These din­ners pull double duty in busy house­holds

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - SARAH CROWDER

Serve up a crowd-pleas­ing main dish tonight, then trans­form the ex­tras into in­spired lunches or din­ners tomorrow. Bonus: you can cook the make-ahead steps when­ever you have time.

Shrimp and Bell Pep­per Fa­ji­tas

A sim­ple skil­let sup­per makes quick work of get­ting din­ner on the ta­ble — and sets you up for a fu­ture meal of pasta salad with feta cheese, chilled Asian noo­dles, or a flavour­ful frit­tata.


4 ta­ble­spoons olive oil, di­vided 2 medium yel­low onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups) 1½ tea­spoons salt, di­vided 1 tea­spoon cumin 1 tsp chili pow­der 4 bell pep­pers, cored and thinly sliced (about 4 cups) 2 pounds shrimp, fresh or thawed, peeled and de­veined 1 lime, juiced 12 to 15 small tor­tillas 2 av­o­ca­dos, sliced Sour cream

Ac­tive time 25 min­utes; to­tal time 25 min­utes

1. Place a large skil­let over medi­umhigh heat and add 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onion, ½ tea­spoon salt, cumin and chili pow­der; sauté un­til translu­cent and start­ing to brown, about five min­utes. Add the pep­pers and an­other ½ tea­spoon salt; sauté five to eight more min­utes or un­til pep­pers are soft. Trans­fer pep­pers and onions to a large bowl.

2. Re­turn the skil­let to heat and add re­main­ing 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil. Add the shrimp, toss to coat, and sprin­kle with re­main­ing ½ tea­spoon salt. Cover, stir­ring half­way through, un­til shrimp are cooked through, six to eight min­utes. Add lime juice and stir, then stir in pep­pers and onions to warm through. Serve with warm tor­tillas, av­o­cado slices, and sour cream.

Per serv­ing: 335 calo­ries, 19 grams pro­tein, 16 g fat (3 g sat­u­rated fat), 32 g carbs, 8 g fi­bre, 6 g sugar, 408 mil­ligrams sodium

Then try ...

Orzo Pasta Salad with Shrimp: Mix 1 cup cooled shrimp-and-bellpep­per mix­ture with 1 cup cooked orzo and ¼ cup crum­bled feta cheese for an in­di­vid­ual pasta-salad serv­ing.

Shrimp and Bell Pep­per Frit­tata: Stir to­gether 2 cups diced cooled shrimp-and-bell-pep­per mix­ture with 6 eggs and ½ cup shred­ded ched­dar cheese. Pour into a greased bak­ing dish and bake 25 to 28 min­utes at 375 F. Slice and serve along­side greens.

Chilled Peanut Noo­dles with Shrimp: Top rice noo­dles with shrimp-and-bell- pep­per mix­ture, chopped peanuts, soy sauce and cilantro.

Baked Turkey Meat­balls with Cous­cous Salad and Feta Sauce

A large batch of moist turkey meat­balls tops a sim­ple cous­cous salad one day and then trans­forms into quick piz­zas, crowd-pleas­ing pasta, or let­tuce wraps the next.


Meat­balls 1 medium yel­low onion, peeled and halved 1 garlic clove, peeled 1 cup dry bread crumb 1 tea­spoon salt 1 tsp ground black pep­per 2 eggs 1/3 cup fresh pars­ley leaves 2 pounds ground dark-meat turkey Cous­cous Salad 1¼ cups dry un­cooked cous­cous 1 pint cherry toma­toes, halved 2 cu­cum­bers, chopped 2 ta­ble­spoons red-wine vine­gar ¼ cup ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil Feta Sauce 4 ounces crum­bled feta cheese ½ cup whole-milk yo­gurt ½ tea­spoon lemon zest 1 tbsp lemon juice ½ tsp finely chopped fresh oregano (or ¼ tsp dried)

Ac­tive time 35 min­utes; to­tal time 35 min­utes

1. Heat oven to 400 F and lightly oil a bak­ing sheet. Place onion and garlic into a food pro­ces­sor to finely chop. Add the rest of the in­gre­di­ents for the meat­balls, stop­ping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Shape into golf-ball-size balls (about 3 ounces each) and place on the pre­pared bak­ing sheet. Bake 25 min­utes or un­til a meat ther­mome­ter in­serted into the cen­tre reg­is­ters 160 F.

2. Mean­while, pre­pare cous­cous ac­cord­ing to pack­age di­rec­tions. Trans­fer to a medium bowl and stir to cool.

3. Add cherry toma­toes and cu­cum­bers to the cous­cous. In a small bowl, whisk to­gether red-wine vine­gar and olive oil. Pour over cous­cous and toss to com­bine.

4. Com­bine feta, yo­gurt, lemon zest, lemon juice and oregano in a blender un­til smooth. Serve the meat­balls over cous­cous salad and driz­zle with sauce.

Per serv­ing: 496 calo­ries, 34 grams pro­tein, 18 g fat (6 g sat­u­rated fat), 49 g carbs, 4 g fi­bre, 7 g sugar, 691 mil­ligrams sodium

Then try ...

Baked Pita Piz­zas: Layer mari­nara, shred­ded moz­zarella, and sliced

meat­balls on pita bread rounds. Bake five to seven min­utes at 375 F to warm. Spaghetti and Turkey Meat­balls: Re­heat leftover meat­balls in jarred sauce, and serve with spaghetti and Parme­san.

Greek Let­tuce Wraps: Dice meat­balls and serve in­side large Bibb let­tuce leaves topped with cous­cous salad, kala­mata olives and feta sauce.

Jas­mine Rice and Red Len­til Bowls with Tahini Sauce

Up your grain-bowl game with rice, len­tils and mix-and-match top­pings.

Use the left­overs for a creamy soup, a zesty hum­mus or a pro­duce-packed wrap.


1½ ta­ble­spoons olive oil 4 medium yel­low onions, thinly sliced (about 5 cups) 2 cups dry jas­mine rice 2½ cups red len­tils 2-3 av­o­ca­dos, cubed 2 cups shred­ded car­rots Tahini Sauce ½ cup tahini 2 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup lemon juice (from about 2 lemons) 1 tea­spoon ground cumin ½ tsp salt

Ac­tive time 35 min­utes; to­tal time 35 min­utes

1. Place a large skil­let over medi­um­low heat and add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add onions and stir to coat. Cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally and adding a splash of wa­ter if the onions start to stick, un­til the onions are deeply browned, 20 to 30 min­utes.

2. Mean­while, pre­pare rice ac­cord­ing to pack­age di­rec­tions.

3. Bring 2 quarts wa­ter to a boil. Stir in len­tils and cook seven to 10 min­utes. Drain.

4. Blend tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and salt in a food pro­ces­sor.

5. Serve 2 cups each of the pre­pared rice and len­tils with the caramelized onions, av­o­cado, car­rots, and tahini sauce.

Per serv­ing: 544 calo­ries, 16 grams pro­tein, 26 g fat (4g sat­u­rated fat), 68 g carbs, 12 g fi­bre, 10 g sugar, 288 mil­ligrams sodium

Then try ...

Creamy Red Len­til Soup: Add 3 cups len­tils and 2 cups rice to a blender with 2 cups broth, 1 clove garlic, 1 ta­ble­spoon bal­samic vine­gar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, ½ tea­spoon salt, and ½ tea­spoon black pep­per. Blend un­til smooth.

Red Len­til and Rice Hum­mus Blend: ½ cup each len­tils, rice and tahini sauce with ¼ cup lemon juice un­til smooth. Serve with crack­ers or veg­gies, or as a sand­wich spread.

Len­til and Rice Veg­gie Wrap: Mound an as­sort­ment of left­overs in the cen­tre of a large tor­tilla, top with tahini sauce, baby kale or let­tuce and wrap up.

Shrimp and Bell Pep­per Fa­ji­tas.

Baked Turkey Meat­balls with Cous­cous Salad and Feta Sauce.

Jas­mine Rice and Red Len­til Bowls with Tahini Sauce.

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