Soba Noodle Veggie Bowl With Tahini Dressing
Think of this dish as a build-your-own noodle bowl—set out the components and let your friends or family assemble as they please. In addition to being healthy and completely customizable, it’s pretty, too, thanks to the assortment of vibrant veggies. The star of the meal is the creamy tahini dressing, which is a riff on an Asian-style peanut butter sauce. We love soba noodles for their quick cook time and nutty flavor, but feel free to use whole-wheat spaghetti instead. For added protein, top the bowls with tofu, shredded chicken, or shrimp. Spicy food lovers can top theirs with sliced fresh chile, too.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets With Carrot and Kale Salad
Yes, chicken cutlets are familiar, but this recipe creates golden, crusty, and tender results every time. Plus, the torn lacinato kale and shaved carrot salad adds a modern edge to the crowd-pleasing cutlet. You can prep the salad a day ahead of time: wash, de-stem, and tear the kale. To shave the carrots into ribbons, thoroughly wash and scrub them. Then, using a Y-shaped peeler, shave off thin ribbons of carrot. You can store the ribbons in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator for up to a day ahead of time. The dressing will also keep overnight in an airtight container.
Spicy Beef and Broccolini Stir-Fry
What’s not to like about DIY, healthier Chinese takeout that you can cook up in 20 minutes? This warming family-friendly meal packs plenty of color on each plate. Lightly-cooked broccolini and Fresno chiles still retain some of their fresh crunch, and they’re not drenched in sauce. Instead, a glossy sauce made from beef broth, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch gets drizzled over the veggies, beef, and rice for a bit of savory-sweet satisfaction. The rice can be made a day ahead and reheated, and it’s perfectly okay to substitute brown rice for white, or even udon or soba noodles.
Crispy Pork-and-Bok Choy Larb
Larb is a traditional dish that comes from Thailand and Laos. It traditionally combines meat, chili, lime, and herbs like mint and cilantro. Here, carrots and bok choy round out the flavors and balance the meat-heavy flavors. Some people have a hard time with fish sauce’s intense flavor. If that’s you, you can substitute soy sauce. Serve the larb with a light beer and if you want to stretch the meal even further, a pot of white rice would taste great alongside.
Grapefruit and Feta Fregola Salad
Fregola is similar to couscous, with larger grains. Here, it’s tossed with salty feta, tangy grapefruit segments, and a zesty-sweet honey-mustard dressing. This stands up as a simple meal on its own, but if you wanted to serve it as a side, it would pair well with grilled meat, to mimic the char on the onions. Try it with shrimp, chicken, or salmon. You can also stir arugula into the salad to add some fresh greens and bulk it up a bit.
Cobb salad, eat your heart out. This seven-layer salad is basically a taco-style take on that country club staple. There’s everything you could want in a taco, arranged on a platter topped off with a smoky lime-buttermilk dressing. You’ve got beans, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, chips, and ground beef. Here, the beef is sautéed with cumin and chile powder, which achieves the classic taco-seasoning taste with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. To turn this into an actual taco dinner, serve with warm corn tortillas.
Steak and Beet Salad
Hanger steak comes from the underside of the cow, between the rib and the loin. Because it comes from this area, hanger steaks are tender and taste just as juicy and bold as a fancy ribeye steak for a much lower price point. When you’re ready to cook the steak, make sure to let the pan heat up until it’s very hot—this will ensure a good crust without overcooking the meat. To make peeling the beets easier, hold them with a paper towel.
Brussels Sprouts Flatbread With Lemon and Pecorino
This seasonal flatbread feeds a crowd, making it perfect for a weeknight holiday party (or any party, really). Store-bought pizza dough saves you time, and the Brussels sprouts cook entirely on the flatbread—so it comes together faster than you think. For even faster prep, use the slicing disk of a food processor to create thin shavings of Brussels sprouts, or buy pre-packed shredded sprouts. Each bite has a kick from the crushed red pepper, and Pecorino provides just the right amount of saltiness. It's just as delicious warm as it is at room temperature, so no need to worry about serving it straight from the oven. Pair it with a dry white wine.