Mon | Boats of goodness
I've been buying lots of flavorful Hass avocados lately. So delicious! For a ladies-who-lunch kind of dinner, make Shrimp Salad Boats using the tiny salad shrimp. Mix it with chopped celery, fresh dill, mayonnaise (or tangy, plain Greek yogurt), lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper, then scoop it into avocado halves. Serve them California-style with big hunks of sourdough.
Tues | Splurge night
Fast Potato Leek Soup with Bacon (recipe below) is a splurge based on calories, rather than money. It's a luxurious soup, thanks to the heavy cream, but you can experiment with low-fat or fat-free varieties. I always like to follow the recipe first, though, before experimenting as the mad kitchen scientist. A small green salad on the side might assuage your guilt. I said might.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Shredded Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches are quick to the table on a hectic hump day. Shred the chicken and mix with your favorite barbecue sauce. Scoop onto sturdy buns with a heaping pile of cole slaw. (If you get store-bought, let it sit in a wire strainer for a bit to remove excess water and dressing.) You'll need something crunchy on the side, so carrot, celery and cucumber sticks with Ranch dip is a friendly accompaniment.
Thurs | Good cod
Serve Italian Crumbed Baked Cod with couscous and steamed broccoli. Make the crumb topping for the fish by mixing dried Italian bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Brush the top of the fillets with mayo mixed with lemon juice. Divide the crumb mixture evenly and mound atop the fillets; bake 10 to 12 minutes at 450 degrees.
Fri | Tastes like more
Ginger-Sesame Chicken Thighs with scallion rice and sauteed spinach is good kickoff meal for the weekend. Marinate boneless, skinless chicken thighs in store-bought ginger-sesame marinade. I let mine meld in the fridge overnight. Let some of the marinade drip off, then brown the chicken (about 3 minutes each side) in an oven-proof skillet. Finish then off in a 350-degree oven. In the 20 minutes that takes, cook the rice and saute the spinach. If you've got sesame oil, drizzle it over the spinach when it's cooked. Garnish rice with scallions.
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