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Weekday dinner inspirations: Pasta With Creamy Red-Pepper Sauce and more

Mon | Meatless Pizza

Make your own Garlic Mushroom White Pizza tonight with a Boboli-type shell or refrigerated pizza dough. Go easy on the toppings and forgo the red sauce and the meat. Brush the dough with olive oil and scatter with sliced mushrooms that have been sauteed with garlic. Sprinkle on handfuls of smoked mozzarella and cook according to package instructions. Make a very green salad with dark lettuces and lots of veggies, including thinly sliced summer squashes.

Tues | Keep it cool

No need to heat up the kitchen tonight. Grill the beef of your choice outside and serve it with Cucumber and Tomato Salad. To make the salad, combine 2 peeled and sliced cucumbers with 1 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1 cup thinly sliced red onion and 1/2 cup chopped green pepper. Dress with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Carve the bird and serve it with Pasta With Creamy Red-Pepper Sauce (recipe below). Feta cheese and roasted red peppers from the jar are the primary flavor ingredients for this speedy recipe. (With 17 grams of protein per serving, the pasta could easily serve as the meal's primary dish.)

Thurs | Wrap it up

Turkey, Bacon and Avocado Wraps are an easy meal for a busy night. Use whole-wheat wraps and add a swipe or two of honey mustard along with a bit of mayo. Use turkey bacon if you'd like, but make sure the avocado is very ripe. Serve with big slices of melon.

Fri | Skewered shrimp

Pesto Grilled Shrimp over Nutty Couscous (from the box) goes well with grilled peach halves. Thread peeled shrimp on skewers and paint with store-bought pesto sauce. Grill for just minutes on each side. Before adding the shrimp to the grill, cut peaches in half, brush with melted butter and place on the grate, cut side down. Give them a few minutes, then start your shrimp.

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Pasta With Creamy Red-Pepper Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)

1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and chopped

1/2 cup chicken broth, low-sodium preferred

1 cup crumbled feta cheese (6 ounces), divided use

1 (16-ounce) box whole-wheat pasta

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a medium-heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add roasted red peppers and cook, stirring a few times, until heated through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Transfer red pepper mixture to a food processor, add broth and all but 2 tablespoons of the feta. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Cook pasta according to the directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to pot and toss with sauce, adding pasta water by the tablespoon if needed to loosen. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among six bowls. Sprinkle with reserved feta and serve.

Serves 6.

Nutritional information per serving: 445 calories, 11g fat, 17g protein, 10g fiber, 810mg sodium.

Source: The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life, by Ellie Krieger (Taunton Press, 2008)

Weekday dinner inspirations: Pasta With Creamy Red-Pepper Sauce and more 08/17/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 4:30am]
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