6 Dinners to Help You Break Out of Your Rut
Feeling bored? Try one of these riffs on familiar foods, guaranteed to help you get your cooking mojo back.
Chicken with a 2-Ingredient Wonder Sauce
You probably love chicken thighs because they're so cheap, tasty and quick-cooking—but if you're often grilling or roasting them, here's another easy way to give them major flavor: After you've browned the pieces on the stove and cooked them with artichoke hearts (frozen or canned are fine), lemon zest and oregano, you stir in a two-ingredient mustard cream sauce. The mustard gives the dish just enough oomph and the cream makes it taste just a little bit decadent.
Get the recipe: Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce
A Brilliant New Trick for a Greenmarket Staple
Yes, zucchini noodles can stand in for spaghetti, but we were surprised to learn that shredded cabbage can work in certain dishes, too. In this unique—and wholly delicious—recipe, green cabbage is the substitute for typical rice noodles and forms the basis of a low-carb pad Thai. The hardy vegetable adds fiber to the finished dish, and you still get that signature salty-sweet flavor, thanks to soy sauce and a small amount of sugar.
Get the recipe: Lightened-Up Pad Thai
An Unexpectedly Awesome Use for Leftovers
Here's a new take on breakfast for dinner that incorporates a standby (eggs) with a more unusual ingredient (leftover rice). You start by softening minced scallions, ginger, garlic and red-pepper flakes in a skillet with some oil; then you spread the rice on top and let it sit until it's nice and crispy. Next, you pour a mixture of eggs whisked with soy sauce on top; sprinkle peas over the eggs and continue cooking on the stove for a few more minutes. A brief blast under the broiler turns the eggs golden and bubbly.
Get the recipe: Crispy Rice Omelet
The Old Favorite You Can Make Just How You Like
In case you've forgotten, a DIY baked-potato bar is one of the best ways to turn a humdrum staple into an honest-to-goodness, wow-that-was-good meal. While the spuds bake, you prepare the toppings, which are what this recipe is really about. We happen to be fans of repurposed sides from a previous meal such as chopped or crumbled bacon, steamed broccoli florets, a few handfuls of spinach sautéed in olive oil with garlic and caramelized onions. The icing on the cake: Sprinkle shredded cheese (cheddar, feta or Parmesan) on top of each potato and slide all of them under the broiler for a minute, or so, just before serving, until the cheese bubbles. Everyone can add their own fixings—and feel wonderfully sated.
Get the recipe: Baked Potato Bar
The Healthiest, Tastiest Way to Get More Sriracha into Your Life
Anyone who's tried to get a kid to eat broccoli knows that some sort of dipping sauce (hummus, ranch dressing, melted cheese) is a can't-miss way to make potentially dull foods exciting. This recipe applies the principle to salmon, whipping up a ridiculously simple yet restaurant-worthy sriracha mayo to accompany salmon that's been cooked in an olive-oil-lemon-juice-honey glaze. The fish is delicious on its own, with a sweetness reminiscent of teriyaki. With the spiced mayo (which gets an additional kick from chopped, fresh chives), though, it's out of this world.
Get the recipe: Roasted Salmon and Asparagus with Spicy Mayo and Chives
A Twist on Paella You Can Make on a Weeknight
Chorizo is the surprise ingredient that gives this low-effort meal deep, smoky flavor. The recipe has you remove the sausage from the casing and brown it, then cook onion, garlic and red bell pepper in the fat. Add rice, sherry and chicken broth, simmer until cooked and you'll be amazed by how tasty a tricked-out bowl of rice can taste.
Get the recipe: Chorizo Rice