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Easy weeknight meals: Kale and Cauliflower Alfredo and more

Monday

Meatless meal

There's some talk that cauliflower will be the It Vegetable of 2015, so it's fitting that cruciferous florets mingle with yesteryear's hot veggie in Kale and Cauliflower Alfredo (recipe, right). Pureed cooked cauliflower is what gives the sauce its creaminess.

Tuesday

Flavor boost

To make Goat Cheese and Shrimp Quesadillas, saute 1 onion and 1 minced garlic clove in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add peeled, uncooked medium shrimp, and cook until pink. (You'll need about ⅓ pound for each serving.) Remove from skillet. Layer cooked shrimp on a medium-sized flour tortilla with knobs of goat cheese and some shredded Jack cheese. Top with another tortilla and place in skillet; cook about 2 minutes on each side over medium heat, until cheese melts. Top with slices of ripe avocado.

Wednesday

Rotisserie chicken

Make your own pizza dough or buy it store-bought for Barbecued Chicken Pizza. Roll out the dough to a rectangular shape and fit into a baking pan coated lightly with nonstick spray. Top with cooked shredded chicken that's been mixed with barbecue sauce. Layer on shredded cheddar cheese plus sliced scallions and pickled jalapeno slices. Bake in 350-degree oven until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Thursday

The shell game

Mussels With Braised Greens is chunky enough to eat over pasta and soupy enough to serve alongside hunks of bread to soak up the broth. In a large pot, heat ¼ cup of olive oil. Add 4 small cloves of minced garlic to soften but not brown. Stir in 4 dozen mussels and add 2 cups dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc. Cover and cook until mussels open, about 5 minutes. Remove mussels and add 1 jar of roasted red peppers, chopped. Stir in 1 pound of roughly chopped greens; let wilt. Return mussels to pan and toss with 2 teaspoons lemon zest and a few pinches of red pepper flakes.

Friday

Thigh detector

Marinate chicken thighs in mojo marinade for at least 6 hours for tonight's Grilled Cuban Thighs With Yellow Rice and Beans. Fire up the grill to medium-high heat and cook chicken for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. It will take less time if you grill boneless thighs. (Meat should reach 185 degrees on an internal thermometer.) Cook a package of yellow rice and heat a can of seasoned black beans.

Contact Janet K. Keeler at jkeeler@tampabay.com. Follow @RoadEats.

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