Mon | Meatless meal
Veggie Mac and Cheese is all about you and your taste buds. While 8 ounces of rotini or medium shells are cooking, saute some uniformly cut vegetables, your choice. I like to start with chopped onions and minced garlic, then add carrots and broccoli. Let them cook about 5 minutes. Drain pasta, add about 1 ½ cups of grated white cheddar and stir in veggies. Place in a casserole dish and sprinkle with seasoned dried bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Serve with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers dressed with red wine vinaigrette.
Tues | Burger night
Monterey Jack Salsa Burgers with sweet potato fries (get 'em frozen and bake) get their kick from your favorite salsa. When you make the patties, add a bit of salsa to the meat for flavor. Grill to your liking, add slices of Jack cheese, let melt, then place patties on toasted buns and top with sliced, ripe avocado. Keep it simple and let the zesty salsa shine through.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Use Succotash Salad With Buttermilk-Avocado Dressing (recipe below) as a side dish to a carved rotisserie chicken or add the chicken to the salad to make it a main-dish meal. The classic succotash pairing, fresh corn and frozen lima beans, is enhanced with a salad made of ripe avocado. And, yes, there is bacon.
Thurs | True grits
Grits & Eggs is a super-simple dinner idea, and very welcome when served with a couple of strips of crispy bacon. Make a pot of grits whatever way you like, then serve a bowl topped with a fried egg. The soft yolk mixes with the grits to make them even creamier. Some fresh berries on the side complete the deal.
Fri | The thighs have it
I am a big fan of versatile boneless, skinless chicken thighs and stock up on them when they go on sale. One easy preparation is to marinate them in an Asian vinaigrette — I use Ken's Lite Asian Sesame with Ginger and Soy — for at least 2 hours. Grill your Sesame Asian Chicken Thighs until cooked through, about 8 minutes on each side, and serve with grilled pineapple rings and rice pilaf.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586. Follow her on Twitter at @roadeats.