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Weekday dinner inspiration: Quick Red Beans Rice recipe and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Florentine Ravioli starts with frozen cheese raviolis. Make them according to the package instructions. While the ravioli is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet and saute 2 minced garlic cloves. Add 1 bag baby spinach leaves, about ¼ cup water (or vegetable broth) and season with salt and pepper and heat until wilted, about 7 minutes. Divide among four plates, then top with ravioli and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with crunchy bread sticks.

Tues | Bowl full of fun

Quick Red Beans and Rice (recipe below) can be ready for dinner in less than 30 minutes unless you've got leftover rice. (If you do, you can cut the time in half.) To make this dish more nutritious, use brown rice.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Vietnamese Chicken Sandwiches get a hand from shredded rotisserie chicken breast meat. You'll build the sandwich on lengths of split baguette. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce. Toss with shredded chicken; set aside. In a sauce pan, heat ½ cup sugar and ½ cup rice vinegar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add matchstick-cut carrots, green peppers and thinly sliced cucumber and radish. Pile chicken on bread then layer with drained vegetables, fresh cilantro leaves and shredded Romaine lettuce. Drizzle with sweet vinegar. Serve with spicy chips such as Archer Farms (Target) Szechuan barbecue chips.

Thurs | Soup's on!

From Cooking Light comes Spicy Shrimp Soup, which you can doctor in a number of ways. Bring 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water to a simmer and add 1 cup uncooked rice. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add 1 minced garlic clove and 1 ½ pounds peeled medium shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring. Ladle into bowls and top with lime wedge plus any combination of bean sprouts, sliced scallions and fresh cilantro leaves. Serve with baked egg rolls.

Fri | Salty and spicy

Grill flank steak seasoned simply with salt and pepper and serve with scoops of Green Olive Pesto and baked potato wedges. To make the pesto, toast ¼ cup pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes; cool. Pulse 1 bunch of parsley leaves and 1 clove garlic in a food processor until almost smooth. Add the toasted nuts, ¼ cup grated Asiago or Romano and about ¼ cup olive oil and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in water to make a sauce, plus add 1/4 cup chopped green olives.

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

>>EASY

Quick Red Beans and Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ pound turkey andouille or other smoked turkey sausage, coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 (15.5-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup low-sodium chicken broth

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 cups cooked white rice

Chopped scallions, for serving

In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the beans, chicken broth, cumin, thyme, bay leaf and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Discard bay leaf then serve the beans over the rice and top with the scallions.

Serves 6.

Source: Bobby Dean, Food Network Magazine

Weekday dinner inspiration: Quick Red Beans Rice recipe and more 01/22/13 [Last modified: Monday, January 21, 2013 12:45pm]
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