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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple superfast recipes

Chicken cooked in a grill pan is served

Chicken cooked in a grill pan is served over couscous with olives, feta, scallions and mint.  Photo Credit: Marge Perry

CHICKEN TENDERS WITH RAISIN, FETA, AND OLIVE COUSCOUS

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 cup couscous

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, about 8

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

16 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, about 3 ounces

3 scallions, chopped, about 1/2 cup

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Combine 1 1/2 cups water, raisins, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, add the couscous, cover, remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine the chicken, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and mustard in a bowl. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place on the grill pan and cook until it is well-marked on the underside. Turn it over and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tender registers 160 degrees, about 4 minutes per side.  

3. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, olives, feta cheese, scallions, mint, zest, and lemon juice; mix well. Divide among four plates and top each with two chicken tenders. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 590 calories, 45 g protein, 54 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 21 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 940 mg sodium

TIP: The chicken may be cooked in a skillet; start by heating one tablespoon of oil before adding the chicken.

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SHRIMP AND AVOCADO TACOS

1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp (jumbo = 16 to 20 per pound)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

8 6-inch corn tortillas

2 cups shredded lettuce

1 avocado, pitted and thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups bottled pico de gallo

1. Toss the shrimp with the chili powder, sugar, cumin, chipotle chile, and salt.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add about half the shrimp and cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Remove from the heat and repeat with the remaining oil and shrimp.

3. Heat the tortillas according to package directions. Place avocado slices, followed by the lettuce, shrimp, and pico de gallo on one half of each tortilla and fold the empty half over the filling. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 413 calories, 27 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 18 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1090 mg sodium

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SOLE PICCATA WITH CAPERS

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

4 (6-ounce) skinless sole fillets

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon drained capers, coarsely chopped

1. Combine the flour, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper on a plate. Dip the fillets into the flour mixture to coat.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the sole and cook 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Add the wine, lemon juice, and capers to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and swirl in the butter and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. 

3. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 232 calories, 22 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 847 mg sodium

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