Get inspired for the week ahead with our top picks from this week’s menu.
This week’s family-friendly recipes are all about getting helping hands in on the fun with dishes you’ll definitely want to add to your weeknight rotation. We start with chicken coated in Dijon pan sauce and served with crispy potatoes. Next, give takeout an upgrade with salmon and bok choy fried rice. On Wednesday, sliders get a tropical spin with Hawaiian beef buns topped with a juicy pineapple slaw. Thursday, go bright and vibrant green for the season with cauliflower, quinoa, and avocado bowls dressed with lemony tahini. Finish out the week with our speediest ever pesto-coated gnocchi.
Gather your sous chefs and get cooking! Now, on to the recipes!
Monday: Creamy Dijon Chicken
4 boneless skin-on chicken breasts
6 ounces baby spinach
1¼ pounds red-skinned potatoes
2 teaspoons Italian dried herb blend
½ cup white wine
1.5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 475ºF. Pat chicken very dry with paper towel; season all over with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken skin-side down and sear until skin is golden and easily lifts from pan, 6 minutes. Flip; sear until cooked through and no longer pink, 6 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a cutting board to rest; reserve pan, off heat.
2. While chicken cooks, rinse all produce. Pat spinach dry with paper towel. Halve potatoes. Peel shallots and mince.
3. On a baking sheet, toss potatoes with Italian dried herb blend, 1½ tablespoons olive oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Arrange cut-side down in a single layer (this direct contact with the baking sheet will help the potatoes get brown and crisp). Roast until golden and tender, 12–14 minutes.
4. While potatoes roast, return pan from chicken to medium-high heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add shallots; sauté, stirring, until soft, 1–2 minutes. Add white wine and cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
5. Dijon sauce To pan with shallots, still over medium-high heat, stir in Dijon and whole-grain mustard to combine, about 1 minute more. Remove pan from heat, then stir in butter, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to combine. Return chicken to pan and turn to coat with sauce.
6. Dijon chicken Once potatoes are roasted, add spinach to sheet; toss to combine and wilt spinach slightly. Divide herb-roasted potatoes and spinach among serving plates. Serve with creamy Dijon chicken, spooning over any remaining sauce from pan.
Tuesday: Salmon Fried Rice
1 cup jasmine rice
12 ounces baby bok choy, divided
3 scallions, divided
¼ ounce ginger
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
5 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce, divided
1¼ pounds salmon
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup peas
Cooking with company tonight? Helping hands can… stir the glaze in Step 2, whisk the eggs in Step 4, and garnish the plates with scallions in Step 6.
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a small pot, combine rice, 1½ cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir once, reduce heat to medium low, cover pot, and simmer until water is fully absorbed, 10–12 minutes. Then, remove pot from heat. Fluff rice with a fork, then set aside uncovered to release steam, making it easier to fry in Step 5.
2. While rice cooks, halve bok choy lengthwise and rinse thoroughly; thinly slice crosswise, keeping bulbs and leaves separate. Rinse remaining produce. Trim and discard scallion roots; thinly slice crosswise on a diagonal, keeping whites and light greens separate from dark greens. Trim and discard skin of ginger and mince. Mince garlic. In a small bowl, stir together apricot preserves and 2 packets soy sauce.
3. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pat salmon dry with paper towel and arrange skin-side down on prepared sheet. Season tops with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon canola oil; rub in seasoning. Roast until mostly cooked and beginning to turn opaque, about 8 minutes. Then, spoon over apricot-soy glaze and continue roasting until completely cooked through and opaque, 4–6 minutes more.
4. While salmon roasts, in a medium bowl, whisk 4 eggs, then season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add bok choy bulbs and sauté, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add scallion whites and light greens, ginger, and garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, 1 minute more.
5. Increase heat under pan with aromatics to medium high. Add cooked rice and remaining soy sauce and stir to coat. Press rice down into a single layer and cook, without moving, until golden on bottom, 2–3 minutes. Push rice to edges of pan, then pour eggs into center and scramble, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 1–2 minutes more. Add slaw mix, peas, and bok choy leaves, and stir everything to combine.
6. Once cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin from fish; using a fork, flake apricot-soy salmon into large pieces. Divide fried rice among serving plates. Top with flaked salmon and garnish with scallion dark greens.
Check out the 2-serving version of this recipe for date night.
Wednesday: Hawaiian Beef Buns
2 sweet potatoes
¼ ounce ginger
2 4-ounce containers pineapple
½ cup shredded red cabbage
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1½ pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup dark soy sauce
20 steamed buns
Enlist a pair of helping hands to season the sweet potato fries in Step 1, toss the pineapple slaw in Step 2, and assemble the beef buns in Step 6.
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Rinse all produce. Halve sweet potatoes lengthwise; cut lengthwise into ¼-inch slices, then cut lengthwise again into ¼- inch fries. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; add sweet potatoes and toss with 1 tablespoon canola oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and bake until golden brown and crisp, 20–25 minutes.
2. While sweet potato fries bake, trim and discard scallion roots and thinly slice, keeping whites and light greens separate from dark greens. Trim and discard skin of ginger and mince. Place pineapple chunks in a medium bowl; reserve pineapple juice in containers for Step 5. To bowl with pineapple, add red cabbage, half of rice wine vinegar (reserve remainder), and ¼ teaspoon salt; toss to combine. Set slaw aside.
3. Pat beef dry with paper towel. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add ginger, scallion whites and light greens, and beef. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Cook, breaking up meat, until browned, 6–8 minutes.
4. While beef browns, in a separate medium bowl, whisk together cornstarch, soy sauce, ¼ cup reserved pineapple juice (discard remainder), remaining rice wine vinegar, and ½ cup water until smooth. Add pineapple-soy sauce to pan with beef and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5–6 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
5. While Hawaiian beef cooks, divide12 buns between 2 large pieces of foil and loosely wrap to create pouches, then place in oven to warm through, about 3 minutes. Save remaining buns for another recipe (we like stuffing them with scrambled egg and scallions).
6. Once baked, toss sweet potato fries on sheet with scallion dark greens, then divide among serving plates. Spoon Hawaiian beef into warmed buns, top with pineapple slaw, and serve with sweet potato fries.
Thursday: Za’atar Cauliflower Bowls
1¼ pounds cauliflower florets
2 navel oranges, divided
¼ ounce mint
¼ ounce parsley
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
1½ tablespoons za’atar spice mix
1⅓ cups red quinoa
½ cup tahini
1 tablespoon honey
8 ounces mixed lettuces
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse all produce. Cut cauliflower into ½-inch florets, if needed. Halve lemon and oranges. Pick mint and parsley leaves, discarding stems. Drain and rinse chickpeas, then pat dry with paper towel.
2. Roast cauliflower and chickpeas On a baking sheet, toss cauliflower with za’atar, 1½ tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired, then arrange in a single layer. On a separate baking sheet, toss chickpeas with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Roast until cauliflower is tender and chickpeas are crisp, 18–20 minutes.
3. While cauliflower and chickpeas roast, in a medium pot, combine quinoa, 2⅔ cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium low, cover pot, and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside, still covered, until ready to serve.
4. While quinoa cooks, in a blender, combine tahini, honey, juice of 1 lemon, juice of 1 orange, and half of herbs. Pulse until fully combined. No blender? No problem! Finely chop the herbs and whisk everything together in a medium bowl. Slowly add the water, whisking constantly, until the dressing is smooth and pourable. Add ½–⅔ cup water until dressing is smooth and pourable. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired, then set aside until ready to serve.
5. In a large bowl, whisk together juice of remaining orange and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pat spring mix dry with paper towel, add to bowl with orange juice mixture, and toss to coat. Halve avocados and discard pits. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out flesh, discarding skins, and thinly slice.
6. Divide quinoa among serving bowls. Top with spring mix, za’atar cauliflower, crispy chickpeas, and avocados. Drizzle over citrus-tahini dressing, and garnish with sunflower seeds and remaining herbs.
Cooking for two? Try the 2-serving version of this recipe.
Friday: Arugula Pesto Gnocchi
Do you have a budding chef in the kitchen? They can pick the basil leaves in Step 1, separate the gnocchi with their hands in Step 4, and toss the gnocchi with pesto in Step 5.
8 ounces asparagus
¾ pint grape tomatoes
¼ ounce basil
¼ cup pine nuts
6 ounces baby arugula
2 cloves garlic
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
2 pounds gnocchi
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat (see recipe tip). Rinse all produce. Trim and discard woody bottoms of asparagus, then cut crosswise on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Halve grape tomatoes. Pick basil leaves, discarding stems. If you have a zester and want to infuse your gnocchi with even more lemon flavor, zest up to whole lemon, then halve.
2. Place pine nuts in a large pan over medium-high heat. Toast, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, 2– 4 minutes. Transfer pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside. Add 1½ tablespoons olive oil to pan, still over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add asparagus, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Sauté, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
3. Pat arugula dry with paper towel. In a blender or food processor, combine whole garlic cloves, basil, arugula, lemon zest (if using), juice of ½ lemon, half of Parmesan, half of pine nuts, ½ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Blend until smooth. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, finely chop arugula, basil, garlic, and half of pine nuts, then combine in a bowl with remaining pesto ingredients. The pesto might not be as smooth, but it will still be delicious.
4. Over a clean, dry surface, use your hands to gently separate gnocchi. Season pot of boiling water generously with salt. Add gnocchi and cook until tender and floating to the surface, 2–3 minutes. Reserve ½ cup gnocchi cooking water (a glass measuring cup is a great tool for this), then drain and return to pot, off heat.
5. To pot with gnocchi, still off heat, add arugula pesto, grape tomatoes, and half of asparagus and toss to coat. Adding 1 tablespoon at a time, stir in reserved gnocchi cooking water until sauce is silky and clings to gnocchi. Starchy pasta cooking water will give your sauce a perfect consistency and help it cling to the noodles. Keep adding it until the sauce is silky—you might need more than you think.
6. Cut remaining lemon into wedges for serving. Divide arugula pesto gnocchi among serving bowls and top with remaining asparagus. Garnish with remaining pine nuts and remaining Parmesan. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
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