A quick seasoning fix for meat, an easy marinade, a stuffed pepper for one (or many) and a kid-friendly way to use up leftovers: Here are four ideas for what to cook for dinner tonight.
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Miso-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin usually comes in packages of two. Sometimes, I’ll season each tenderloin differently, especially if I know I’m going to have leftovers and want some variety. This miso-rubbed pork tenderloin was so easy and flavorful and a quick addition to my regular grilling rotation. On a recent weeknight, I sliced it and served it in butter lettuce wraps with cilantro, crushed peanuts and a sweet chile lime sauce from Trader Joe’s.
— Addie Broyles
1/4 cup miso paste (any kind)
2 pounds pork tenderloin
Rub the pork tenderloins with the miso. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Heat a grill to medium-high heat.
Remove the pork from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking. Place the meat on the grill and sear for 3 to 5 minutes before rotating. Continue cooking and rotating the tenderloins, as needed, until the internal temperature has reached 135 degrees. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4 to 6.
— Adapted from “How to Grill Everything” by Mark Bittman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30)
Italian Dressing Grilled Chicken
I have been marinating my grilled chicken in Zesty Italian dressing since Girl Scout camp in the sixth grade. Technically, I wasn’t doing the marinating back then, but the first time I had Italian dressing-grilled chicken was the same trip where we performed a choreographed dance to “Indian Outlaw” by Tim McGraw — so the memory is fresh in my mind. I still use Zesty Italian dressing to marinate my own chicken because it adds so much wonderful flavor. I find that bottled marinades at the store are too salty or too tangy, but Italian dressing gives it just the right amount of seasoning.
— Rachel Hollis
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (8-ounce) bottle Zesty Italian dressing
Olive oil or cooking spray, for greasing
1 to 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
Place the chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag. Pour the dressing over it and seal the bag tightly. Shake everything together, using your hands to make sure the chicken is fully coated. Place on a plate or bowl and chill in the fridge overnight.
Heat a stovetop or outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Grease with a bit of oil or cooking spray. Drain most of the dressing off each piece, then carefully place the chicken on the hot grill. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on the first side.
Flip over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the second side. Brush the chicken with barbecue sauce and flip over. Continue to brush each side with barbecue sauce, flipping and cooking for about 10 minutes. You’ll know the chicken is done when the internal temperature registers 165 degrees with a cooking thermometer.
Transfer to a plate or platter and cover loosely with foil. Allow to sit about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 8.
— From “Real Life Dinners: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners From the Creator of the Chic Site” by Rachel Hollis (St. Martin’s Griffin, $21.99)
Feta, Tomato and Black Olive Stuffed Peppers
This stuffed red bell pepper gives a beautiful Mediterranean vibe to lunch or dinner. In the summer, they are great with a side salad, while in the winter they go perfectly with a bit of sweet potato mash and some cooked greens. Make as many peppers as people you are serving.
— Dale Pinnock
1 large red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1/2 red onion, minced
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped (other black olives will be fine)
7 ounces feta cheese
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the pepper halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Add a small amount of water to the tray and place at the top of the hot oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pepper is starting to soften and the skin is beginning to wrinkle.
Meanwhile, in a pan, saute the red onion in the oil until it has softened. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper and continue cooking until a thick tomato sauce has formed. Add the olives and stir well.
Remove the peppers from the oven, discarding excess water if there is any left in the baking tray. Turn the peppers over so they can be filled. Stuff with the tomato mixture and crumble over the feta cheese. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Serve with a good side salad, or cooked vegetables of your choice. Serves 1.
— From “Eat Your Way to Managing Diabetes: Tackle Type-1 and Type-2 Diabetes by Changing the Way You Eat, in 50 Recipes” by Dale Pinnock (Quadrille, $14.99)
Call them taquitos, tacos dorados or flautas — these rolled tacos are among the easiest and most versatile dishes you can throw together. For dinner a few weeks ago, I made “golden tacos” filled with taco-seasoned ground beef that I’d mixed with shredded cheese and sour cream. My kids declared them their new favorite food and requested them again, immediately. You could use any cooked protein, but I like to use leftover meat or beans that are already seasoned with chile powder and cumin. If you’re using beans, drain any excess liquid.
— Addie Broyles
2 cups cooked ground beef, shredded chicken, pork or beans
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garlic powder or other spices, to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the meat or beans with the cheese and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper, garlic powder or other spice mix. Spoon a little of the mixture in a tortilla. Roll up tightly and place, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas. Spray generously with cooking spray and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden and crispy. Serves 4.
— Addie Broyles