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Healthy Entree Suggestions for Ladies Night

Hey CH's!
Next week I am having a couple of my girlfriends over for a ladies night in. I am wanting to make a light easy diner, but am absolutely stumped as far as coming up with something different from the usual boring grilled chicken, fish etc. I am wanting to make xnyorkr's frozen banana cheesecake for dessert, but that is pretty much all I got at this point.
Anyone have any suggestions?
Just a note: Me and the ladies had salmon today so I definitely don't want to do that, but am open to any other fish chicken, turkey, veg. options etc. Even a great entree salad would be nice.

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  1. Maybe tabouleh salad with a shrimp skewer on each plate? Or a piece of sauteed fish/other protein.

    3 Replies
    1. re: laurendlewis

      Sounds interesting, and i love taking advantage of the seafood available here locally, but I've never made a tabouleh salad. Any specific tips/ideas?

      1. re: ArikaDawn

        What I do: Make 1 c couscous. Chill. Make a basic lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice, olive oil, s&p, maybe some water to thin).

        Add chopped herbs (basil & mint are my standards), chopped cucumber/radish, toasted pine nuts, raisins, maybe some green onion, maybe some goat cheese or feta. Stir it all up & chill or serve at room temp.

        YUM and gets better the next day. Very forgiving - you can add in anything at all!

      2. re: laurendlewis

        Mmmm, frozen banana cheesecake sounds awesome!

        I like the tabbouleh suggestion, but I'd pair it with some hummus, baba ghanouj or maybe stuffed grape leaves, and pita. Everything can be made ahead of time, except I always buy pita, haven't tried to make it yet.

      3. It's not uber-light, but it's pretty fast and simple and very tasty:

        Greek Shrimp with Feta-Mint Rice
        Sautee' a small chopped onion in a few Tbs. of olive oil, throw in a teaspoon of dried oregano, then add a 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes, drained and about 1/2 cup of dry white wine. Simmer that for about 5 minutes, then throw in a pound of salted and peppered shrimp. Cook that until the shrimp is pink - about 3 - 5 minutes. Serve with Mint-Feta rice

        Mint-Feta rice - prepare rice as usual (I prefer Jasmine), then add about 1/2 cup of crumbled feta and 1/4 cup of chopped mint - toss in when the rice is done.

        1. How about a nicoise salad? It's always colorful and fun, easy to prepare, and definitely hearty enough to be a main course. While authentic recipes call for canned tuna, you can always substitute seared fresh ahi.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jacinthe

            This was going to be my suggestion as well. There is a great looking version in the original Barefoot Contessa cookbook.

            When I have my (all female) book club over, I also like to do a few different pastas. My most succesful combo has been pesto over linguine with potatoes and green beans and New World Paperdelle (I got the recipe from a very old issue of Food and Wine, but it is also available on their website).

          2. How about Halibut w/ Garlic and Lemon Juice and White Wine w/ veggies en Papillote served over Spaghetti Squash tossed w/ a little olive oil and Parmesan Cheese?

            1. I've gotten very excited about serving poached fish with variations upon the Alice Waters Green Goddess dressing (basically a garlicked, herbed mayonnaise mixed wth mashed avocado) I found on this site and a bountiful greens-and-tomato salad. Plenty of protein energy - all the calories are in the delicious homemade mayonnaise which is mostly fresh herbs anyway, so slather it on! And it's so refreshing on a warm summer evening. I've found it works best to puree the avocado with the herbs in the blender: my traditional fork mashing leaves it a bit lumpy. The lime juice is also key to the greenness theme.