Serve over brown rice to soak up the mushroom sauce, or with instant polenta and Parmesan cheese. If you don't have steak seasoning - a blend of black pepper, crushed red pepper, salt, and garlic - use 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper.
Serve this chunky salad with pita wedges or pita chips. Purchase pita chips or make your own by spraying pita wedges with cooking spray, sprinkling them with a little shredded Parmesan cheese, and baking them at 400° for about 10 minutes.
Orange juice, crushed red pepper, and sesame oil add allure to this saucy Chinese entrée. A side of sliced cucumbers dressed with rice vinegar and a pinch of sugar would offer a good balance for this spicy meal.
16 of 30Photo: John Autry; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine
Pasta with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce
Though we paired this chunky sauce with fettuccine, it would also be nice with short pasta shapes, like penne, gemelli, or farfalle. For a more dramatic presentation, use multicolored cherry tomatoes, or a combination of cherry and pear (or teardrop-shaped) tomatoes.
The sweet-savory flavor of teriyaki sauce is a centuries-old mixture of soy sauce and mirin (sweet cooking wine). Over time, Japanese Americans added ginger, brown sugar, pineapple juice, and green onions, elements of the bottled teriyaki sauce Americans know today.
22 of 30Photo: Randy Mayor; Stylist: Leigh Ann Ross
Beef Lettuce Wraps
Fill crisp lettuce leaves with sliced flank steak topped with a zesty sauce made from lime juice, brown sugar, and minced pepper. Soba noodle salad complements the meaty wraps and brings another texture to the plate.
Online reviews raved about the contrast of flavors provided by tangy tomato chutney, savory chicken, and sharp cheddar cheese. If you can't find tomato chutney, make your own using the recipe provided, or use store-bought barbecue sauce.