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Weekday dinner inspirations: Chicken-Corn Bread Bake recipe and more

Mon | Soup and salad

Red Bean and Barley Soup plus a side of roasted Brussels sprouts is a hearty, meatless Monday meal. To make the soup, saute diced celery, onion and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan. Add 7 cups beef or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Pour in 1 cup quick-cooking barley. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add 2 cans drained and rinsed kidney beans and 3 cups torn spinach leaves. Serve with grated Parmesan. To roast Brussels sprouts: In a sheet pan with a lip, lightly coat the sprouts with extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Tues | Here fishy, fishy

Roast salmon fillets in a very hot oven and serve with grape tomatoes that have been sauteed in olive oil with onions and garlic, and seasoned with a few shakes of dried dill and salt and pepper. Add quick-cooking brown or wild rice on the side.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Chicken-Corn Bread Bake (recipe below) is an easy warmup to the Thanksgiving meal. Or at least it will satisfy stuffing lovers. (See today's Taster's Choice column at right for the judges' take on the best stuffing mixes.) Serve the casserole with simple green vegetables, such as steamed broccoli or green beans.

Thurs | Grits and grin

Barbecued Beef Over Cheesy Grits is one of those dishes that can be as involved or as easy as you want it to be. Make the barbecued beef from a favorite recipe, buy it store-made and heat or get a couple of takeout orders. Cook up the grits and add handfuls of shredded cheese. Serve the hot 'cue over the grits and top with chopped tomatoes, green onions and sour cream. Corn bread? Why not?

Fri | Outside, then in

Chilly evenings or not, we're still grilling in the great outdoors. How about some Mojo-Marinated Pork Kebabs With Caribbean Slaw? Marinate chunks of pork loin in store-bought mojo mix for at least an hour. Thread on skewers with green and red pepper pieces and red onion chunks. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side. To a traditional coleslaw, add pineapple chunks and shredded coconut.

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Chicken-Corn Bread Bake

2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 small onion, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

1/8 teaspoon pepper

4 1/2 cups corn bread stuffing mix, divided use

4 cups cubed, cooked chicken

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup butter, cubed

In a large saucepan, combine the broth, onion, celery and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in 4 cups stuffing mix.

Transfer to a greased 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Top with chicken. In bowl, combine sour cream, soup and scallions. Spread over chicken. Sprinkle with remaining stuffing; dot with butter.

Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

Serves 8.

Nutritional information per

1-cup serving: 441 calories, 22g fat (11g saturated fat), 1,202mg sodium, 29g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 27g protein.

Source: The Taste of Home Cookbook, new edition (Reader's Digest, 2010)

Weekday dinner inspirations: Chicken-Corn Bread Bake recipe and more 11/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 3:30am]
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