Kielbasa comes through


This updated combo of sausage and beans with a glaze of melted cheese should appeal to the entire family. Round it out with a layered salad and finish off the meal with some of those tasty cookies from your supermarket bakery that come loaded with large chunks of chocolate, oatmeal, butter brickle and/or nuts.

Kielbasa Piccadilly

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds Kielbasa sausage

2 (11-ounce) cans beans in tomato sauce (pork and beans)

2 (14-ounce) cans chopped cooked tomatoes, drained and juice reserved

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat the broiler unit of the oven.

Slice the kielbasa into 1/2 -inch thick rounds. Heat a large saute pan with an oven-proof handle over medium high heat. When hot, add sausage slices and cook until brown on each side, about 4 minutes. Drain off any fat.

Puree 1 can of beans, including liquid. Add to browned sausage along with second can of whole beans, the tomatoes and chopped green bell pepper. Lower heat to medium and stir until all is hot and bell pepper is soft. Add some of the tomato juice if sauce is too thick.

Sprinkle cheese over the top of the dish and place under the broiler for a minute or two to melt and brown the cheese. Watch carefully so that the cheese doesn't burn. Serve immediately.

The swift salad is a version of a flavor favorite that will win even with little folks who may be finicky about vegetables.

It is superb when combined with a creamy, thick dressing such as the refrigerated versions of ranch, blue cheese or a peppercorn Parmesan, but your family favorite will also work. No need to toss, the dressing seeps down to coat the vegetables.

Layered Salad

Serves 4

3 cups lettuce of choice cut into 1 inch wide strips

1 1/2 cup shredded carrots

1 cup shredded zucchini or crookneck squash

1 cup shredded cabbage (red or green)

1 1/2 cup frozen green peas, run under cool water to thaw

2/3 cup salad dressing

You will be dividing all of the ingredients in half to make two layers. The peas will thaw in minutes while you are preparing the salad.

Make fast work of cutting the lettuce by holding a few leaves at once and cutting into strips.

In a glass salad bowl, layer half of all ingredients including dressing. Repeat layers of vegetables, ending with dressing on top. Refrigerate while dinner is being prepared. Salad can be made a day in advance, covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.

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