Spiced and Seared Flank Steak with Carrot Mash and Snap Peas
Steak, peas, and carrots are a familiar trio, and usually not very exciting. Here, each element is transformed: a smoky spice rub on seared flank steak, crispy snap peas brightened with rice vinegar, and a silky carrot mash. Chop the carrots to about 1/4-inch pieces so they cook through evenly, otherwise the mash may have a few lumps. The grain of the meat refers to the direction of the muscle fibers (in flank steak, they run lengthwise). Cut across the grain, or across the width of the steak, to break up the fibers for slices that are tender, not tough.
Cod with Herbed Pea Relish
Top simply seasoned cod fillets with a fresh spring relish of peas, shallots, capers, lime juice, oregano, and red pepper.
Chimichurri Chicken Thighs with Potatoes
An herb-packed chimichurri sacue makes this meat-and-potatoes main vibrant and exciting. Double the mixture and spoon it over grilled steak or fish on another night. For less heat in both the chimichurri and the potatoes, remove the seeds from the Fresno chile.
Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad
Simple and bright, this is the kind of main that puts us in the mood for spring. If you’ve never thrown fresh lemons on the grill, try it: The slight edge of char intensifies their tartness, and they look gorgeous. The marinade is more of a wet rub since the chicken goes straight to the grill, though you could refrigerate up to a day ahead. This salad is endlessly adaptable for spring and summer vegetables: Try shaved carrot and summer squash ribbons, haricots verts, or even just a shower of fresh herbs.
Arugula, Egg, and Charred Asparagus Salad
Just a hint of char on the asparagus adds fantastic complexity to this simple 5-ingredient spring salad. Look for medium stalks rather than pencil-thin ones—those would char and dry out too quickly. A soft-boiled egg adds protein and richness; let the slightly runny yolks mingle with the rest of the salad before enjoying. Whole-milk Greek yogurt has a lusciousness and milder tang than lower-fat yogurt. It's the perfect binder for the lemony dressing. Serve with a slice of multigrain bread spread with goat cheese and a dash of cracked black pepper.
Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Asparagus
Beef tenderloin steaks are often considered a special-occasion cut, but when they go on sale (or you're ready for a splurge), this classic preparation is foolproof. Use a timer rather than turning, prodding, or overcooking the steaks, and set the timer again while they rest so you don't slice too soon.
Shortcut Shrimp Paella
Fresh shrimp stars in this fast take on paella; you could also use chicken thighs. We swap expensive saffron for turmeric to achieve the yellow color.
Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Cabbage and Carrots
Super-succulent pork chops are browned on the stovetop before being finished in the oven for tenderness. Roasted carrots are paired with vastly underrated cabbage to create a vibrant vegetable medley that is equal parts flavorful and nutritious. This meal is pretty enough to showcase, yet fast enough for weeknight cooking. Enjoy it with a side of wild rice or roasted potatoes for a well-balanced meal the whole family will love.
Saucy Skillet-Poached Eggs
If you've ever had Italian eggs in purgatory, this recipes makes a similar Israeli breakfast dish called shakshuka. If you need to stretch the meal, simply add another egg to the pan. Top with any herb, such as cilantro, chives, or oregano.
Quick Chicken Pho
"The fragrant noodle soup we love to slurp on cool evenings is actually the breakfast of champions," says cookbook author Andrea Nguyen. "It's a fabulous wake-up call that energizes and satisfies. Toasting spices and searing ginger help extract flavor fast, while poaching the chicken in the stock adds savory depth," Nguyen says. This broth is a lower-sodium adaptation of Nguyen's recipe.
Broiled Flat Iron Steak with Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
This one-pan meal is a crowd-pleaser and testament to how 4 ingredients can come together to form a supremely satisfying dish, ready in a flash. We broil the steak over the veggies so the meat juices baste them as they cook. Choose multifaceted flat iron steak. Butchered from the shoulder (chuck), it gives you the best of both beefy worlds: One end of the cut is tender and mild, while the opposite end has sirloin-like chew and deep, mineral flavor.
Carne Asada Bowls
This gluten-free take on a taco salad uses seared flank steak in place of ground beef. Instead of a fried tortilla shell, crisp romaine lettuce forms the sturdy base for each salad with crunchy tortilla chips crumbled on top. Queso fresco is a firm, mild cheese—a great alternative to feta if you’re not a fan of the tang. Use as your go-to cheese for Mexican egg scrambles, burritos, or stuffed chiles. Keep the tortilla chips whole for scooping, or lightly crush them and sprinkle on top. Serve over Cilantro and Almond Pilaf.
Pan-Seared Shrimp with Rosemary Spaghetti Squash
For a faster option, you can use an equal amount of raw zucchini noodles or ribbons in place of the spaghetti squash. For a heartier dinner, serve with 1 cup steamed green beans.
Roasted Salmon with Kale-Quinoa Salad
The American Heart Association recommends eating salmon or other fatty fish twice a week to reap the cardiovascular benefits that the omega-3 fatty acids provide. Look for wild salmon, which has 5 to 10 times fewer contaminants and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than farm-raised.
Salmon with Potatoes and Horseradish Sauce
You’ll be surprised at the sophistication of this 5-ingredient dish, which is easy, elegant, and beautiful. You can't go wrong when you start with salmon and a sour cream sauce, especially if the sauce is flavored with dill and horseradish. Fill out the plate with a side of steamed asparagus or haricots verts (slender French green beans), or barely wilted spinach or Swiss chard. If you have a mandoline in your kitchen, use it—carefully—on the potatoes to make the job of slicing go faster.
Seared Cod with Bacon, Braised Fennel, and Kale
It’s easy to get your vegetable fix in winter with this simple fennel and kale skillet supper. First, sear the cod fillets in the bacon drippings to get a good crust, then add back to the pan and cover so they can steam and impart their juices on the vegetable mixture. You can use any flaky fish in place of cod, such as grouper or snapper. We love the colorful pop of multicolored mini peppers, but a red or yellow bell pepper would also work. If you think you’re not a fan of fennel, try it here—the slices will mellow considerably once sautéed and steamed.
Seared Tuna with Shaved Vegetable Salad
Shaving raw root veggies into a side-dish salad is a fantastic approach. They're ready in just a few minutes, their earthy flavors stay vibrant, and a simple vinaigrette tenderizes them while retaining some crunch. Toss the salad with ample vinaigrette, which does double duty: It lightly softens and "cooks" the raw veggies, and its tangy, zesty flavor complements the meaty tuna so that the fish doesn't need a sauce of its own.
Shrimp and Black Bean Tacos
A little bit of the black bean liquid brings the chunky mash together. The mash also helps to hold all the filling in place.
A whole-grain protein bowl is the perfect solution for when lunch needs to be quick—as well as tasty, filling, and healthy. Cook quinoa ahead of time (or buy precooked, available in pouches near the rice). To complete the lunch, serve with 1/2 cup steamed green beans as shown. Dairy-free option: Use 2 teaspoons toasted chopped walnuts instead of feta cheese.
Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Kale
The main (chicken), starch (white beans), and veggie side (carrots, kale, and tomatoes) are all included in this true one-dish stovetop dinner. And it all comes together in only 22 minutes. Feel free to use bumpy lacinato kale or sturdy curly kale; just be sure to remove the tough stems first.
Greek Spaghetti Squash Toss
Spaghetti squash is a great lower-calorie, lower-carb alternative to pasta. It’s a neutral tasting veggie that absorbs all the flavors of this simple skillet, so be sure to toss well to coat every strand. The end result is a veggie-based meal in a bowl that you can quickly throw together—a nice alternative to salads when you want to fill up on vegetables.
Lemon and Dill Quinoa Chicken Soup
Cooked quinoa won't swell in the soup overnight liked cooked pasta. Make a day or two ahead, and refrigerate.
Miso Noodle Soup with Meatballs
Salty, savory miso becomes the backbone of this soup; try adding it to dressings and marinades too. We add chile-and-honey-spiked pork meatballs to the soup; you could also use shredded rotisserie chicken breast or cubed tofu. Want to get ahead on tomorrow's dinner? Double the meatball mixture, shape half into patties, and sear for Asian-style sliders. Serve with Baby Bok Choy and Cucumber Salad.