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Easy weeknight meals: Mexican Tossed Salad and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Mexican Tossed Salad (recipe below) is a twist on your typical green salad, using tortilla chips instead of croutons. The addition of jicama and cilantro are two more Latin flavor boosts. It's a versatile vegetarian recipe that can be augmented with cooked shrimp or chicken for those of other dietary persuasions.

Tues | Bowl of food

Serve Spicy Shrimp With Avocado Crema Bowls for a tasty weeknight meal. Make a marinade of 1 tablespoon honey, 3 tablespoons olive oil, a few splashes of Sriracha (or another hot sauce) and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Add 1 pound of peeled shrimp (or another variety) and let sit for 1 to 2 hours. Saute in large skillet. Add some snow peas and julienned carrots. Serve in a bowl over brown rice and a sauce made of equal parts guacamole and sour cream.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Shred your store-bought bird for Thai Coconut Chicken Soup. Saute 3 garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons grated ginger, ¼ cup chopped lemongrass, 1 teaspoon each cumin and coriander, and a hot chile in oil. Add 1 sliced onion; cook 5 minutes. Add shredded bok choy, 4 cups water, 1 can coconut milk, chopped cilantro and 2 tablespoons fish sauce. Simmer for 8 minutes, then add shredded rotisserie chicken until it's heated through.

Thurs | French-Italian fusion

Tuck the traditional Italian caprese salad into a French baguette for a super-quick nosh we're calling Caprese Baguettes. To make the sandwiches, layer slices of fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and fresh basil leaves on a 6-inch length of baguette. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Cantaloupe and honeydew melon slices or chunks on the side.

Fri | More than half baked

Among easy recipes, Baked Penne With Garlic-Tomato Sauce is a Stir Crazy hall-of-famer. Brown 1 pound of ground beef with a small, diced onion and 2 minced garlic cloves. Drain. Return to skillet and stir in 4 cups roasted garlic spaghetti sauce and 2 cups cooked penne. Add 1 handful shredded mozzarella. Coat a casserole dish with nonstick spray and spread mixture evenly in pan. Sprinkle another handful of shredded mozzarella and half a handful of shredded Parmesan on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Serve with salad and Italian bread.

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

>>EASY

Mexican Tossed Salad

3 cups baby spinach

3 cups green leaf lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

½ bell pepper, chopped

½ cup peeled and julienned jicama

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup broken tortilla chips

For dressing:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup olive oil

Combine the spinach, lettuce, carrots, bell pepper, jicama, cilantro and tortilla chips in a large salad bowl.

In a small jar or bowl, combine the vinegar, feta cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Place the lid on the jar and shake well, or whisk until smooth if you're using a bowl. Add the oil and shake or whisk again to emulsify.

Toss the salad with enough of the dressing to coat. Serve the extra dressing on the side.

Source: Good Cheap Eats by Jessica Fisher (Harvard Common Press, 2014)

Easy weeknight meals: Mexican Tossed Salad and more 07/14/14 [Last modified: Monday, July 14, 2014 4:18pm]
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