YieldServes 4 (serving size: about 1 cup)There are a million and one uses for diced avocado—but we especially love it in this simple green salad. Toasted, sliced almonds add crunch and nuttiness, while the punchy vinaigrette adds brightness and balance.Ingredients2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil1 tablespoon chopped shallots1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme1 teaspoon Dijon mustard1/8 teaspoon kosher salt1/8 teaspoon black pepper4 cups spring mix1/2 cup diced ripe avocado3 tablespoons toasted sliced almondsNutritional InformationCalories 133Fat 11.
Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Lindsey LowerMac and cheese gets heartier, and possibly even more family-friendly, when you stir ground beef and fire-roasted tomatoes into the cheese sauce. Make sure to drain the tomatoes so the sauce doesn’t get too thin. We call for whole-grain rotini, but any short pasta shape will work here; just do try to go whole-grain for more nutrition.
Sauerkraut livens up this whole-grain side with crunch, tang, and a little bit of fermentation funk. Use refrigerated, probiotic-rich sauerkraut; shelf-stable versions have been pasteurized, killing any gut-friendly bacteria. Since heat kills the good bugs in refrigerated kraut too, we stir it in after the pilaf has cooled slightly.
This procedure gives you boldly flavored potatoes that are crunchy and creamy. Because home fries usually pair up with delicious but mild eggs, they need big flavor. These get a hit of sweet paprika, pungent garlic powder, and tangy, zesty Worcestershire sauce. If you like yours spicy, add 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the spice blend, or just drizzle them with some hot sauce on your plate.
Inspired by a Marcella Hazan recipe, this side dish helps Pandolfi feel closer to his Italian heritage. Wash leeks after they’re halved by dunking them in a bowl of cold water and vigorously swishing to dislodge dirt and grit trapped between the layers. You may need to repeat the process once or twice, depending on the level of grit.
Give beef a rest and try chicken for burgers instead. Simply combine chicken breasts, capers, shallots, salt, and pepper in a food processor, shape into patties, and cook in a grill pan. If you need to speed up your weeknight cooking, make these patties in advance. Line a cookie sheet with freezer paper, arrange uncooked patties in a single layer on the pan, and freeze until firm.