Grilled Beef Kebabs (Sunday)Makes 8 servingsPreparation time:...


Grilled Beef Kebabs (Sunday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes (marinate 4 hours)

3/4 cup each red-wine vinegar and water

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cloves crushed garlic

2 pounds top round steak cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

16 mushrooms

2 large summer squash cut in 1/2-inch pieces

2 red bell peppers cut in 1-inch pieces

8 tomatoes

In a large, resealable plastic bag, combine red-wine vinegar, water, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, crushed garlic and round steak pieces. Place in flat container and marinate in refrigerator 4 to 7 hours; turn bag occasionally.

Remove meat from marinade; boil marinade 3 minutes and then reserve. On 8 skewers, alternately thread steak, mushrooms, squash and red bell peppers.

Grill kebabs, covered, about 6 minutes per side, basting with marinade. Add 8 tomatoes to end of skewers during last 1 minute of cooking.

Herbed Pasta (Thursday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 to 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

12 ounces herbed pasta

4 pounds sliced sweet onions

cooking spray

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 head garlic, peeled and minced

1 cup hearty red wine (Burgundy or cabernet sauvignon)

1 tablespoon each chopped fresh marjoram and Italian parsley

salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta according to directions. Coat onion slices with cooking spray. In a large saute or other pan, stir oil and onions together over high heat to coat thoroughly. Reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook about 20 to 25 minutes or until onions are golden. Stir occasionally. Add garlic and continue cooking until onions are caramelized. Add wine and continue cooking until wine has cooked down and almost evaporated. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, and toss with marjoram, parsley, salt and pepper and cooked pasta.

Festive Beans and Rice (Friday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes

1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 medium finely chopped green bell pepper (about 1 cup)

1 1/2 cups each water and reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon each cumin, oregano and paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium chopped onion (about 1 cup)

1 (16-ounce) container prepared chunky pasta sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 (15-ounce) can rinsed and drained black beans

Combine rice, mushrooms, green pepper, water, broth, cumin, oregano, paprika and salt. Bring to boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 to 35 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute until tender. Add pasta sauce, chili powder and beans, stirring well. Bring to boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.Spoon rice mixture evenly into individual serving bowls, making a well in each serving with the back of a spoon. Spoon bean mixture evenly over rice.

Tuna Steaks on Warm Spinach Salad (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

4 (1-inch-thick) tuna steaks (5 or 6 ounces each)

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons vinaigrette salad dressing or reduced-fat vinaigrette, divided

cooking spray

1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach, stemmed and torn

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Brush steaks with 2 tablespoons salad dressing; cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour. Heat broiler. Place steaks on broiler rack coated with cooking spray. Broil about 5 inches from heat for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Set aside and keep warm.

Combine spinach and tomatoes in a large, heat-proof bowl. Heat remaining salad dressing to a boil; pour over salad and toss well. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates, top with steaks and serve immediately.

Tip of the week

When choosing beef cuts, remember that those most tender (rib, short loin and sirloin) will come from the animal's most lightly exercised muscles, namely along the upper back. Heavily used muscles produce less tender cuts such as chuck (near the animal's front) and round (from the rear). As a rule, the less tender the cut, the cheaper it is and the longer it takes to cook. Choose moist-heat cooking methods (such as braising or stewing) for inexpensive cuts.

- Food Lover's Tiptionary

Pub Date: 5/10/98

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