Mon | Going meatless
Bean, Spinach and Pasta Parmesan Bake is a good go-to Monday dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While a penne pasta is cooking, saute chopped onions and a garlic clove in olive oil. Add 2 cans diced tomatoes with herbs and a can of drained Northern white beans. Mix with drained pasta and some roughly chopped spinach. Spoon into casserole dish and sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake until top is bubbly and brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with a leafy salad studded with sliced strawberries and toasted almonds dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Tues | Fast soup
Cheese Tortellini and Sausage Soup With Greens is a fast go-to weeknight meal. Saute chopped onion and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan and then add ½ pound sliced cooked sausage, such as kielbasa, and brown slightly. Add about 28 ounces of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and stir in 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning blend. Let cook for about 10 minutes and then add a bag of frozen cheese tortellini. Cook until tender, and stir in ½ bag of fresh spinach leaves or 1 box of frozen chopped spinach that has been thawed and well drained. Serve with breadsticks.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
BBQ Chicken Joes start with shredded cooked chicken mixed with barbecue sauce. Heat them together in a saucepan and then pile on soft buns and top with crunchy coleslaw, homemade or store-bought. (If you use prepared, add more freshly shredded cabbage. There's always plenty of dressing.) Salute the start of stone-fruit season with a salad of sliced peaches and nectarines tossed with fresh mint.
Thurs | Stir-fry salad
Shrimp Stir Fry Salad will give them something to talk about. In a large skillet or wok, saute peeled shrimp in vegetable oil. Remove shrimp and add chopped peanuts, grated fresh ginger and about ¼ cup Asian sesame salad dressing to the pan. Remove from heat and return shrimp to pan. In a large bowl, toss packaged broccoli slaw, thinly sliced cucumber and red pepper strips with another ¼ cup of the dressing. Toss with warm shrimp mixture.
Fri | Hot and cold
Thursday's hot-cold salad was such a hit, we're extending the idea with Skirt Steak With Arugula Salad (recipe below) tonight. The heat from the meat mixed with pepper arugula, plus croutons made from ciabatta rolls, turns simple ingredients into an elegant meal. Pour a glass of syrah and toast the coming weekend.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586.