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Help Again Please! - Need good recs for very simple and yummy dinner tmw night

Everyone always provides such wonderful help for all my harebrained ideas...so I am requesting again!

My bf is coming back after a week away - he's eaten a lot of heavy, fatty, greasy food for one reason or another and after an endless car ride, I'm sure he'll be looking forward to a light but satisfying meal.

I usually cook fairly "light" (fish, chicken - no heavy sauces, cheeses, etc.) though of course that depends on the occasion..

I'm looking for a very simple menu, no beef, either chicken, fish or vegetarian with super simple prep and cook - minimal heat, or bbq would be ok. Preferably no pasta or rice - maybe a nice vegetable type side.

I know this is kind of vague, but if anyone can help that would be great! :)

Thank you!!!!

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  1. Cut up some chicken breasts. Press the pieces in a mixture of rice flour and you choice of herbs, spices. S&P to taste. Brown in some garlic infused olive oil and toss into a bowl of chopped lettuce along with some chopped glazed walnuts, some dried cranberries (or Craisins) and some feta cheese. Your choice of dressing. I like to make a strawberry vinaigrette.
    Serve with a flat bread or a good sourdough.

    1. I might make a simple piece of grilled fish or chicken with a colorful, refreshing fruit salsa to go on top....maybe mango, cilantro and avocado? Or a bright chimichurri sauce would be great as well....

      Alongside, you could have some green beans tossed with toasted sesame seeds, roasted or steamed broccoli, sauteed zucchini or spinach....whatever looks good and green to you!

      3 Replies
      1. re: 4Snisl

        I like both ideas actually...thank you. I have to see if the fish looks good at the store tomorrow and then will take it from there I guess-

        1. re: lovessushi

          A really good fruit salsa is pineapple, pomegranate arils, ripe mango, white onion, cilantro, chile pepper, and lime juice.

        2. re: 4Snisl

          Something that is amazingly refreshing is a grapefruit and avocado salad. It practically makes itself. Just cut out supremes of grapefruit and slice avocados into 1 inch slices. Squeeze excess grapefruit juice onto the avocado to keep from turning brown. Drizzle some good EVOO and sprinkle sea salt on top. You could even toss it with some arugula if you so desire.

        3. How about roast chicken (or just roasted bone-in chicken breast) and roast asparagus with a salad and some fruit on the side?

          1 Reply
          1. re: John E.

            That sounds good - it's just that we've had an overload of roast chicken in the past months, and I promised I would stop making it! lol but thanks :)

          2. When we're feeling the need for a non-greasy, less meat-intensive meal, I always turn to a modified cobb salad. Sliced or chopped romaine lettuce topped with diced hard-boiled eggs, diced tomato, diced avocado, diced crispy bacon, a sprinkle of crumbled blue cheese, and a handful of diced chicken breast (optional). Dress with a simple red-wine vinaigrette or go over the top with blue cheese dressing.

            1. Marinate boneless salmon filets in Asian sesame dressing for 20 minutes, refrigerated. Then grill on an indoor grill (or outdoors grill) for a few minutes per side. Since the marinade speeds the cooking, you don't want to overcook these babies. Then, any veggie goes -- but right about now, asparagus would be ideal. They pair well with salmon. You can roast them, too, but I just simmer them until al dente and serve them up without butter, just seasoning!

              1. I know you said no pasta, but I make a really yummy roasted shrimp and asparagas, orzo salad with a lemon dressing and mozzarella cheese. You could omit the cheese and it would still be tasty.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JEN10

                  That sounds awesome, Jen10. Bet it would be good with feta too! That would be so easy to do on the grill in one of those mesh pans, I have two I should be breaking out right about now!

                  I also like doing marinated chicken cutlets on the grill. Simple marinade of evoo, white wine vinegar, lots of garlic and thyme. They cook very fast. I serve them on baby spinach leaves with a greek salsa, but you can just use the grape tomatoes, olives & herbs. Serve over couscous for a light starch.

                2. I know when my hubby or I have been doing the whole traveling-diner-food thing for a while, our first meal home is noodles in tom-yum soup. This is the "just rolled off the bus after a 4-hour ride" version. 2 Tbs tom-yum paste from the Asian grocery + 3 cups chicken stock (I always have some frozen) + frozen shrimp (or a can of tuna in spring water/brine) + vegetables (bean sprouts, or some julienned carrots, or frozen peas & corn) + tou-foo (if I could swing past Chinatown on the way home) + thinly sliced onions served with Asian noodles of choice (I like thin rice noodles (mee-hoon) for this).

                  1. Maple-Marinated Salmon, Israeli couscous, sauteed green beans with onions and toasted pine nuts.

                    Salmon recipe: http://www.countryliving.com/recipefi...

                    1. I like the salmon idea. Here is one of my recipes:



                      1 cup pure maple syrup
                      1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
                      3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
                      3 tablespoons soy sauce
                      2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger root
                      2 1/2 lb. center cut salmon fillet with skin - greens from 1 bunch scallions

                      1. Simmer above ingredients in a small heavy saucepan for about 30 minutes, or until reduced to about 1 cup.
                      2. Preheat oven to 350 F - if using a cedar plank, lightly oil and heat in middle of oven for 15 minutes or lightly oil shallow baking pan large enough to hold salmon.
                      3. Arrange scallion greens in one layer on plank or baking pan. Place salmon skin side down on scallion greens and brush with half of glaze. Season with salt and pepper and roast in middle of oven just until cooked through-approx. 20 minutes if using baking pan and 35 minutes for the plank. Heat remaining glaze in a small saucepan over low heat just until warm. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and serve over salmon as a sauce.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: boyzoma

                        Your ingredients are the same as the Country Living recipe I linked right above yours. :-) Just slightly different quantities.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Thank you everyone! Lots of these ideas look great! In the end I think we're sticking to grilled chicken breasts with the modified cobb salad from jeanniecooks :)

                          Definitely adding some of these to my collection of things to make in the future though, thanks again! :)

                      2. I like to absolutely smother salmon steaks in fresh mild tomato salsa (homemade or the type you find in the produce section) and bake at 350-375 for about 25 minutes.