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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.

              1. what about vietnamese spring rolls? the rice paper not fried kind? you could stuf them with whatever you like!! its one of my standbys for parties :)

                1. Thanks for all the suggestions! I sort of borrowed from a couple of them and decided on a horiatiki salata with grilled shrimp skewers. I will also have toasted pitas with tzatziki and hummus. It's probably not the MOST compatible thing with a frozen banana cheesecake, but none of the ladies ever worry about strict menu cohesiveness and I have a greek craving! I will definitely be filing away a few of the other great suggestions for future weeks!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ArikaDawn

                    Sounds like I am a little late, but here is something that I have great success with...a Vietnamese noodle salad (bun)
                    2-3 cups slices red leaf lettuce
                    1 cup matchstick carrots
                    1 cup matchstick cucumbers
                    1 cup bean sprouts
                    1/4 cup sliced fresh mint
                    1/2 cup sliced fresh cilantro
                    1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
                    1/2 cup chopped peanuts
                    1 package rice vermicelli cooked according to directions
                    2 T lime juice
                    4 1/2 T sugar
                    3 T rice vinegar
                    3 garlic cloves, minced
                    1 1/2 t fish sauce
                    2 t chili sauce
                    3/4 cup water
                    Cook dressing over heat until sugar dissolves
                    Mix all ingredients together

                    I add a variety of meat to this depending on the crowd...lemon grass chicken, prawns, miso salmon, tofu.