Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.
Dinner 1: Chana Masala and Basmati Rice Pilaf
For our Chana Masala, we use the food processor to grind an aromatic paste that forms the base of the dish. We opt for canned chickpeas because their flavor and texture were nearly indistinguishable from those of chickpeas that are cooked from dried. A generous garnish of chopped onion, sliced chile, and cilantro add so much vibrancy, texture, and freshness that you'd never guess that most of the other ingredients in the recipe are from the pantry. For Basmati Rice Pilaf with light, fluffy, aromatic grains, we first rinse the rice to remove excess starch. Next, we sizzle whole spices in butter before toasting the rice itself. Finally, we add water and then cook the rice over low heat before removing it from the heat and allowing it to steam.
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Dinner 2: Turkey Meatloaf with Sautéed Green Beans
Substituting store-bought ground turkey for beef can lead to a dense, mushy Turkey Meatloaf with Ketchup-Brown Sugar Glaze. To avoid this, we stir in quick oats, which add just the right amount of chew and help to open up the texture of the dense turkey. To avoid overwhelming the mild flavor of the turkey with too many add-ins, we stir in a modest amount of onion, as well as garlic, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and Dijon mustard. Finally, we coat the meatloaf in a ketchup-based glaze, which we add in two stages to ensure that it sticks to the exterior. For Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs that are tender, lightly browned, and fresh tasting, we sauté the beans first, then add water to the pan and cover it so the beans finish cooking in steam.
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Dinner 3: Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Stir-Fried Bok Choy
Game Plan: Prep and marinate the beef (steps 1 and 2), then prep the black pepper sauce (step 3). While the beef sits, prep all of the ingredients for the bok choy. Stir-fry the beef (steps 4 and 5). Wipe out the skillet and stir-fry the bok choy. Once the bok choy is cooked, transfer it to a serving platter, wipe out the skillet, and finish the beef (steps 6 and 7).
Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Black Pepper Sauce starts with flank steak, which delivers rich, beefy flavor. Soaking the steak slices briefly in a mild baking soda solution and then in a soy-based marinade yields supertender, flavorful results. For crisp-tender Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Ginger, we separate the leaves and stalks and cook them separately. Small amounts of soy sauce and fresh ginger accent the bok choy’s fresh, vegetal flavor without overwhelming it.