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Weekday dinner inspirations: Chicken with smooshed tomatoes and more

Mon | To-mah-to, to-may-to

Toss away the measuring cups and spoons tonight and go with your instincts to make Chicken With Smooshed Tomatoes. Saute thin chicken cutlets in olive oil and minced garlic. When pieces are brown on both sides, add a healthy splash of white wine, a couple of squeezes of lemon, some capers and a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes. Cover and cook until the tomatoes go soft. Serve with sauteed spinach and a salad.

Tues | Pizza on a pita

Go meatless tonight with simple grilled Veggie Pita Pizzas. Heat the grill to medium and lightly brush pita on each side with olive oil. Scatter grated cheese (we like Pepper Jack) and thinly sliced veggies (for example, mushrooms, onions, green peppers) over the pitas and grill until cheese is melted and veggies are soft. We like corn and black beans, with a squirt or two of lime, on the side.

Wed | Rotisserie Chicken

It's hump day, so make life easy. Rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and the vegetable of your choice. If you want to make your own 'taters, boil some small red ones and mash them, skins and all, with butter and milk. We like Diner's Choice for a prepared variety.

Thurs | Mangia pasta

As the week winds down, resist the urge for takeout and make quick White Bean, Sausage and Arugula Pasta (recipe below) instead. Rachael Ray's got nothing on you. Get this dinner on the table in about 20 minutes. Serve lovely Plant City strawberries over pound cake for dessert.

Fri | Taco night

Before you head out this morning, start your Pulled Pork Tacos. Put a 1-pound tenderloin in the slow cooker with a packet of taco seasoning, 1/2 cup water, chopped onion, 1 or 2 chopped jalapenos and a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. This evening, take out the meat and shred it. Stuff meat into taco shells and garnish with fresh cilantro, sour cream, shredded Jack cheese and green tomatillo salsa. (Pace makes a good one.) Serve apple slaw or fruit salad on the side.

Read Stir Crazy online at www.blogs.tampabay.com/food. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to jkeeler@sptimes.com.

.EASY

White Bean, Sausage and Arugula Pasta

12 ounces spaghettini pasta

12 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

1 medium onion, quartered, thinly sliced

1 can (14 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth

1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 bag (4 ounces) baby arugula or 1 bag (5 ounces) baby spinach, washed

Grated Parmesan for garnish

Cook pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water as package directs. Drain; return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and onion. Breaking up sausage with a wooden spoon, saute 6 minutes or until no longer pink. Add broth and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes to blend flavors.

Pour over pasta, add arugula and toss to mix and coat. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4.

Source: Tuesday is Pasta Night from Woman's Day

Weekday dinner inspirations: Chicken with smooshed tomatoes and more 02/10/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 3:30am]

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