Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D

A No-Side-Dish-Needed Weeknight Dynamo
Smoky shrimp sautéed with vegetables over quinoa is about to become your new go-to. Here's why: It takes 30 minutes to make. It's healthy, but not a salad. And it's totally flexible. (Don't have wine? Use chicken stock, apple juice or water. Don't have broccoli or bell pepper? Use carrots and zucchini.) Start the quinoa as soon as you get into the kitchen; when it's done, just turn it off and let it sit on the stove, covered, until the shrimp and veggies are ready (they'll be done in a flash).

Get the recipe: Shrimp Sauté with Garlic
Chicken with Apples and Carrots

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D

A New Way to Do Chicken Breasts
We never thought to combine chicken with apples, but it turns out they're a terrific match, coming together for a sweet and savory meal that tastes like it took way longer than a half hour to make. You quickly cook pieces of white meat in a skillet until they're golden and then set them aside. Into the same pan go scallions, carrots, sticks of Granny Smith apple, thyme and chicken stock. You return the chicken to the pan and stir in small amounts of sour cream, soy sauce and mustard, and instantly have a quick, rich, tangy sauce that infuses the chicken and plays up the dish's fruity flavors.

Get the recipe: Chicken with Apples and Carrots
Spaghetti and Sausage, Arugula and Jalapeño

Photo: Johnny Valiant

Pasta, Meat and Salad, All in One Bowl
If we saw this recipe's ingredient list without the directions, we'd probably cook the sausage, boil the pasta and serve a salad on the side. The idea of mixing all three into one dish, though, is pretty brilliant. When the flavors combine, along with garlic, sliced jalapeños, sun-dried tomatoes and grated Parmesan, you'll wonder why you never served these three together before. The arugula wilts into the hot spaghetti and the sausage adds great flavor without the need for tons of herbs and spices.

Get the recipe: Spaghetti and Sausage, Arugula and Jalapeño
Tomato and Chard Bake

Photo: Johnny Miller

The Dough-Less Pizza
This baked skillet dish actually takes 35 minutes to make, but 15 of those are unattended (go ahead: Set the table, open the mail and have a glass of wine!). It's a deep-dish, pizza-like meal with plenty of ooey, gooey comfort, without the hassle of dough. Instead, you lay slices of baguette in an oven-safe pan; top them with sliced tomatoes; layer sautéed Swiss chard, sliced mozzarella and more pieces of bread on top; and bake until the tomatoes are soft. Let rest, then cut into wedges and consider yourself the smartest pizza maker in town.

Get the recipe: Tomato and Chard Bake