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Weekday dinner inspiration: Succotash Salad With Buttermilk-Avocado Dressing and more

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 jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586. Follow her on Twitter at @roadeats.

>>MODERATE

Succotash Salad

With Buttermilk-Avocado Dressing

For the dressing:

¾ cup buttermilk

1 small avocado, halved, seeded and peeled

1 tablespoon snipped fresh Italian parsley

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

For the salad:

2 ears fresh corn

½ cup frozen lima beans

1 large head Boston lettuce, torn

2 cups (8 ounces) sliced grilled or rotisserie chicken breast

6 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled

½ cup finely chopped red onion

½ cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta or blue cheese

To make dressing, combine buttermilk, avocado, parsley, salt, onion powder, dry mustard, ground pepper and garlic in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a small container and set aside.

Cut corn kernels from cobs; set kernels aside. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of lightly salted water to boiling. Add corn and lima beans; simmer about 5 minutes or until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside.

Line a large platter or four serving plates with the lettuce. Arrange chicken, crumbled bacon, corn-lima bean mixture, onion and cheese in rows on lettuce. Serve with dressing.

Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 375 calories, 15g fat, 24g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 36g protein and 692mg sodium.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Weekday dinner inspiration: Succotash Salad With Buttermilk-Avocado Dressing and more 05/28/13 [Last modified: Monday, May 27, 2013 5:51pm]
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