5 Amazing Workweek Dinners You'll Actually Look Forward To
Australian cookbook author Donna Hay
shares her clever tricks for making satisfying suppers on even the busiest nights.
A New Way to Eat Your Greens
Here's a flavor combination we hadn't seen before: earthy kale and chicken. The ingredients go together surprisingly well, with a paprika-honey-lemon dressing tying everything together. Plus, this recipe, from Hay's new book, The New Easy
, has you bake the kale for 10 minutes, so it's crisp, which makes the dish taste more like a chicken salad with chips. Along with slivered almonds, currants, parsley and mint leaves, this is a bright and decidedly nonboring meal.
Get the recipe: Crispy Spiced Kale and Chicken Salad
A Glimpse into the Secret Life of Cauliflower
We had no idea cauliflower could be so crunchy until we discovered this recipe. In it, Hay puts the raw vegetable (roughly chopped) into a food processor, along with a handful of pine nuts, and pulses until the mixture is finely chopped. Then, she sautés the mixture with oil and some seasonings for 15 minutes, until golden. She tosses these deep-brown crumbs with cooked pasta for a totally unique and delicious pasta.
Get the recipe: Crispy Cauliflower Pasta
A Different Take on the Open-Face Ham and Cheese
Store-bought pie crust is the shortcut that makes this tart doable on a weeknight, and maple syrup is the unexpected ingredient that takes it to a ridiculously tasty level. The other components in this sweet-savory "pizza" are goat cheese, slices of pear, pancetta and thyme. You stir the syrup with a bit of melted butter, drizzle it over the tarts and bake them for 15 minutes. The pancetta starts to darken, the cheese melts and as soon as you take your first bite, you'll be wondering if you can have this supper again tomorrow.
Get the recipe: Goat Cheese, Pear and Pancetta Tarts
One Meal You Never Thought You Could Pull Off So Quickly
Pickling vegetables on a weeknight may sound like a bit much, but Hay has a simple solution to make it a no-brainer: place thinly sliced red onions in a bowl with lemon juice, sugar, dill, salt and pepper and let them pickle while you cook the rest of the dinner. In this case, it's salmon fillets that you sprinkle with some herbs and spices and cook for about eight minutes over high heat. By the time the fish is ready, so are your pickled veggies—and the rich salmon and zippy onions complement each other perfectly.
Get the recipe: Crispy Salmon with Dill Pickled Onions
The Vegetable Soup with Serious Character
A carrot and red lentil soup isn't just beautiful to look at—it also has an exotic flavor you'd never guess you could get with just 12 minutes of simmering. Hay draws on sautéed onions, garlic and ginger to serve as a base for what comes next: grated carrots, red lentils and stock. While the soup cooks, you spread slices of sourdough bread with harissa, a North African hot, red-chili paste (or you can just rub the bread with a cut garlic clove) and cook it under the broiler so it toasts, turning the slices into ideal dippers for the chunky, spiced soup.
Get the recipe: Carrot and Red Lentil Soup