By JANET K. KEELER
Times Food and Travel Editor
Weekday dinner inspiration: Smoky Maple-Mustard Salmon and more
Mon | Going meatless
Parmesan Penne With Greens and White Beans celebrates Meatless Monday. While 8 ounces of penne is cooking, heat a can of diced tomatoes seasoned with basil and garlic in a skillet. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes to reduce slightly. Add a can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans and half a bag of baby spinach leaves. Add drained pasta. (Save a cup of the pasta water in case the mixture is too dry.) Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve with diced tomatoes and cucumber salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
Tues | Sweet idea
Summer stone fruits are still in abundance and grilling them brings out sweetness. Halve and pit nectarines and peaches, brush them with melted butter or olive oil and toss them on the grill with fish, chicken or beef. Just a few minutes on each side makes them soft and even sweeter. (Save some to eat with vanilla ice cream.)
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Carve the bird and serve with a simple Zucchini Casserole. Slice 3 large zukes in 1/4-inch slices and layer in a pie or quiche pan. In a separate bowl, mix 2 large eggs and 1/2 cup half-and-half (full throttle) or skim evaporated milk (if you want to pare it back). Season with salt and pepper and add about 1/2 cup or more grated Monterey Jack. Pour over squash. Sprinkle top generously with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
Thurs | Flippin' good
You might even have the fixings for Cheese, Apple and Smoked Turkey Quesadillas on hand. Make them more nutritious by using whole-wheat tortillas. Layer tortillas with shredded cheese, thin slices of smoked turkey and Granny Smith apples. Coat a skillet lightly with oil and heat the quesadillas on each side for about 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese melts and tortillas brown slightly. Serve with coleslaw with chunks of pineapple.
Fri | Date-night dinner
Though Smoky Maple-Mustard Salmon (recipe below) feeds four, it's a great Friday dinner for your honey and you. Kick the kids out or maybe send them to the neighbors. You can reciprocate next week with a pizza dinner for their kids. Editors at Eating Well magazine, where the recipe is from, suggest serving it with green beans and whole-wheat couscous with pecans and chives.
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Smoky Maple-Mustard Salmon
3 tablespoons whole-grain or Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 (4-ounce) skinless center-cut salmon fillets
Combine mustard, maple syrup, paprika, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Place salmon fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the mustard mixture evenly on the salmon. Roast until just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes.
Nutritional information per serving: 148 calories, 4g fat, 4g carbohydrates, 23g protein, 0g fiber, 275mg sodium.
Source: Eating Well magazine