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Weekday dinner inspiration: Middle Eastern Steak Pitas and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Here's another suggestion from meatless-meal devotee Bea Dreier of Tampa: Poached Eggs on English Muffins with sauteed spinach or arugula salad made with toasted sliced almonds and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil and a squeeze over all plus salt and pepper to taste. Toast the muffins first or even substitute sturdier bagels.

Tues | The big salad

Light and tasty Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salads are a welcome dinner when the weather is hot, hot, hot. Oh, and humid. Thread peeled shrimp on skewers and brush with olive oil mixed with dried Italian herbs. Grill for a few minutes on each side. Load up plates with dressed salad and top with shrimp skewers. I count big, crunchy croutons as my carb.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Chicken and Bowtie Pasta starts with the shredded breast meat from a rotisserie chicken. (Save dark meat for another use.) Prepare pasta according to package directions. While it's cooking, saute half a diced onion and a rib of celery in a bit of olive oil. Add ½ cup chicken broth and 1 can condensed celery soup. Stir to loosen and heat through, then add 1 to 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Let cheese melt and add cooked, drained pasta and shredded chicken. Heat through, top with chopped fresh parsley and serve. Make a green salad full of veggies.

Thurs | Pita please

Pumpkin pie spice? In a savory dish? Yes, when it's Middle Eastern Steak Pitas (recipe below) and the marinade for the flank steak is a mixture of sweet and savory seasonings. The recipe calls for the steak to be cooked in a cast-iron skillet but you could also grill it. Serve with a rice pilaf.

Fri | No meat Friday, too.

Black Bean Tacos With Feta and Slaw is a Stir Crazy favorite and starts with canned black beans heated with ground cumin. To shredded cabbage, add lime juice, olive oil and hot sauce. Stuff soft or hard taco shells with the bean mixture, feta cheese, cabbage and chopped scallions. Hot sauce optional. Serve with rice and fresh fruit.

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

>>MODERATE

Middle Eastern Steak Pitas

1 ¼ pounds flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced, divided

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley and/or mint

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)

2 medium tomatoes, diced

3 small Persian cucumbers, peeled and chopped

4 pocketless pitas

Combine the steak, onion, pumpkin pie spice, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons chopped herbs, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper in a bowl; toss well to coat. Set aside while you prepare salad.

Whisk the tahini, the remaining garlic and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate bowl; stir in the tomatoes and cucumbers.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Brush the pitas with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; cook until lightly toasted, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to plates. Working in batches, add the meat and onion to the skillet in a single layer and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Serve the steak and onion on the pitas with the tahini-cucumber salad. Top with the remaining herbs.

Serves 4.

Source: Food Network magazine

Weekday dinner inspiration: Middle Eastern Steak Pitas and more 06/11/13 [Last modified: Monday, June 10, 2013 1:12pm]
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