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A Spicy, Simple Weeknight Dinner

Posted by Kara Baskin  April 26, 2012 08:00 AM

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We've been in a gigantic takeout rut for the past couple of weeks: eggplant subs, Chipotle burritos, expensive sushi that we have no business buying on a Tuesday night. Finally, over the weekend, we got the chance to go to the supermarket—I love you, Burlington Market Basket!—to stock up. Check out this ultra-easy salad-and-enchilada dinner that I made on a (gasp!) weeknight.

Spinach Salad With Creamy Yogurt Dressing
Even if you don't fancy yourself the kind of person who makes dressing from scratch, I assure you: It's simple! And so good. Just don't do what I did and overload on the oregano.

For the Salad (Serves 6)
2 red bell peppers
1 bunch oregano, leaves only, roughly chopped
1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped (I used black olives from a can, and they were fine!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bunch spinach, stems removed
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped or julienned (I just chopped)
1 small red onion, chopped or julienned (again, I chopped)
crumbled feta

Mix it all together and voila!

For the Dressing (Makes 1 Cup)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (I used 4, but I adore garlic and wasn't planning on breathing near anyone)
1 cup plain yogurt

Combine all ingredients save yogurt in the blender. Then mix the yogurt in and toss with the salad. The flavors are clean and fresh. Note: Do not add oregano to the dressing and blend it! I did this and my initial batch turned a strange shade of green.

I adapted both of these recipes from my friend Sarah's aunt, Mary Sue Milliken: She owns L.A.'s Border Grill with her fellow Hot Tamale, Susan Feniger. Check out their cookbook Mesa Mexicana for other simple, spicy recipes. If you like Mexican food, it's a must. She got it for me as a wedding gift ages ago, and I finally dug it out. I'm glad I did!

Pair your salad with this amazing seafood enchilada recipe. It is foolproof, thoroughly delicious, and makes tons of leftovers. Oh, and instead of running all over looking for seafood, buy the frozen seafood medley at Trader Joe's.

Seafood Enchiladas (Serves 4)

2 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped (I sometimes cheat and use Gourmet Garden squeezable cilantro, even though it looks kind of like toothpaste)
1 pound crab
11/2 pound shrimp
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 shake cumin
1 shake salt
1 lime, squeezed
1/4 cup cream
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
8 tortillas
1 16-ounce jar salsa verde (I use the $1.99 jar from TJ's)
11/2 cups of shredded cheese

Melt butter in a pan and toss in garlic and green onions. Let it bubble a minute, then add your seafood and spices. Remove from heat, add cream and lemon. Stir! Finally, add in your tomato and avocado.

Grease a baking dish and roll the mixture into tortillas, then top with your jug of salsa verde and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or til it begins to bubble.

This recipe takes 15 minutes to prepare, tops. And it's divine! I adapted this one from Mommie Cooks.

Our friendly pizza delivery man surely misses our patronage, but I feel a bit virtuous today!

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Kara Baskin (@kcbaskin) is a Boston-based writer, editor, and mom to Andy. She thinks Sriracha and garlic make everything tastier. She loves Steely Dan and "Murder, She Wrote." Her More »

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