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Weekday dinner inspiration: Quinoa With Black Beans and Hominy and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Hominy is a curious ingredient and most often seen in the Mexican soup posol. Hominy is corn kernels that have been soaked in a an alkali solution, causing them to puff up — sort of like soft popcorn. When dried, hominy is ground for grits. In Quinoa With Black Beans and Hominy (see accompanying), the soft hominy plays nicely with the earthy quinoa and the bright flavors in the dressing. This is one of those dishes that packs well for lunch the next day.

Tues | Soup's on

With that slight fall nip in the air, Turkey Sausage and Gnocchi Soup is a comforting weeknight meal. To make the soup, brown 6 ounces bulk turkey sausage. Add 2 cups water, 16 ounces frozen gnocchi, a 14-ounce can of beef broth and a 14-ounce can of Italian-style chopped, stewed tomatoes with juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Thinking about a new kind of mashed side for the Thanksgiving table? How about practicing tonight with Food Network magazine's Mashed Ginger and Orange Carrots served alongside a carved chicken. Peel and roughly chop 2 pounds carrots and boil until soft, about 20 minutes; drain. Puree with 3 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil with a teaspoon each grated fresh ginger and orange zest and drizzle over the mashed carrots.

Thurs | Belly up to the bar

The idea of the Baked Potato Bar is certainly a good one for a party but think how festive it would be for a weeknight family dinner. You'll have to limit the offerings but consider Sloppy Joes and shredded cheddar; sauteed onions and sour cream; sauteed ham cubes with brie, then broiled; or maybe roasted veggies and feta.

Fri | Pizza night

Tonight, a tube of refrigerated pizza dough is your friend and Stir Crazy favorite Chicken and Artichoke Pizza will become your BFF. Press the dough into a pizza pan. Spread it with ¼ cup of creamy Caesar dressing that has been mixed with a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan. Top with cooked chicken cubes, marinated artichoke hearts (drained and coarsely chopped), chopped Roma tomatoes and a heaping handful of shredded Fontina or Jack cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven.

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

>>MODERATE

Quinoa With Black Beans and Hominy

1 ½ cups quinoa

2 cups low-sodium broth (chicken or vegetable)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Grated zest of large lemon

For the dressing:

¼ cup safflower or grape-seed oil

3 tablespoons light agave nectar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 large limes)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can hominy, rinsed and drained

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Use sieve to rinse quinoa. In a medium saucepan bring the quinoa, broth, salt and lemon zest to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the oil, agave, lime juice, vinegar, cumin, salt and pepper until smooth.

In a serving bowl, combine the quinoa, black beans, hominy and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss until coated. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6.

Source: Giada's Feel Good Food by Giada de Laurentiis (Potter, 2013)

Weekday dinner inspiration: Quinoa With Black Beans and Hominy and more 11/18/13 [Last modified: Monday, November 18, 2013 5:16pm]
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