The past 10 days were a whirlwind of holiday activity-my husband and I drove all around Massachusetts to see both sides of his family, I learned to snowboard (ow!), we cleaned and reorganized our apartment (long overdue) and saw friends. I had a blast, but I'm tired!
Since I'm back to work this week, I'm going to find time to regroup by spending as little time making dinner as possible. This week of dinner recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less and I've also given you ideas for super-simple sides to serve them with. Enjoy!
Monday-Chicken Parmesan Sandwich: You may disagree on whether the chicken parm sandwich should be known as a "sub," "hoagie" or "grinder," but who doesn't love this neighborhood-deli classic? We've added some spinach and done away with all the greasy breading to make it more healthy. Serve with some crunchy carrots, celery and cucumbers on the side.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts cut into 4 portions or 4 small breasts)
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 6-ounce bags baby spinach
1 cup marinara sauce, preferably low-sodium (see Tip)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
4 soft whole-wheat sandwich rolls, toasted
1. Position oven rack in top position; preheat broiler.
2. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Place chicken between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan until the chicken is an even 1/4-inch thickness. Dip the chicken in the flour mixture and turn to coat.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
4. Add 1 teaspoon oil to the pan. Add half the chicken and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and chicken; transfer to the baking sheet.
5. Top each piece of chicken with the wilted spinach, marinara sauce and Parmesan. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve on rolls.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 467 calories; 13 g fat (4 g sat, 5 g mono); 78 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrate; 42 g protein; 5 g fiber; 762 mg sodium; 791 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (160% daily value), Vitamin C (46% dv) Folate (43% dv), Magnesium (26% dv).
Tip: Refrigerate leftover marinara sauce for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Tuesday-Marmalade Chicken: Orange marmalade and freshly grated orange zest make a deliciously tangy sauce for quick-cooking chicken tenders. Serve with brown rice.
Wednesday-Stuffed Pork Sandwich: The classic Cuban sandwich inspired this recipe. The original is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese and pickles pressed and griddled between two pieces of soft white bread. Our version cuts down on the meat and is served on a soft whole-wheat bun. Feel free to press it in a panini maker to make it crispy. Serve with coleslaw mix tossed with lime juice, oil and chopped fresh cilantro.
Thursday-Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter: Lime juice, chili powder and pepitas give this salmon Mexican flair. Serve with wild rice and steamed vegetables.
Friday-Beef & Bean Chile Verde: Chile Verde, usually a slow-cooked stew of pork, jalapeños and tomatillos, becomes an easy weeknight meal with quick-cooking ground beef and store-bought green salsa. Serve with fresh cilantro, red onion and Monterey Jack. Add cornbread on the side and your favorite hot sauce. Try any leftovers as burrito filling.
By Carolyn Malcoun
When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.
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