Simplify weeknight MEALS

From Family Features

150410_food01Busy weeknights call for meals you can prepare quickly, but there’s no need to compromise on flavor and quality.

One way to save time is combining fresh ingredients with frozen sides, such as those offered by Alexia Foods. Made with premium, natural ingredients and creative flavor com­binations, they lend a deliciously gourmet complement to any meal.

Don’t be fooled by the complex flavors of these dishes — they’re surprisingly fast to prepare, requiring only about thirty minutes of hands-on time (or less).

For more time-saving recipes featuring real ingredients that serve-up exceptional taste, visit www.alexiafoods.com.

Chicken Paella with French Green Beans
Hands-on: 30 minutes
Total: 60 minutes
Servings: 6 (1 2/3 cups each)

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into
1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups parboiled white long-grain rice, uncooked
2 cups chicken broth
1 can (14.5 ounces) Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 package (11 ounces)
Alexia French Herb Green Beans
1/3 cup sliced ripe olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh
Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Lemon wedges

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken, salt and pepper. Cook 7–9 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Transfer to plate.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and heat. Add onion, garlic and paprika. Cook 3–5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring often. Stir in rice; cook 1–2 minutes or until coated well.

Stir in broth, tomatoes and chicken; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 12 minutes.

Stir in frozen green beans; cook covered 8–10 minutes more or until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat; let stand covered 5 minutes.

Stir in olives. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Italian Herb Corn and Rice Zucchini Boats
Hands-on: 25 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 (2 halves each)

4 medium zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 package (12 ounces) Alexia Italian Herb Corn with Sundried Tomatoes
3/4 cup cooked white basmati rice (or quinoa for added protein and fiber)
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, optional

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Using melon baller or spoon, scoop out zucchini flesh, leaving about
1/4-inch border.

Brush zucchini halves with oil. Sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper. Place zucchini on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 13–15 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, prepare corn accord­ing to package directions. Toss corn with rice and cheeses. Spoon mixture evenly into zucchini halves.

Return to oven. Bake 8–10 minutes more or until filling is hot. Place zucchini under broiler for golden brown top. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Almond Crusted Tilapia with Parmesan Peas
Hands-on: 30 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 (1 filet and 1/2 cup peas each)

1/3 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tilapia fillets (6 ounces each), or any white-fleshed fish such as cod, haddock or sole
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package (12 ounces)
Alexia Parmesan Peas
Lemon wedges

Combine bread crumbs, almonds and cheese in shallow dish.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on fish. Coat fish with flour; shake off excess. Dip in egg until coated well.

Place in bread crumb mixture and turn to coat completely.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fish; cook 3–4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with fork and is golden brown (145°F internal temperature).

Meanwhile, prepare peas according to package directions. Serve peas and lemon wedges with fish.

Southern Sweet Potato Hash
Hands-on: 35 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 (1 1/4 cups hash with 1 egg each)

1 pound fresh hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
2 packages (11 ounces each)
Alexia Southern Sweet Potato Blend
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
4 cold eggs

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat; add sausage. Cook 5–7 minutes or until crumbled, stirring occasionally. Drain.

Add sweet potato blend. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook 5–7 minutes more or until vegetables are cooked, stirring occasionally. Stir in onions and cilantro.

Meanwhile, fill saucepan with about 3 inches of water. Heat until water simmers gently; stir in vinegar.

Break 1 cold egg into small dish or saucer. Holding dish just above simmering water, gently slip egg into water. Repeat with remaining eggs.

Cook eggs in gently simmering water 3–5 minutes or until white is set and yolk is cooked to desired doneness. Remove eggs with slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels.

Divide sweet potato mixture among 4 plates. Top each with poached egg.

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