Healthy, Fast Weeknight Dinners
Gingered Salmon with Grilled Corn and Watercress Salad
Quinn Hatfield stuffs pickled ginger into slits in the salmon to infuse it with flavor. To keep the sliced fish intact and the ginger in place, he cleverly skewers the fillets before cooking. The dish is paired with a watercress salad with grilled corn and tossed with a balsamic vinegar reduction. The result: a quick, simple and healthy option for any weeknight meal.
Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes
Low in fat but high in protein, beans are one of Joe Bastianich's favorite ingredients. He uses white beans here, but he also loves making this recipe with chickpeas and flat gigante beans: "The bigger and creamier the beans, the better."
Curried Chicken on Pita
Marcia Kiesel gives this quick weeknight chicken recipe a kick with curry powder and jalapeños. Serve with grilled pita, lettuce leaves, tomato wedges and cucumber slices.
Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Gravy
This classic Punjabi dish, called masaledar chholay, is often served as part of a big Sunday lunch, along with raita, naan and salad.
Orecchiette with Salmon, Arugula and Artichokes
Marinated artichokes, olives and capers combine to make a bright, dressing-like sauce for this tasty pasta.
Bacon Quinoa with Almonds and Herbs
"Quinoa is a miracle food," says Bruce Sherman. Native to the Andes Mountains, the nutty, protein-rich grain is now also grown in the U.S. Sherman tosses it with smoky bacon and toasted almonds to make a substantial side dish that's delicious with poached eggs or roasted chicken.
Gingered Stir-Fry with Shrimp and Snow Peas
Large nonstick skillets that can create a sear are ideal for stir-fries. For this recipe, Grace Parisi creates layers of flavor with Chinese chile-garlic sauce and matchsticks of fresh ginger.
Barbecued Salmon with Green Mango Salad
Chef Pete Evans uses green mango—which is firm and a little crunchy—for the fresh, bright salad that accompanies the salmon fillets here.
This pasta is an ode to the mountains of fried zucchini Gwyneth Paltrow ate at Elio's, an Italian restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side, growing up. Here, she adds the crispy zucchini slices to spaghetti that's tossed with shredded Parmesan cheese (which adds texture to the dish) and plenty of olive oil and basil.
General Tso's Chicken
Zach Brooks adores this sweet-spicy Chinese-American restaurant staple. The version here is lighter than take-out because the chicken is only lightly coated in cornstarch and is pan-fried rather than deep-fried.
Poached Salmon with Cucumber Raita
Gently simmering salmon in a flavorful white-wine broth is a classic cooking method that gives the fish a delicious flavor and a delicate texture. Serve this hot or at room temperature. Raita, the cooling condiment served in India, makes a superb sauce.
Maple Root-Vegetable Stir-Fry with Sesame
In Korea, cooks typically create stir-fries with just one kind of vegetable—lotus root, say, or potatoes. David Chang decided to break with tradition and stir-fry an assortment of vegetables, including Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips. Also unconventional is the maple syrup he adds to the dish; there are maple trees all around South Korea but not much maple syrup.
Puerto Rican-Style Turkey
Chef Bill Kim makes this curry-and-chile-spiced marinade inspired by lechón, a slow-roasted Puerto Rican pork dish that he learned from his mother-in-law. Because the flavors are intense, it's best to scrape off the marinade before grilling.
Chicken Breasts with Artichoke-Olive Sauce
For a quick and healthy dish, serve chicken breasts with a sauce made of frozen artichoke hearts, olives, and crumbled feta cheese.
Quick Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Beef
Rocco DiSpirito likes to heat shirataki noodles (a low-calorie noodle made from tofu or a kind of sweet potato) in store-bought chicken broth seasoned with lime juice.
Chicken Smothered in Gravy
This satisfying riff on smothered pork chops calls for skinless chicken drumsticks, which have only slightly more fat than breasts, as well as more zinc and iron and tons more flavor.
Smoky Citrus Shrimp with Parsley
Grub co-author Bryant Terry eats these tangy, garlicky shrimp piled high on crispy toasts, but sometimes he sandwiches them inside a quesadilla oozing with shredded Jack cheese. He recommends buying wild-caught or sustainably raised shrimp.
Mexican-Style Chicken with Penne
Adding a small amount of canned chipotle chiles in adobo (available at most supermarkets) makes a basic tomato sauce smoky and complex. Finishing the dish with queso blanco and chopped cilantro leaves intensifies the Latin flavor.
Pan-Roasted Salmon-and-Bread Salad
This is a terrific all-in-one meal and an inventive use for salmon: Grace Parisi nestles the fillets in crunchy hunks of ciabatta bread tossed with tomatoes, capers and superthin slices of lemon, then bakes the dish until the salmon is just cooked.
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken
Stuffing chicken breasts with goat cheese doesn't seem like a particularly healthy approach. But by using only a small amount of goat cheese and mixing it with chopped walnuts and lemon zest, Annie Wayte creates a dish that's both nutritious and delicious.
These quick and easy spanish sandwiches are filled with a lighter, mayo-free, tuna salad.
Black Bean Soup with Crispy Tortillas
This ultrasimple soup requires little more than a couple of cans of black beans, some onion and a bit of cumin. A topping of fried tortillas (or store-bought chips) adds crunch.
Make the masala paste in large quantities and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week; it's great as a dry rub or marinade for fish and chicken.
Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Cashews
Cashews contain oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fat that makes olive oil so heart-healthy. This chicken-cashew stir-fry's Asian flavors come from a bright mix of fish sauce, oyster sauce and basil—and just a little oil.
Salmon Rice Bowl with Ginger-Lime Sauce
In Vietnam, palate-cleansing ginger is typically served with rich foods like duck. Here, a pungent ginger dipping sauce is paired with salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
Curried Eggplant with Chickpeas and Spinach
Canned chickpeas are often used in salads or hummus, but Grace Parisi roasts them here with eggplant, prewashed spinach and onion to make a great vegetarian main course.
Brown Rice Pilaf with Green Olives and Lemon
Alain Coumont makes this creamy (yet cream-free) rice dish with lemony Lucques olives and nutty organic Camargue red rice, but almost any green olive or short-grain brown rice would be terrific. Vegans should leave out the tangy goat cheese shavings.
Green Goddess Chicken Salad
Green Goddess dressing—a mix of mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs, anchovies and lemon—was created at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the 1920s, as a tribute to an actor starring in a play called The Green Goddess. The creamy dressing is typically tossed with a green salad, but it's also addictive in Melissa Rubel's chicken salad, made with a rotisserie bird.
Wild Mushroom Toasts with Ham and Fried Eggs
In the Basque part of Rioja, tapas-like appetizers, such as this dish, are referred to as pintxo (PEEN-show).
Quick Beef Stroganoff
Sizzled Shrimp Provençal
Chef Bobo makes this garlicky, lemony dish with sea scallops, but shrimp work well, too. Shrimp is an excellent source of low-fat protein and it also provides potassium and vitamin D.
Steamed Grouper with Martini Relish and Sour Orange Sauce
When it comes to eating well, star chef Bobby Flay champions the tried-and-true method of cooking fish in parchment. Flay swears that it's not only a foolproof method, but it also yields the perfect steamed piece of fish. He likes serving the grouper with a quick and punchy citrus sauce and a briny "martini" relish made with olives.