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Weekday dinner inspirations: One-Pot Chicken and Brown Rice, and more

Mon | All about beans

Make fast Black Bean Soup With Rice for tonight's hungry horde. To make the soup, saute 1/2 chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves in olive oil in a saucepan. Then add 2 cans of drained and rinsed black beans with 1 cup vegetable broth and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Puree mixture and serve with cooked rice, chopped raw onions and hot sauce. Hot buttered Cuban bread on the side.

Tues | Something different

Spaghetti With Spinach and a Fried Egg? Why not? I forgot to mention the bacon, and you know everything tastes better with that salty delight. Fry a few strips and set aside. Meanwhile, cook pasta, drain and then let a few handfuls of chopped spinach (or chopped frisee) wilt in the residual heat. Top with crumbled bacon and a fried egg. Season as you wish with salt and pepper.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Transform grocery store chicken into Chunky Chicken and Avocado Tostadas tonight. Along with the rotisserie chicken, buy a stack of crispy corn tortillas. They come in a bag near the taco seasonings, salsas and other types of tortillas. On that base, load warm shredded chicken, grated cheese, lettuce, diced tomato and onion, chopped cilantro and lots of chopped avocado. Make a creamy dressing of sour cream and salsa and drizzle over the top. Seconds, please.

Thurs | Goodness in the pot

One-Pot Chicken and Brown Rice (recipe below) isn't the quickest meal you'll make this week but it couldn't be much easier, technique-wise. Most of the cooking time is unattended, and at the end, you'll have a hearty meal to serve in a bowl. Thank chicken thighs on the bone for all the flavor.

Fri | Surf on turf

If the seagoing fare of Grilled Grouper Sandwiches With Slaw is too much for your budget, consider another white, firm fish for this handheld entree. Season the fish with salt and pepper and grill gently. Serve on sturdy buns with a heaping spoonful of store-bought coleslaw that has been drained of excess dressing. You'll need something crunchy on the side, like veggie chips.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586.

>>EASY

One-Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (6 to 8 ounces each)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 large yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges

2 celery stalks, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

2 medium carrots, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

1 bay leaf

1 ¾ cups water

1 cup uncooked brown rice

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, in pot. Cook until golden brown on both sides, 10 to 12 minutes total. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot; add onion and celery. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 20 minutes.

Add carrots, bay leaf and water; stir in rice and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until rice absorbs almost all the liquid, 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes and remove bay leaf before serving.

Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 372 calories, 14g fat (3g saturated), 28g protein, 42g carbohydrates, 5g fiber.

Source: Everyday Food Light: The Quickest and Easiest Recipes, All Under 500 Calories from the kitchens of Martha Stewart (Potter, 2011)

Weekday dinner inspirations: One-Pot Chicken and Brown Rice, and more

01/17/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 3:30am]

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