Mon | Meatless Monday
Wondering what to do with that French or Italian bread that has gotten slightly stale? Give it new life in Bread Soup With Veggies. In a large pot, saute chopped onions and celery plus minced garlic in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add diced carrots and zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme or dried Italian herb blend and then a box of vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and stir in a can of drained garbanzo beans. Heat through and stir in bite-sized pieces of that bread. Garnish with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan, if you'd like.
Tues | Breakfast for dinner
Make the family Egg Florentine Breakfast Sandwiches tonight and serve them with frozen baked potato wedges. To prepare the sandwiches, toast English muffins and spread with Dijon mustard. Layer with sauteed baby spinach, a slice of Canadian bacon browned on both sides in same pan as spinach and a fried egg.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Barbecue Chicken Tostadas With Jicama Slaw (recipe below) is more about the slaw than the chicken. If you haven't tried jicama, this is a good introduction. The bulbous brown root vegetable should be peeled — the skin is thin — before using. To me, it tastes like a cross between an apple and a raw potato, but it's almost always used raw. It's quite refreshing ice cold with a squeeze of lime.
Thurs | Stuff it
Serve Mushroom-Stuffed Shrimp with wild rice and a green salad tonight. Start by making a stuffing from chopped mushrooms sauteed in butter mixed with dried Italian-seasoned bread crumbs. Stuffing should be wet but hold together when pressed. Butterfly extra-large peeled, raw shrimp. Stuff with mushroom mixture and place in a greased casserole dish, stuffing side up. Bake for about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
Fri | On the side
I often resort to the same old side dishes — vegetables steamed and seasoned. Boring. Tonight, it's Cheesy Baked Squash paired with marinated and grilled skirt steak. To make it, saute 3 sliced zucchini and 3 sliced yellow squash in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Remove, drain well and set aside. (To really get the liquid out, line a colander with paper towels and layer in the squash.) In same pan, saute diced onion in butter, remove from heat and add about a cup of crushed butter crackers, such as Ritz. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Incorporate zucchini and squash with onion-cracker onion mixture, spoon into a casserole dish and top with a cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586. Follow her on Twitter at @roadeats.