$3 Diet Dinners
Beef & Potato Salad with Smoky Chipotle
In central Mexico, this salad is a standard--served as an appetizer, main dish or taco filling. Serve it with lime wedges, warm tortillas or tortilla chips. (Recipe from Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless; W.W. Norton and Company, July 2010.)
Chicken & Fruit Salad
Chicken, melon, walnuts and feta top mixed salad greens for a refreshing summer salad. Use your favorite summer fruit in place of the melon if you wish.
Why not use cooler-weather vegetables like broccoli and arugula as an unconventional pizza topping? The arugula adds a slightly bitter, peppery taste--for a milder flavor, use spinach instead. Serve with wedges of fresh tomato tossed with vinegar, olive oil, basil and freshly ground pepper.
Hot Chile Grilled Cheese
This deconstructed version of a chile relleno turned sandwich packs some heat and an ooey-gooey filling. We like the flavor of sourdough, but any kind of bread will work well. Serve with: Coleslaw and sliced pineapple.
Here we take basic lasagna ingredients--ricotta cheese, pasta and tomatoes--and skip the layering and long baking time to make a super-quick and satisfying meal for the whole family. To cut down on prep time, look for presliced mushrooms. For meat lovers, brown some crumbled turkey sausage along with the onions and garlic. Serve with: Steamed broccoli and whole-grain baguette.
Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers
These tasty turkey burgers, served on toasted focaccia and dressed with marinara sauce, are reminiscent of a sausage pizza. Shredded mozzarella combined with fresh basil melts beautifully inside these gems.
Chicken with Whole-Grain Mustard & Zucchini in Packets
Mustard and thyme flavor chicken and veggies in this easy dinner.
Smoky Ham & Corn Salad
Fresh corn, diced deli ham and crunchy croutons are tossed with a smoky, creamy dressing in this light summer salad. Serve with a crisp glass of rosé and sliced melon.
Stuffed Chicken Thighs Braised in Tomato Sauce
Spinach-Parmesan stuffing provides great flavor in boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Try it with the optional chicken livers in the stuffing for an extra-rich treat. And don't worry, even though when stuffed it looks like the filling will ooze out, it doesn't. The egg in the stuffing acts as a binder to keep everything in place. The recipe makes plenty of sauce, so be sure to cook up some pasta or make mashed potatoes to serve alongside the saucy chicken.
The EatingWell Taco
Building the perfect taco is a very personal task--cheese under meat, cheese on top, no cheese at all? This is just our recommendation.
Turkey Cutlets with Rhubarb Chutney
Try rhubarb in this tangy chutney with golden raisins and fresh ginger, served with turkey. You can also pair the sauce with grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts or lean pork chops. Serve with: Whole-wheat couscous and steamed asparagus.
Oven-Barbecued Pork Chops
Need a little summertime flavor? Try this swift recipe and enjoy a “barbecue” indoors. Make it a meal: Serve with coleslaw and cornbread.
Beef & Cabbage Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce
The subtly sweet peanut sauce blends deliciously in this beef, cabbage and carrot sauté. Spice up the dish with a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. Serve with udon noodles.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.
Quick Coq au Vin
Here's a quick version of Coq au Vin, a red wine-braised chicken-and-vegetable stew that usually takes the better part of an afternoon to make. Serve with herbed mashed potatoes and green beans.
“Bun” is a Vietnamese noodle dish typically made with cold rice noodles, lots of crunchy vegetables and thinly sliced beef or pork all tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce. It's perfect for a hot summer night. Serve with sliced mango and iced mint green tea.
Hilary's Heavenly Eggs
This unusual combination of eggs braised in tomato sauce served on crusty bread is out of this world. Also try it over angel hair pasta. Serve with: Steamed broccolini.
Black-Eyed Peas with Pork & Greens
This boldly flavored spin on Hoppin' John replaces salt pork or bacon with lean pork chops. Plus we've added greens--in this case kale--a traditional accompaniment with the dish. Serve with cornbread and a glass of Spanish rioja.
Szechuan Tofu & Green Bean Stir-Fry
This spicy vegetarian stir-fry is a great way to use green beans when they're bountiful and inexpensive at the supermarket. You can also try it with other vegetables, such as broccoli or peppers, just make sure to cut them into small pieces so that they cook quickly. Coating the tofu in cornstarch before you cook it gives it a light crust.
Honey-Mustard Turkey Cutlets & Potatoes
Potatoes, leeks and turkey burst with intense flavor when roasted with honey, mustard and curry. Serve with: Steamed snow peas and carrots and a glass of white wine.
Here we take the elements of a vegetarian lasagna filling--ricotta, spinach and Parmesan cheese--and nestle them into roasted portobello mushroom caps. The recipe works best with very large portobello caps; if you can only find smaller ones, buy one or two extra and divide the filling among all the caps. Serve with a tossed salad and a whole-wheat dinner roll or spaghetti tossed with marinara sauce.
Crispy Turkey Tostadas
Shredded leftover turkey tops homemade tostadas in this Tex-Mex favorite. Making your own tostada shells from fresh corn tortillas is easier than you might think--crisp them up in the oven while you prepare the toppings. Choose either regular petite diced tomatoes or those with added jalapeños, depending on your inclination for spicy food. Serve with black beans, rice and extra salsa or hot sauce on the side.
Hungarian Beef Goulash
This streamlined goulash skips the step of browning the beef, and instead coats it in a spice crust to give it a rich mahogany hue. This saucy dish is a natural served over whole-wheat egg noodles. Or, for something different, try prepared potato gnocchi or spaetzle.
EatingWell Fish Sticks
You can make these homemade fish sticks in about the same amount of time it takes to bake a box of the frozen kind--with a fraction of the fat.
A touch of cinnamon distinguishes these delicious tomato-sauced meatballs. Adding whole-grain bulgur allows you to use less meat, resulting in meatballs with less than half the total fat and saturated fat of the original. Plus a vibrant-tasting combination of fresh and canned tomatoes in the sauce helps reduce the sodium by two-thirds. Serve with pasta, polenta or even on a whole-grain roll with a bit of melted part-skim mozzarella for a meatball sub.