Simplify Weeknight Meals

Willie Grace | 4/7/2015, 6 a.m.
One way to save time is combining fresh ingredients with frozen sides, such as those offered by Alexia Foods. Made ...
Chicken Paella with French Green Beans

(Family Features) Busy 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).

Chicken Paella with French Green Beans

Chicken Paella with French Green Beans

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

Italian Herb Corn and Rice Zucchini Boats

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