Weeknight Meal Planner: 01/08/18
Tangy-spicy kimchi brightens the taste of a rich, toasty grilled cheese sandwich. We use a combination of two cheeses for the best flavor and texture. Fresh mozzarella is creamy, slightly firm when melted, and mild enough to allow the kimchi to shine; Monterey Jack is ultra creamy when melted and slightly tangy, which echoes the taste of the kimchi. The kimchi retains some crunch in the sandwich, creating a great textural contrast to the soft cheese.
Crushed whole spices create a beautiful crust on a seared and roasted pork tenderloin. You don't need a spice grinder or mortar and pestle; place the peppercorns and coriander seeds in a ziplock bag and crush gently with a small, heavy skillet until very coarsely ground. Refrigerated potatoes are parcooked, saving you oven time. Coat and sear the pork while the oven preheats. Make the yogurt sauce while the pork and potatoes bake.
Dinner doesn't get much easier than this eight-ingredient, one-pan dish. The secret is jarred apricot preserves; much more than a spread for toast, it balances the earthy sage and pungent mustard in the pan sauce and gives everything a glossy coat. You can also thin the preserves in a small saucepan over medium heat and brush over roasted pork tenderloin, salmon fillets, or a rustic apple tart. A little butter stirred in at the end adds body to the sauce.
Fresh orange juice perks up this speedy stir-fry, becoming a sticky, glossy sauce for the colorful vegetables. A quick coat in cornstarch helps the tofu develop a supercrisp crust without needing to fry in lots of oil. It's a good idea to have every element at the ready by the stove before you start to cook, as the stir-fry will come together very quickly. You can use bell peppers or any vegetable you have on hand, such as broccoli florets, thinly sliced carrots, or sliced snap peas.
Vegetables can be sparse in winter months when holiday braises, hearty stews, and centerpiece roasts tend to take over. This seasonal vegetable plate will help you stick to your calorie plan, and can be altered easily depending on what's available. Don't be scared of a hot oven—roasting the veggies at 500°F gets the job done quickly and gives the vegetables a nice golden color. Tarragon has an anise flavor similar to fennel; you can omit it or substitute sliced green onions or parsley for a fresh pop.
When the hustle of the holidays leaves you feeling overtaxed, your immune function can suffer. This invigorating morning beverage delivers a quarter of your daily goal for immune-boosting vitamin C, along with turmeric and ginger, which help quell inflammation. New research shows ginger also helps promote the growth of gut-healthy bacteria.