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Weekday dinner inspirations: Slow Cooker Pork and Pineapple Curry and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Penne Caponata is a Stir Crazy favorite because it's a simple dish that uses a few jars of the prepared eggplant appetizer spread. While the pasta is cooking, gently warm the caponata but don't let it bubble and sputter. If you think you might need more sauce for the amount of pasta you've cooked, add a can of drained white beans. Mix with pasta and sprinkle with pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with a green salad.

Tues | Taco twist

Turn Taco Tuesday on its head with Steak Tacos With Avocado. Marinate skirt steak in a red wine-herb melange (store bought is good) and grill. Let cool slightly and then toss with shredded red cabbage, fresh cilantro leaves and lime juice. Heat flour tortillas then top with meat mixture and shredded Jack cheese. Top with slices of avocado and serve with lime wedges. Seasoned black beans and watermelon wedges on the side.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Prepare Middle Eastern Chicken Flatbread by spreading garlic hummus on toasted pita or flatbread. In a mixing bowl, combine chopped shredded chicken, Romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, chopped kalamata olives, diced cucumber and crumbled feta cheese. Dress with red wine vinegar. Pile on prepared flatbread. Serve with a side of couscous studded with raisins.

Thurs | Slow food

I just don't use the Crock-Pot enough but Slow Cooker Pork and Pineapple Curry (recipe below) is reason enough to haul out the contraption. It uses lean pork cut into cubes and a load of tasty spices. Serve it with rice — I am going brown these days for more nutrition. Steamed broccoli spears on the side.

Fri | Pucker up

The scampi treatment is usually reserved for shrimp but chicken pairs well with the ingredients, too. To make a simple version of Lemony Chicken Scampi, saute ¾ pound of chicken breast chunks in a large skillet in olive oil. When the chicken is cooked through, transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat and melt about a stick of unsalted butter, adding 3 cloves of minced garlic. When you can really smell the garlic, add the juice of a couple lemons. Return chicken to pan to heat through. Serve with angel hair pasta and garnish with chopped, fresh parsley.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com and (727) 893-8586.

>>EASY

Slow Cooker Pork and Pineapple Curry

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 ¼ pounds lean pork, cubed

2 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder (depending on how hot you like it), optional

1 ¼ cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon mango chutney (¼ cup yellow raisins may be substituted)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 (15-ounce) can pineapple chunks, in syrup

2 bay leaves

Mix flour and salt together and toss pork pieces in mixture until coated.

Heat oil in frying pan or skillet and brown meat on all sides. Transfer browned meat to Crock-Pot. Add onion to pan and saute until transparent. Add all the remaining ingredients to pan and bring to a boil. Transfer to Crock-Pot.

Cook on low for five hours and up to seven hours until meat is tender. Discard bay leaf and stir well.

Serves 6.

Source: Baltimore Sun

Weekday dinner inspirations: Slow Cooker Pork and Pineapple Curry and more 08/21/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 4:30am]

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