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Video: Make dinner in a flash

TODAY
updated 8/27/2008 9:55:06 AM ET 2008-08-27T13:55:06

Recipe: Herb-crusted salmon with spinach salad

Dijon mustard gives the topping a nice kick and balances the richness of the salmon fillets. Lemon juice in the spinach salad offers another bright note.

Ingredients
  • 3 slices white sandwich bread
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
Preparation

Prep time: 10 minutes/ Total time: 25 minutes

1. Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. In a food processor, combine bread, parsley, and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Pulse until coarse crumbs form.

2. Place salmon on prepared sheet; season with salt and pepper. Spread top of fillets with Dijon; top with crumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Roast until salmon is opaque throughout, 11 to 13 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine lemon juice and remaining tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and onion; toss to combine. Serve salmon with spinach salad.

Nutritional information: Per serving: 383 cal; 18.5 g fat (3 g sat fat); 36.5 g protein; 16.7 g carb; 2.6 g fiber

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Glazed pork chops with smashed potatoes and stewed green beans

In this hearty down-home meal, green beans become extra soft when simmered with onion, celery, and tomatoes.

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen green beans
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds red new potatoes, scrubbed well and quartered
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 bone-in pork chops (about 9 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Preparation

Prep time: 30 minutes/ Total time: 30 minutes

1. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium. Add onion and celery; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add green beans and tomatoes (with their juice); cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Set a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill with enough water to come just below basket; bring to a boil. Add potatoes; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a bowl; set aside.

3. Remove steamer basket; discard water from pot. In same pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium. Add garlic; cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add potatoes; mash coarsely. Cook, stirring, 1 minute (a film of starch will form on bottom of pot). Stir in milk and remaining tablespoon butter; heat until warmed through, about 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat; cover. Set aside.

4. Heat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a small bowl, combine sugar and Dijon. Place pork on sheet; season with salt and pepper. Broil until pork begins to brown, 6 to 8 minutes; spread sugar mixture over top. Broil until glaze is browned and pork is opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve pork with potatoes and green beans.

Nutritional information: Per serving: 599 cal; 23 g fat (11.6 g sat fat); 44.9 g protein; 54.3 g carb; 5.4 g fiber

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Cuban black-bean stew with rice

If you like, serve this protein-rich vegetarian dish with brown rice to boost the health factor even more. It’s also delicious with chips or tortillas alongside.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), chopped
  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Garnishes (optional): lime wedges, fresh cilantro, and sliced radishes
Preparation

Prep time: 20 minutes/Total time: 30 minutes

1. Prepare rice according to package instructions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add beans, broth, vinegar, and oregano. Cook, mashing some beans with the back of a spoon, until slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Fluff rice with a fork. Serve beans over rice, with garnishes, if desired.

Nutritional information: Per serving: 439 cal; 5.1 g fat (0.6 g sat fat); 13.8 g protein; 81.4 g carb; 10.3 g fiber

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Seared steaks with tomato salad and creamy spinach

Inexpensive flat-iron steak is a lean cut from the top shoulder; remove center gristle, if any. It’s best medium-rare, so it’s ready in minutes.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 sweet onion, such as Vidalia, one half thinly sliced, other half chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 flat-iron steaks (4 to 6 ounces each)
Preparation

Prep time: 30 minutes/ Total time: 30 minutes

1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Place tomato and onion slices on a platter, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium. Add chopped onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Add flour to pan; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk. Stir in spinach and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is tender and sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Cover, and set aside.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Cook until browned and medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve steaks with tomato salad and creamy spinach.

Nutritional information: Per serving: 499 cal; 28.7 g fat (8.8 g sat fat); 38.7 g protein; 24.1 g carb; 6 g fiber

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Pasta with roasted cauliflower, parsley, and breadcrumbs

Cauliflower tastes surprisingly nutty and sweet when roasted — break it up into small florets to help it cook quickly. We like cavatappi, but any short pasta will work.

Ingredients
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 pounds), cored and broken into small florets
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and cut into thin wedges
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 slices white sandwich bread
  • 12 ounces cavatappi or other short pasta
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Preparation

Prep time: 10 minutes/ Total time: 30 minutes

1. Preheat oven to 475°, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss cauliflower, onion, and garlic with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast on lower rack until lightly browned and tender, 20 minutes, tossing once.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine bread and remaining 2 tablespoons oil; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake on upper rack until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes, tossing once.

3. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. Add cauliflower mixture, Parmesan, and parsley; toss to combine. Tossing pasta, gradually add enough pasta water to form a thin sauce that coats pasta. Serve topped with breadcrumbs and, if desired, more Parmesan.

Nutritional information: Per serving: 560 cal; 17.5 g fat (3.6 g sat fat); 18.3 g protein; 84.8 g carb; 6.6 g fiber

Serving Size

Serves 4

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