By JANET K. KEELER
Times Food and Travel Editor
Easy weeknight meals: Chicken Salad With Wild Rice and more
Mon | Meatless meal
I am not saying it's soup weather, but a cup of warmth remains a comfort at the end of the day no matter the temperature. Bake or buy corn bread to serve with Black Bean and Corn Soup. To make the soup, saute 1 small chopped onion, 1 diced jalapeno and garlic in olive oil. Add 4 cups veggie broth, 2 cans drained black beans and 1 teaspoon cumin. Simmer for 10 minutes. Puree, return to the pan and add 1 cup frozen corn kernels. Heat through. Serve with sour cream. Simply dressed sliced tomatoes and cucumbers on the side.
Tues | Gift of dinner
Stir Crazy contributor Bea Dreier of Tampa offers instructions for wonderful Tomato-Rosemary Salmon Packets. For each serving, place 3 slices of lemon on a piece of aluminum foil, top with one or two slices of tomato, then add a fillet of salmon (about 5 ounces per person). Top with a sprig of fresh rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and seal edges tightly but allow room for steam to form. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. "It's done when you can smell the wonderful aroma coming from the oven," Bea says. Serve with couscous.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Chicken Salad With Wild Rice (recipe below) is a quick dinner thanks to the store-bought bird and a pouch of ready-to-serve rice. Made-from-scratch tarragon vinaigrette makes all the difference here and you can use fresh herbs or dried, but be aware that dried are more potent. Use about a third of what you would have fresh. Great for desk-side lunch leftovers.
Thurs | Your inner goddess (dressing)
Still on a homemade dressing kick so tonight grill something (I am going for shrimp skewers) and make a big green salad (lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, sweet peas and carrot curls) and dress it with Green Goddess Dressing from Southern Living magazine. To make the dressing, process 3 cups firmly packed basil leaves, 1 cup buttermilk, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar and 1 shallot until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in 2 cups mayo and 2 cups sour cream. Yeah, it makes a lot. Give some to the neighbors. It'll keep up to 3 days in the fridge.
Fri | Southern fried
I am not much of a deep-fryer but I do like the crunchy crust on a piece of mild fish, and when it's paired with grits, so much the better. Make Easy Fried Fish and Grits by buying a box of your favorite frozen fish. You can find many varieties, some lower in fat and calories than homemade fried fish. Make grits however you like and saute some spinach. Who has time for collard greens?
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8586. Follow @roadeats on Twitter.
Chicken Salad With Wild Rice
For the dressing:
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (8.5-ounce) pouch ready-to-serve whole-grain brown and wild rice mix
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped watercress
¼ cup minced green onions
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make dressing, gradually add olive oil to white wine vinegar in a small bowl, whisking constantly until smooth and emulsified. Whisk in tarragon, salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
Prepare brown and wild rice mix according to package directions. Mix chicken, red bell pepper, watercress and onions in a serving bowl. Stir in cooked rice and pecans. Dress with tarragon vinaigrette. Season with pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Source: Southern Living