I'm always looking for fresh meal ideas. Some excellent ones have come from this ongoing "Best Meal of the Week" post where we get to help each other figure out what's good for dinner. Remember, "best" is highly subjective: healthy, super quick, inexpensive, fabulously delicious - or a combination of all that and more. Post your "best" in the comments below.
Here are a few tasty ideas from Whole Foods Market team members.
My best meal of the last few weeks is the traditional shrimp boil. We had one on Mother's Day, another one two weeks ago at the beach, and yet another one this past weekend for my birthday. Why is it the "best?" Well, first off, it's utterly delicious. It's festive, summery and an alternative to grilling. It's cheap, since the only expensive part is the shrimp; the rest is just veggies and spices. It's healthy - low fat and veggie-packed, really just shrimp and veggies cooked in water. It's adaptable - you can throw in or leave out ingredients as you like, choose sausages based on preference, etc. And it's easy - instructions are basically "Boil water. Dump in stuff. Serve." It's my new favorite summer meal.
From Juan Pablo:
Here's a fun, healthy version of paella but using couscous (and it's vegetarian). You season the water you are going to use to cook the couscous with a pinch of saffron, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and olive oil. Then you add the couscous, cover it and let it sit. Once the couscous is done, you toss in cooked chickpeas, fresh blanched or frozen green peas and green beans. You can use chicken stock or vegetable stock as the base instead of water, too. It's colorful, tasty and easy to do! You can serve as a vegetarian entrée along with a salad.
Have you tried the air-chilled chicken yet? I'm a believer. I bought a few pounds when it was on sale last month and froze portions I would eat in one or two meals. Because it hasn't been injected with a fluid cocktail of salt and water (and whatnot), the texture of the meat when thawed is both smoother and more mouth-friendly. And leftovers are every bit as tender. At the end of the workday commute, I looked at my fridge and pantry options. Leftover tomatillo sauce. Two thawed air-chilled chicken breasts. Six small red potatoes. Part of an onion. Three garlic cloves. The garden still offered cilantro, basil, rosemary, and the heat-hardiest of the chard, spinach and kale. Using my toaster oven and a small covered skillet, in just over twenty minutes I sat down to a meal of broiled chicken breast with tomatillo sauce and chopped cilantro added during the last three minutes. I sprinkled the quartered red potatoes with cracked pepper and rosemary and sprayed them with olive oil before roasting along with the chicken. I rinsed the greens while the thin-sliced onion and garlic were flavoring the olive oil, and, after patting them dry, lightly sautéed for a few minutes. Once on the plate, a half of a small lime squeezed over the greens and the chicken added more flavor without resorting to the salt shaker. I had plenty for a delicious lunch the next day.
Your turn! What was your "best" meal of the week? Comment below and we may feature your dish in the next edition of this post.
Photos by Russell T. Clayton