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Weekday dinner inspiration: Roasted Chicken Salad With Fennel and Black Olives and more

Janet is on vacation but you still need to make dinner. This column originally ran June 22, 2009. She'll be back with new ideas next week.

Mon | Going meatless

Veggie and Jack Quesadillas are hearty enough to make you forget meat tonight. Mix corn kernels, diced zucchini, drained and rinsed canned black beans and salsa together. Layer on flour tortillas with a generous handful of Monterey Jack cheese. Top with second tortilla and heat in a skillet coated lightly with olive oil. Flip to brown both sides; heat until cheese melts. Serve with Spanish rice.

Tues | Hey Boo-Boo

How's about a pic-a-nic tonight? Stop by the store and get fried chicken (we're partial to tenders), a watermelon and macaroni salad. Keep the ice cream sandwiches in the freezer until after dinner. Take the rest into the back yard for a sunset picnic. That'll be nearly 9 p.m. so you'll have plenty of time to shop after work.

Wed | Rotisserie Chicken

Roasted Chicken Salad With Fennel and Black Olives (recipe below) is your chance to try fennel if you haven't before. Fennel looks like celery's chunky cousin, and crunches like it but with a slight licorice flavor. It's refreshing and an interesting taste. Serve with crunchy breadsticks and a glass of crisp pinot grigio.

Thurs | Opa! and ole!

Make Greek Tacos by stuffing Greek salad — iceberg, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and kalamata olives — into taco shells, store-bought or home-fried. Pump up the protein by topping with grilled shrimp brushed with Greek salad dressing before hitting the grate. Serve buttered orzo garnished with fresh parsley alongside.

Fri | The perfect food

Yes, I think it's grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. Get good-quality cheddar and grill it on thick sourdough slices with ripe tomato slices. Heaven. Prepare whatever soup fits your budget, time and talents on the side. Tomato is always fitting.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampay.com or (727) 893-8586.

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