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Weekday dinner inspirations: Vegetable Empanadas, and more

Mon | Veggie tales

Savory turnovers filled with vegetables can be made quickly using prepared pie crusts. Vegetable Empanadas (recipe below) are hearty enough for dinner, especially when served with a spinach salad with sliced strawberries and almonds. (For a beef version, turn to Page 5E.)

Tues | Bountiful fruit

Markets are loaded with the scrumptious stone fruit of summer right now. Good deals, too, for these rocky times. Grilled peaches pair great with grilled pork chops. Set the chops on the grate, then brush halved peaches with a bit of melted butter. Grill on each side for a few minutes. A salad of peppery arugula and goat cheese dressed with balsamic vinaigrette rounds out the meal.

Wed | Rotisserie Chicken

Keep it easy and quick tonight. Carve the bird and serve it with Summer Squash Carpaccio, an idea from the creative mind of Rachael Ray. To make the side dish, slice 1 yellow squash and 1 zucchini paper thin. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with minced shallot and chopped fresh herbs, then drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add a few big shaves of Parmesan.

Thurs | Little shrimp, big taste

Check out the freezer case for a bag of popcorn shrimp, which will be the featured ingredient in tonight's Crunchy Shrimp Salad. Prepare the shrimp according to package directions. Make a green salad with ice-cold Romaine and thinly sliced green or red pepper and red onion. Place warm shrimp over the top and halved hard-boiled eggs on either side. Top with Thousand Island or your favorite creamy dressing.

Fri | Italian flair

Make Italian Cheeseburgers by stuffing your patties with a large cube of mozzarella cheese. Make sure to add some dried Italian seasoning and tomato sauce to the meat mix. Dress however you like and serve with pasta salad.

Read Stir Crazy online at www.blogs.tampabay.com/food. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to jkeeler@sptimes.com.

>>easy

Vegetable Empanadas

2 zucchini

1 onion

2 potatoes

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper

2 prepared, unformed pie crusts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim and discard the ends of the zucchini and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Peel the onion and potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Place the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium het. Add the zucchini, onion and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the juice from the tomatoes and add them to the pan. Add the crushed red pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are warm. Season with salt and pepper.

Unfold or unroll the pie crusts on a flat surface and cut each one in half. Spoon one-fourth of the vegetable mixture into the center of one half circle of dough. Wet your finger and dampen the entire edge of the dough, then fold the dough over and press all around he edges with a fork to seal. Cut a slit in the top of the dough and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown, and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Source: College Vegetarian Cooking by Megan Carle and Jill Carle (Ten Speed Press, 2009)

Weekday dinner inspirations: Vegetable Empanadas, and more

07/28/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 5:30am]
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