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Weekday dinner inspirations: Sausage-Tortellini Soup, and more

Mon | Seafood delight

Sauteed Scallops and Baked Potatoes is perfect for a manic Monday. Dips the scallops in milk and dredge in fine, seasoned bread crumbs. Saute quickly in olive oil. Load the baked potato with whatever makes you feel good, but not guilty. Keep it low-fat with salsa, or go all out with butter, sour cream and fresh chives.

Tues | Simple soup

Sausage-Tortellini Soup (recipe below) is long on flavor even though it cooks in less than 30 minutes. If you want to get a head-start for a meal the next night, prepare it to the point of adding the stuffed pasta. Refrigerate. Reheat and add the tortellini, cooking as long as directed on the package.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Here's a reprise recipe that deserves repeating. It's from my friend Patty and a keeper. I call it Rotisserie Chicken Fusion. Mix tabouli and cooked orzo and layer in a wide, shallow bowl. Scatter shredded chicken on top and maybe even some crumbled feta. Serve hot or at room temperature with a big, veggie-ful green salad.

Thurs | Easy bake

Everybody likes easy chicken recipes and Chicken With Chunky Tomato Sauce certainly qualifies. Salt and pepper chicken thighs and brown in an oven-safe skillet, then drain off fat. Add cans of drained Northern beans and diced tomatoes with herbs. Cover and pop in a 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes. Serve with egg noodles and steamed broccoli.

Fri | From the deep freeze

Have you tried this yet? Use frozen fish sticks, popcorn shrimp or grilled fillets as the basis for Seafood Tacos. Prepare them according to package instructions. Load into heated corn tortillas with crunchy coleslaw, lime wedges and a few sprigs of cilantro. (You know my trick with store-bought coleslaw: Add fresh, shredded cabbage to dilute the dressing.) Serve fruit on the side.

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Sausage-Tortellini Soup

1 1/2 pounds hot Italian sausage, casings removed*

1 medium onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 (15-ounce) cans Italian-style stewed tomatoes

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen cut green beans

1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

4 beef bouillon cubes

3 carrots, sliced

3 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced

1 cup dry red wine

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

1 (20-ounce) package frozen cheese tortellini

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Saute sausage, onion and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium heat 8 minutes or until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomatoes, next 8 ingredients, and 10 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender.

Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Stir into soup just before serving. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

* Note: 1 pound turkey Italian sausage may be substituted.

Makes 4 quarts.

Source: Southern Living

Weekday dinner inspirations: Sausage-Tortellini Soup, and more 12/22/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 3:30am]
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