Mon | Melt it
Tonight's meal is versatile as well as quick. Look in the pantry for canned tuna, crab, shrimp or chicken. Pick one (or mix crab and shrimp) and make a salad with mayo, celery and possibly a few dashes of hot sauce. Now you've got the building block for Open-Faced Cheesy-Salad Sandwiches. Split English muffins and lightly toast. Pile high with salad and drape with a slice of cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly. Serve with fruit.
Tues | Go wide
Look for pappardelle, the very wide pasta strips, and use them to make Pasta With Ricotta and Basil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and add your favorite marinara sauce. Pour into a wide serving bowl and dollop with heaps of ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of chopped fresh basil leaves. Make a green salad and serve with bread.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas come together quickly with shredded meat from the rotisserie bird. Use it all, white and dark meat. Mix chicken with one or two chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and sour cream. Spread it on a flour tortilla and top with lots of Jack cheese. Top with another tortilla and flip-flop in a dry skillet until cheese is melted. Serve with fresh salsa and guacamole. Rice and beans on the side.
Thurs | Guilt free
Lighter Pulled Pork Sandwiches (recipe below), from the current Everyday Food, take some of the calories and fat out of this Southern favorite. A lean pork tenderloin cooks quickly, so you can make this on a weeknight. Better yet, make the meat one night and serve it the next.
Fri | Green comfort
The Big Green Salad, as Elaine used to call it on Seinfeld, is a great way to get triple servings of veggies. Start with flavorful greens — I like a mix of tender butter lettuce and crunchy Romaine — and add what you like (cukes, tomatoes, sliced onion, shredded carrot, diced zucchini). Make sure to bolster with protein, such as grilled shrimp, feta cheese and garbanzo beans. Since we're going Mediterranean, add briny black olives like kalamata. Dress with a tangy vinaigrette. Breadsticks on the side.
Read Stir Crazy online at www.blogs.tampabay.com/food. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to [email protected]