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Weekday dinner inspirations: Salmon in a Foil Packet, and more

Mon | Meatless Monday

Snub the flesh tonight for Greek Feta Pizzas, using pita bread as your base. Preheat broiler and crumble feta cheese over whole pitas. Sprinkle on diced roma tomatoes plus a few shakes of dried oregano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. (Add chopped, pitted kalamata olives if you'd like.) Broil for 5 to 8 minutes, watching carefully. Serve with a spinach salad of baby leaves, chopped hard-boiled egg and diced red onion. A fruit vinaigrette will go well here.

Tues | Foiled again

Salmon in a Foil Packet (recipe below) is a healthy new year dish that just might fit into your diet plan. Good portion size, decent calorie content. Serve with more veggies or a cup of couscous mixed with sliced scallions. That's a filling and nutritious dinner that's less than 550 calories.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Shred your bird, discarding bones and skins, for Chicken Quesadillas with Spinach and Onions. Saute half-moon shaped onion slices in olive oil until browned, about 10 minutes. Add a bag of baby spinach leaves. Let wilt and set aside. Place a whole-wheat flour tortilla in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Scatter shredded chicken and top with onion mixture and grated Jack cheese. Place another tortilla on the top and cook, flipping so that both sides are browned and cheese is melted. One chicken should make at least four quesadillas. Serve with orange wedges.

Thurs | Bowlful of goodness

Soup in less than 30 minutes? We've got you covered with White Bean, Chicken Noodle and Escarole Soup from Cooking Light magazine. Get 10 cups of water of boiling, add 6 cups of chopped escarole and let cook for about 10 minutes. In a small pan, saute 2 chopped garlic cloves in a bit of olive oil. Add crushed red pepper, some black pepper, a can of drained and rinsed white beans and ½ cup water. Let simmer for a minute, then add to pot with 1 can condensed, reduced-sodium chicken noodle soup. Let cook through and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Fri | Snack your way through

Little plates are big hits on nights when the chief cook is weary. Slice and saute cooked kielbasa or chorizo and arrange on a platter with olives, store-bought hummus, mini pitas, cubes of marinated feta and sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil.

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

>>EASY

Salmon in a Foil Packet

1 ½ pounds salmon fillet

1 cup slivered carrots (about 2 carrots)

1 cup slivered red or green bell pepper, or zucchini

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Tear off about 2 feet of heavy-duty aluminium foil and fold it in half to make a double-thick square that measures about 12 inches. Place foil on a cookie sheet.

Place the fish in the center of the foil. Top the fish with the carrots and peppers (or zucchini).

In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute until they are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, vinegar and hoisin sauce and simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Pour the sauce carefully over the fish and vegetables. Wrap the foil into an airtight packet around the fish, veggies and sauce, folding and sealing the edges.

Bake the wrapped fish for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and open the package immediately (and carefully) so the fish stops cooking.

Serves 4.

Source: The Six O'clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb (St. Martin's Griffin, 2006)

Weekday dinner inspirations: Salmon in a Foil Packet, and more 01/03/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 3:30am]

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