Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein
Ready in 35 minutes
Cook 8 ounces (half a box) of thin spaghetti according to package directions, omitting salt, and drain. Combine the hot pasta and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, tossing well to coat. While pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon peeled and finely minced fresh ginger and 4 minced garlic cloves; sauté 30 seconds. Add 3 cups small broccoli florets and 1 onion, sliced thin vertically. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 2-in thin strips, and sauté 5 minutes or until done, stirring well. Add pasta mixture, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, and 1 tablespoon each chili and garlic paste (optional). Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until everything is thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Serves 4.
Ready in 40 minutes
Preheat oven to 450°. Cut 2 large chicken breasts into 3 pieces each. To prep the chicken, cover a cutting board with plastic wrap, place chicken on top, and cover with another large sheet of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin or pound with a kitchen mallet until about ½-in thick. Remove from plastic wrap and place onto a large plate. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon each: chopped fresh rosemary, parsley, and thyme (substitute dried herbs, but use only 1 teaspoon each). Brush each side of the chicken with the olive oil and herb mixture. Heat a heavy large ovenproof skillet (no plastic handles) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat. Spoon 1½ cups tomato sauce over and around the chicken. Using 1 cup of grated mozzarella and ½ cup of grated Parmesan, cover each breast generously. Cut 2 tablespoons of butter into small cubes and add on the top of chicken breasts. Place the skillet into the oven and bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Serves 4.
Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
Ready in 40 minutes
Cook 1 cup long grain rice according to package directions. Cut 1 red and 1 green bell pepper in long strips and half of an onion in long vertical slices. In a small bowl, coat peppers and onion with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and season with ½ teaspoon of each: ground cumin, salt, pepper. Sauté in a medium skillet over medium high heat until they begin to caramelize and char. Set aside. In a separate saucepan over medium heat, add one can (15-oz) black beans, drained and rinsed. Add ½ cup salsa, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon salt. Cook bean mixture, stirring often until most of the liquid is gone and it has thickened. To serve bowls, divide rice into 4 bowls, squeeze a little lime juice over the rice, and sprinkle a little fresh cilantro. Next, add a layer of the black bean mixture and top with caramelized peppers and onions. To garnish, choose a few of these: diced Roma tomatoes, fresh or thawed frozen corn, fresh cilantro, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, or grated Monterey Jack. Serves 4.
Quick guacamole: In a small bowl, mash the flesh of 3 ripe avocados, add the juice from half of a lime, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, and garlic salt to taste. Mix and serve.