat, and stir in 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Time: 40 minutes
Vegetarian Swap: Use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
Serve with Romaine-Tomato Salad: Combine 2 tablespoons minced shallots, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, stirring with a whisk. Combine 5 cups torn romaine lettuce and 2 cups halved grape tomatoes. Drizzle with dressing; toss.
Prep Pointer: Vertically sliced onions (as opposed to rings) separate nicely and meld better with the pasta.
Serve with Olive Flatbread: Preheat oven to 450°. Unroll 1 (11-ounce) can refrigerated thin-crust pizza dough onto a baking sheet. Combine 1½ tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 1 minced garlic clove; brush over dough. Sprinkle dough with ⅓ cup chopped kala-mata olives. Bake at 450° for 11 minutes or until browned and done. Top with 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil.
Simple Sub: No Madras? Try 1 1/2 teaspoons regular curry and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper.
Serve with Cashew Basmati Rice: Cook 1 cup basmati rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Stir in 1/4 cup unsalted cashew pieces and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Yield: 4 servings. CALORIES 129; FAT 4g (sat 0.8g); SODIUM 149mg
Technique Tip: Grilling both sides of the crust cooks the dough through.
Serve with Herbed Mediterranean Salad: Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 4 cups salad greens, 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes, ½ cup sliced peeled cucumber, ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, and 2 tablespoons halved, pitted kalamata olives; toss gently. CALORIES 103; FAT 8.8g (sat 1.2g); SODIUM 146mg
Kid Tweak: Omit the curry powder for milder lentils.
Serve with Cumin-Scented Carrots: Preheat oven to 425°. Combine 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄8 teaspoon cumin with 1 pound peeled, trimmed baby carrots, halved lengthwise. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. CALORIES 74; FAT 2.3g (sat 0.3g); SODIUM 208mg
Simple Sub: If raclette isn't available, substitute Gruyère cheese.
Serve with Poblano-Tomato Soup: Place a jelly-roll pan in oven. Preheat broiler to high. Combine 2 pounds halved tomatoes, 6 garlic cloves, 3 halved shallots, 1 halved seeded red bell pepper, and 1 halved seeded poblano pepper in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil; toss. Carefully arrange vegetables on preheated pan; broil 10 minutes or until blackened. Place roasted vegetables in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Stir in 1 cup unsalted chicken stock or organic vegetable broth, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander. Top with ¼ cup cilantro leaves; serve with 4 lime wedges. CALORIES 112; FAT 4.1g (sat 0.3g); SODIUM 196mg
Flavor Hit: Onion and spicy jalapeño serve as a flavorful contrast to the sweet potato.
Serve with Sauteéd Lemony Broccolini: Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 pound trimmed Broccolini to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ¼ cup dry white wine to pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 6 minutes or until Broccolini is tender. Add 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to Broccolini; toss. CALORIES 78; FAT 1.9g (sat 1.2g); SODIUM 199mg
Budget Buys: Pine nuts and Manchego cheese add protein to the salad. You can swap in less-expensive walnuts and Parmesans.
Serve with Green Onion and Dill Quinoa: Rinse and drain 1 cup uncooked quinoa. Bring 1¼ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa to pan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 13 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in ¼ cup chopped green onions, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. SERVES 4 (serving size: about 1/2 cup) CALORIES 160; FAT 2.6g (sat 0.3g); SODIUM 123mg
Time: 40 minutes
Prep Pointer: Let the squash mixture stand 5 minutes off the heat to gently steam the vegetables.
Serve with Multigrain Toast and Red Pepper Tapenade: Preheat broiler to high. Arrange 4 (1-ounce) multigrain bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute on each side or until toasted. Place 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 small garlic clove, 2 ounces drained bottled roasted red bell peppers, and ½ ounce pitted kalamata olives in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped. Spread tapenade evenly over bread slices. SERVES 4 (serving size: 1 bread slide and 1½ tablespoons tapenade) CALORIES 132; FAT 6.9g (sat 0.7g); SODIUM 202mg