Mon | Meatless meal
Make the family a pot of Cuban Black Bean Stew With Rice and you'll be lucky if you have leftovers for lunch the next day. Prepare brown or white rice and while that's working, make the stew. Saute chopped onions, a diced red bell pepper and a couple of cloves of garlic in olive oil until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add 2 (15-ounce) cans of drained and rinsed black beans, 1 (15-ounce) can vegetable broth, a tablespoon of cider vinegar and ½ teaspoon of dried oregano. Let simmer for a bit and smash some of the beans with the back of a wooden spoon to thicken the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice and chopped cilantro, thinly sliced radishes and lime wedges.
Tues | Oktoberfest, y'all
I promise I won't go German on you all month but October is the time to celebrate sausages, beer and oom-pah-pah music. Bratwurst and Kale is seasonal, hearty and slightly German all at once. Saute chopped kale in a mild wheat beer and when it's wilted to your taste, stir in a couple of teaspoons of vinegar. Add 2-inch pieces of bratwurst, heat through and serve with spicy mustard and hearty brown bread.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Shred the breast meat of your rotisserie bird for Peanut Noodles With Chicken and save the dark meat for another use. (Chicken salad for one.) Cook spaghetti according to package directions and when that's done, toss it with peanut sauce, such as Jade. Taste before you use and doctor with a little soy sauce (if it's too sweet) or hot sauce (if you want the spice). Add chicken and matchstick-cut carrots and cucumbers. Garnish with chopped peanuts and sliced scallions.
Thurs | Breath mint, meal
Lighter Onion Soup With Cheese Toasts (recipe below) from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Light cuts back on the calories and fat by reducing the butter. This is a filling meal, especially with the accompaniment of a green salad.
Fri | Dining out at home
Here's a Stir Crazy favorite: Use up the Italian salad dressing in the fridge by turning it into marinade for flank steak. Serve your Grilled Italian Flank Steak with frozen steak fries and an iceberg wedge salad dripping with chunky blue cheese. It's almost like going out.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586. Follow @roadeats on Twitter.