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Weekday dinner inspirations: Pork and Potato Meatloaf and more

Mon | Pasta perfect

Make a "meaty" red sauce by cooking diced eggplant in your favorite jarred sauce for Eggplant Sauce Spaghetti. Plan on cooking the sauce for about 45 minutes and stirring regularly. Resist the urge to add more liquid even though it'll seem like it needs it at first. The eggplant gives off tons of liquid as it cooks; peel or don't. Serve over pasta with lots of grated Parmesan. Green salad, of course.

Tues | Hog wild

Pork and Potato Meatloaf (recipe below) is a twist on traditional meatloaf. The recipe calls for the meat to be shaped like a loaf, but baked on a sheet rather than in a loaf pan. This keeps the meat from stewing, which can make it tough, plus gives it more surface area for a crispy "crust." The starch is built in, thanks to frozen hash browns, so serve with steamed broccoli and a salad.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Pesto Chicken French Bread Pizza makes tasty work of shredded rotisserie chicken. Split the French bread and toast lightly. Spread the bread with pesto and scatter shredded mozzarella evenly. Top with shredded chicken. Since the bread is already toasted, simply broil for a few minutes until cheese is bubbly and a bit brown. Serve with sauteed broccolini and melon slices.

Thurs | Fish fans

Salmon is my go-to fish for a quick dinner, and Salmon With Green Beans and Couscous is always appreciated at Casa Keeler. I get the beans going first in the steamer because they take the longest. Saute salmon filets seasoned with salt and pepper in a hot pan with extra-virgin olive oil, a splash of white wine and squeeze of lemon. Done in less than 10 minutes. Toss in some capers if you'd like. I favor Parmesan-flavored couscous and then add sliced scallions. Really, the trimming of the green beans is the most time-consuming chore of this meal.

Fri | Beef bonanza

Meat and Potatoes are in order tonight with strip steaks on the grill and baked potatoes topped with whatever your diet allows. While the potatoes are baking, saute sliced onions low and slow in extra-virgin olive oil and a bit of wine at the end. Serve over steak. Caesar salad on the side.

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

>>EASY

Pork and Potato Meatloaf

1  ½ pounds ground pork

2 cups (½ pound) frozen shredded hash browns, thawed

1 large carrot, peeled and shredded

1 small yellow onion, shredded or chopped fine

¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

2 large egg whites

2 teaspoons coarse salt

¾ teaspoon ground pepper

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, and, using your hands, mix until ingredients are well combined. Transfer mixture to a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Form a 5- by 9-inch loaf. Bake until meatloaf is golden brown on top and cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read 160 degrees), about 1 hour. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 8.

Nutritional information per serving: 255 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated), 19g protein, 16g carbohydrates and 3g fiber.

Source: Everyday Food, January 2012

Weekday dinner inspirations: Pork and Potato Meatloaf and more 01/10/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 3:30am]

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