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Weekday dinner inspiration: Creole Shrimp and Rice and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Here's a Stuffed Pepper recipe from Bea Dreier of Tampa. She cuts red, orange or yellow sweet peppers in half, drizzles them with vegetable broth and fills with cooked yellow rice, then layers on cut-up vegetables — her favorites are asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, red onion — and tops the peppers with shredded cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until peppers are soft.

Tues | Go NOLA

Cooking Light's Creole Shrimp and Rice (recipe below) takes some of the fat and calories out of the traditional Louisiana dish by using low-fat ingredients. It's less than 300 calories per serving. Wow.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Curried Chicken Salad Wraps with fresh fruit salad make good use of that convenient rotisserie chicken and the luscious berries I am seeing at the store. I don't do much to fresh fruit melange, but you could dress with vanilla yogurt and chopped fresh mint. To make the chicken salad, shred the breast meat and mix with mayonnaise to taste, about 1 teaspoon curry powder and a shake or two of cayenne. Add chopped celery, toasted pecans, diced apples and raisins, if you'd like. Line wraps with lettuce and layer on chicken salad, roll up. (It's best if you can let the flavors of the salad meld for at least 30 minutes.)

Thurs | Oven ready

My go-to Baked Pork Chops is a basic entree that can be endlessly tinkered with. Run boneless chops through a mixture of milk and egg, then coat lightly with seasoned, fine bread crumbs. Brown both sides in olive oil, then bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. I like to place the browned chops on pineapple rings and sprinkled them with just a bit of red wine vinaigrette before baking. Serve with rice pilaf and sliced tomatoes.

Fri | Outside in

Grill marinated skirt steak alongside sliced green peppers and onions that have been brushed with olive oil. (You might want to start the veggies sooner than the beef; it won't take long.) Slice the skirt steak in narrow strips against the grain and pile on the plate with the grilled veggies and a mound of Caesar salad that's loaded with crunchy croutons.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586. Follow her on Twitter at @roadeats.

>>MODERATE

Creole Shrimp and Rice

1 (3 ½-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice

4 teaspoons canola oil, divided

¾ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 ½ teaspoons Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's)

teaspoon ground red pepper

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped green bell pepper

½ cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup 1 percent low-fat milk

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Cook rice according to package directions.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle shrimp evenly with Creole seasoning and red pepper. Add shrimp to pan. Saute 3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.

Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients; saute 5 minutes. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan, then bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add tomatoes and black pepper to pan; cook 2 minutes or until tomatoes are tender. Stir in shrimp; sprinkle with chives. Serve with rice.

Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 283 calories, 7g fat, 18g protein, 4g fiber, 38g carbohydrates, 699mg sodium.

Source: Cooking Light

Weekday dinner inspiration: Creole Shrimp and Rice and more 05/21/13 [Last modified: Monday, May 20, 2013 12:39pm]

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