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Weekday dinner inspirations: Caprese Chicken With Bacon and more

Mon | Salad days

Who turned on the humidity? Not much you can do about it except turn off the oven. Here's a no-sweat Chopped Mediterranean Salad to ease the heat. Cut whole-wheat pitas into bite-sized squares, then add to chopped romaine lettuce, canned chickpeas (rinsed and drained), peeled and diced cucumber, sliced scallion, halved grape tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese. For dressing, whisk together 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and coarse salt and black pepper to taste.

Tues | Fully baked

The caprese salad gets a twist in Caprese Chicken With Bacon (recipe below). The addition of bacon is a cheap trick to get everyone to like this dish, though will they need that much tempting? Serve with a side of sauteed spinach finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of lemon zest.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Skip the Chipotle takeout tonight and make yours at home with Shredded Chicken Burritos. Stuff them with rice, ranch-style beans, chicken, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, sliced scallions and guacamole. Good luck rolling them with all that stuff in there, but I guess they don't have to weigh 2 pounds. Assuage your guilt with slices of cantaloupe doused with lime juice.

Thurs | My favorite new trick

Cast Iron Broiled Salmon is in heavy rotation at our house. Oil a cast iron skillet and put it under the broiler for 5 minutes. While pan is heating, drizzle salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Carefully remove skillet and add salmon fillets, skin side down. Broil for about 5 minutes until skin is crispy and fish is perfect. Serve with quick-cooking wild rice and sliced ripe tomatoes.

Fri | Outside in

Load up the grill with skewers of pieces of tender beef alternating with grape tomatoes. But before they go on the grill, marinate your Beefy Tomato Kebabs for a few hours in a mixture of grainy mustard, red wine vinegar and dried thyme leaves. Serve over couscous with pine nuts. An ice-cold Caesar on the side lends refreshing crunch. And it's Friday, so open a bottle of red (I like an Argentinian malbec).

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Caprese Chicken With Bacon

8 bacon strips

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 plum tomatoes, sliced

6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

4 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese

Place bacon in an ungreased 15- by 10- by 1-inch baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until partly cooked but not crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Place chicken in an ungreased 9- by 13-inch baking pan, brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with tomatoes and basil. Wrap each in two bacon strips, arranging bacon in a criss-cross.

Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. Top each chicken breast with a slice of cheese; bake 1 minute longer or until melted.

Serves 4.

Source: Taste of Home

Weekday dinner inspirations: Caprese Chicken With Bacon and more 06/15/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 3:19pm]
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