This is the introductory column of Stir Crazy. It ran on May 21, 2008, the Wednesday before Memorial Day.
Mon | Memorial Day
Just because you've been off all day doesn't mean you want to spend it in the kitchen. Get outside and grill some Greek Burgers topped with grilled onions, feta cheese and thinly sliced cucumbers. Make a Greek salad or Mediterranean potato salad by dressing cooked chunks with an olive oil vinaigrette, scallions and chopped green pepper. Don't forget the kalamata olives.
Tues | Kids' night
Baked Penne With Tomato Sauce will get everyone to the table. Brown 1 pound of ground beef with ⅓ cup chopped onions. Drain. Return to skillet and stir in 4 cups of roasted garlic spaghetti sauce and 2 cups cooked penne pasta. Coat a casserole dish with nonstick spray and spread mixture evenly in pan. Sprinkle two handfuls of shredded mozzarella and one handful of shredded Parmesan on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Serve salad and Italian bread on the side.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Pick up a rotisserie chicken on the way home along with fresh green beans and a box or two of Near East instant couscous. We like the roasted garlic and olive oil or toasted pine nut varieties. Follow package directions and the fluffy pasta will be ready in less than 10 minutes. Before you start couscous, trim green beans and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt and olive oil. Roast in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes, stirring them once.
Thurs | Low-carb
Broil 1-inch-thick salmon fillets for 4 to 6 minutes, flip and brush with a sweet mustard glaze for the last few minutes of cooking. To make the glaze, heat ⅓ cup sugar-free marmalade, ½ cup water, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove and salt to taste. (Refrigerate leftovers.) Simmer then cool before using. Serve with spinach sauteed in olive oil and Caesar salad, minus the croutons.
Fri | Movie & dinner
Watch that DVD that's been perched on the top of the TV for a month while you nosh on Beef, Black Bean and Corn Nachos (see recipe below). For those of age, pour chilled Dos Equis.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8586. Follow her on Twitter at @roadeats.