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Weekday dinner inspirations: Spicy Roasted Cauliflower, and more

Mon | A new lease

Well, we've certainly danced, haven't we? Since Halloween, it seems. This week we start to pay the piper. Bolster your healthy eating resolve with White Bean and Spinach Soup. In a saucepan, saute chopped onion and garlic in a wee bit of olive oil, then add chopped bell pepper. Let it all soften a bit then add 4 cups stock (vegetable or low-sodium chicken), 1 can drained white beans, 2 cups baby spinach leaves, 1 bay leaf and salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes; fish out and discard bay leaf. The soup is filling on its own, but you could add a slice of whole-wheat bread and a salad.

Tues | Keep going

The renovation of your diet continues tonight with grilled salmon, steamed green beans and a broiled tomato. Slice the tomato in half and drizzle with another wee bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of seasoned bread crumbs and broil for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Chicken Chef's Salad needs little dressing because of the flavor from the rotisserie bird. Load up plates with ice-cold lettuce and veggies (tomato, cucumbers, shredded carrots), about 1/4 cup shredded cheese or 2 tablespoons of crumbled blue or feta, and 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds. Layer on shredded chicken, skin discarded. Dress lightly with vinaigrette. Creamy dressings are on hold until February.

Thurs | Far East flair

Baked chicken pairs nicely with Spicy Roasted Cauliflower (recipe below). Besides eating better in 2010, vow to introduce yourself and your family to some new flavors. This dish is a tasty introduction to Indian spices.

Fri | Wrap up the week

After being good all week, seems like you should be rewarded with a big, messy pizza, right? Stir Crazy won't be a party to that, though we covet a slice of pepperoni, too. Instead, let's close out the week with healthy Shrimp and Avocado Wraps. In a bowl, mash up an avocado with about 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese. Mix in lemon juice and a big splash of hot sauce to make the mixture spreadable. Smear it on tortillas then layer on spinach leaves and a few cooked (and, of course, peeled) shrimp. Roll up and serve with fresh fruit.

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Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 head (1 1/2 pounds) cauliflower, cored and separated into florets

4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and then add the cauliflower, tossing it until it is evenly coated with the spiced oil. Transfer the cauliflower to a

2-quart casserole dish and roast until browned and tender, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring twice. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and toss with the scallions, lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 4.

Source: Dollars to Donuts by Dawn Welch (Rodale, 2009)

Weekday dinner inspirations: Spicy Roasted Cauliflower, and more 12/29/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 3:30am]
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