Weekday dinner inspirations: New-style Cuban sandwiches and more

Mon | Simple soup

Sausage, Greens and Beans Soup is so simple you'll have dinner on the table quicker than quick. Saute chopped onion, minced garlic and diced green pepper in olive oil. Depending on how many servings you want, add a box or two of chicken broth, a can or two of drained and rinsed white beans and sliced, cooked kielbasa. Heat through and stir in a bag of spinach leaves. When the leaves wilt, season the soup with freshly ground pepper. Serve with biscuits or rolls.

Tues | Nuevo Cubano

Mark Bittman's "less meat, more flavor" Cuban sandwich (recipe below) is a good twist on a local favorite. Black beans and mango slices? Why not. Serve with a simple green salad.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Use the leftover cilantro from Tuesday in Spicy Peachy Chicken Quesadillas. In between flour tortillas, layer shredded rotisserie chicken, sliced fresh peaches, grated pepper Jack cheese and some cilantro leaves. Cook about 3 minutes per side in a skillet spritzed with a nonstick spray. Serve with sour cream mixed with a bit of lime and honey.

Thurs | Fiber plus

Make friends with whole-wheat pasta and use it tonight as the foundation for Saucy Chicken & Beans. Saute diced onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Set aside, then add more oil and saute boneless, skinless chicken thighs. When chicken is nearly done, add a can of diced tomatoes with herbs and garlic, plus two cans of drained and rinsed cannellini beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve over pasta. Don't forget the green salad.

Fri | Grill and greens

Toss a flank steak into a marinade in the morning and plop it on the grill tonight. Slice thinly, against the grain, and serve over a big green salad dressed with a creamy vinaigrette. And it's Friday, so what the heck, add some blue cheese crumbles.

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Nuevo Cubano

4 (3-ounce) whole-wheat sub rolls, cut in half lengthwise

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 pound thinly sliced reduced-sodium deli ham

1 peeled mango or 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced

1/4 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Hollow out both halves of the rolls, leaving 1/2-inch-thick shells; reserve torn bread for another use.

Combine cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, garlic and black beans in a food processor; process until almost smooth and spreadable, adding a few drops of water, if necessary. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom halves of the prepared rolls. Layer rolls evenly with ham, mango or tomatoes, and provolone cheese; replace top halves of rolls.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 sandwiches to pan; place a cast iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until sandwiches are golden brown (leave cast iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook). Remove sandwiches from pan; repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 2 sandwiches.

Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 436 calories, 20g fat (7g saturated), 24g protein, 45g carbohydrates, 792mg sodium.

Source: Cooking Light

Weekday dinner inspirations: New-style Cuban sandwiches and more 08/03/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 5:30am]

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