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Weekday dinner inspiration: Cheese-and-Spinach-Stuffed Portobellos and more

Mon | Cheapish Crock-Pot

Food Network host Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade Cooking inspired us to get out the slow cooker for Cajun Red Beans with Andouille Sausage. Mix together 1 pound of sliced andouille sausage, 2 cans of drained kidney beans, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped green pepper, 3/4 cup converted rice, 2 cups vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning and salt and pepper in the slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high.

Tues | Stuff 'em

Mushrooms are often the go-to ingredient to give meatless meals a meaty taste. Cheese-and-Spinach-Stuffed Portobellos (recipe below) are hearty enough to be a dinner entree. Serve with a green salad and pasta with marinara sauce.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Make tonight easy by carving the chicken and serving it with broiled tomatoes (halve them, sprinkle with olive oil and flavored bread crumbs, then broil until soft) and sauteed spinach.

Thurs | Go outside

Marinate chunks of pork tenderloin in prepared mojo in the morning, then thread on skewers with green pepper and onion. Serve the grilled Mojo Pork Kebabs with rice cooked with asparagus cut in 1-inch pieces and a fresh fruit salad.

Fri | Something fishy

It's Friday. And it's Lent. Have your own fish fry. Get some meaty fillets (cod, grouper, halibut, bass) and make a coating. For spicy fish, mix equal parts cornmeal and flour, then season with salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. Dip the fish in beaten egg, then dredge through the coating. Fry in peanut oil until both sides are golden. Serve with crunchy coleslaw (buy prepared and add more cabbage) and small red potatoes (boiled and buttered, then sprinkled with chopped parsley).

Read Stir Crazy online at blogs.tampabay.com/food. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to jkeeler@sptimes.com.

>>EASY

Cheese-and-Spinach-Stuffed Portobellos

4 large portobello mushroom caps

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach

1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided use

2 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place mushroom caps, gill-side up, on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash ricotta, spinach, 1/4 cup Parmesan, olives, Italian seasoning and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Place marinara sauce in a small bowl, cover and microwave on high until hot, 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes.

When the mushrooms are tender, carefully pour out any liquid accumulated in the caps. Return the caps to the pan, gill-side up. Spread 1 tablespoon marinara into each cap; cover the remaining sauce to keep warm. Mound a generous 1/3 cup ricotta filling into each cap and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until hot, about 10 minutes. Serve with the remaining marinara sauce.

Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 201 calories; 10g fat (5g saturated; 13g carbohydrate; 14g protein; 2g fiber; 680mg sodium.

Source: Eating Well magazine

Weekday dinner inspiration: Cheese-and-Spinach-Stuffed Portobellos and more 03/10/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 4:30am]
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