Mon | Meatless meal
Broccoli-Pecorino Tart (recipe below) is a tasty nosh that would pair well with a bowl of minestrone or bean soup. The base for this tart is a sheet of puff pastry, which makes the dish an easy endeavor for a weeknight. It will take about 10 minutes of prep and another 30 in the oven.
Tues | Made for leftovers
Penne With Beefy Meat Sauce sounds like a back-to-school dinner if there ever was one. I like to doctor an herby spaghetti sauce with chopped onions that have been sauteed for about 5 minutes with a couple of minced garlic cloves plus shredded carrots. Add ground beef and brown. Drain and add to red sauce. Serve with cooked, drained penne and grated Parmesan cheese. Green salad and bread on the side. Make enough for lunch leftovers.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Use the shredded breast meat of a store-bought bird and cooked linguine for a quick version of Sesame Noodles With Chicken from Cooking Light magazine. In the last few minutes of cooking, add 1 cup of matchstick-cut carrots to the simmering pasta. In a food processor or blender, combine ⅔ cup vegetable broth, ½ cup peanut butter, 2 tablespoons each rice vinegar and low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon ground ginger and 2 teaspoons Sriracha or hot sauce. Combine drained pasta and carrots with chicken in a large bowl and drizzle generously with sauce. Garnish with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds if you'd like.
Thurs | Comfort food
Meat loaf and mashed potatoes with steamed broccoli. Enough said. Put together the meat loaf the night before and refrigerate, then pop it in the oven when you get home from work. Better yet, make it the night before and reheat. It's always better on the second day. Or you can make cold meat loaf sandwiches. Oh, the possibilities.
Fri | Party on
Even if you have to work weekends, Friday still has that festive feel. Grill or roast peeled shrimp that have been brushed with olive oil mixed with minced fresh garlic. Serve with Mango Cocktail Sauce, from the new cookbook Seriously Simple Parties by Diane Rossen Worthington (Chronicle Books). To make the sauce, mix 1 cup diced mango with ½ cup chili sauce, 2 teaspoons each fresh lime juice and cream-style horseradish, plus a few drops of Worcestershire and hot sauce. Chill until ready to use. Sauce would also be good with small cubes of ripe avocado.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586.