Weeknight Meal Planner: 10/09/17
The classic quesadilla gets kicked up a notch with a creamy, béchamel-like sauce. A saucy base helps the cheese go further and keeps the chicken from drying out. If any dish called for a dash of your favorite hot sauce, this would be it: Just a little cuts through the creamy filling and packs the right amount of heat. For golden, crisp tortillas, coat both sides of the uncooked quesadillas with cooking spray instead of coating the pan. Serve the quesadillas with black beans and Spanish-style rice. You could also try a heartier green like kale or chard; wilt these first before adding to the chicken mixture.
Sticking to a meal plan can be challenging, especially when you don’t have time to cook or prep your meals ahead. This colorful, no-cook chicken and cabbage bowl is the perfect solution: quick, endlessly adaptable, and low-calorie yet completely satisfying. Cutting a fresh orange into segments is a skill worth having; the segments add a juicy pop to any dish. Use a paring knife to remove both ends from each orange, then cut away the peel and pith in wide strips. Slice between the membranes of each orange section and remove.
Crisp, delicate butter lettuce leaves have a cup shape that’s perfect for holding the sweet-and-savory ground turkey mixture and crunchy, colorful vegetables. The key is not to weigh down the cups with too much filling so they don’t tear. Add some heat with crushed red pepper or a diced red Fresno chile. The sugar here not only balances the vinegar tang; it also helps the meat caramelize and develop wonderful crispy bits in the pan. You could use ground pork or a tofu scramble in place of turkey. If you can’t find butter lettuce leaves, you can cut romaine leaves crosswise, removing the wide part of the rib.
This salad is all about crunch, a welcome contrast to the heavier, starchier sides of fall. Cut the celery stalks on a diagonal so the pieces are about the same size and thickness as the apple slices. We call for a tart-sweet, crisp Pink Lady apple here; Fuji or Cripps would also work.
Shredded Brussels sprouts are a great canvas for color, here in the form of ruby-hued pomegranate seeds and navel orange sections. Be sure to toss the salad gently so that the pieces of orange and avocado keep their shape. If you don’t have a shallot, you can substitute finely chopped red onion; soak for a few minutes in cold water first to remove its sometimes-pungent bite. This salad would pair nicely with a fall chili or tacos.
This lightly sweetened morning sipper contains only 6 grams added sugars—far less than what you’ll typically find at a smoothie shop. Tangy Greek yogurt provides a hefty amount of protein in this breakfast beverage, while flaxseeds offer up healthy fats and fiber. We call for cold-brew concentrate for a jolt of deep, rich coffee flavor; look for shelf-stable options on the coffee aisle or refrigerated versions near the creamer or with the fresh juices.