Menu planner: You’ll go nuts for pecan-crusted tilapia with Italian salsa

Thinking ahead to your next few meals? Here are some main dishes and sides to try.

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Pecan-crusted tilapia with Italian salsa .

American Pecan Council

Pecan-crusted tilapia with Italian salsa

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pecan pieces

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 egg

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 (4- to 6-ounce) tilapia filets

2 tablespoons pecan or olive oil

FOR THE ITALIAN SALSA

1 1/2 cups diced cherry tomatoes

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded

1 tablespoon pecan or olive oil

Coarse salt to taste

In a medium bowl, mix together pecans, garlic powder and dried basil; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk egg and mustard. Pat filets dry. Coat each filet in egg mixture, then in pecan mixture. Place on a plate. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Place tilapia in skillet. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Remove tilapia from pan.

For the Italian salsa: In a medium bowl, add tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, oil and salt. Toss to coat. To serve: Place tilapia on plate; top with Italian salsa.

Per serving: 434 calories, 28 grams protein, 34 grams fat (67 percent calories from fat), 4 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 103 milligrams cholesterol, 113 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber. Carb count: 0.5.

Risotto with peas and mushrooms

Servings: 8

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 25 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 cups unsalted chicken broth

8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup frozen petite green peas

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a 2-quart glass baking dish, cover and microwave butter and oil on high (100% power) 45 seconds to 1 minute or until melted; mix in rice and onion. Cover and microwave on high 4 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth; cover and microwave on high 10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. Add mushrooms; cover and microwave on high 8 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. Stir in peas; cover and microwave on high 2 minutes. Keep covered and let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper; serve immediately.

Per serving: 157 calories, 6 grams protein, 5 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 432 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber. Carb count: 1.5.

Cabbage with smoked sausage and apples

Servings: 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 6 to 8 hours on low

INGREDIENTS

1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

4 juniper berries or 1 small sprig fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Generous pinch of caraway seeds

1 pound smoked sausage links, halved

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Coat the inside of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer cabbage, onion, apple, oil, garlic, bay leaf, juniper berries (or rosemary sprig), vinegar, sugar, mustard and caraway seeds in cooker. Mix well. Nestle the sausage pieces into the cabbage mixture so they don’t dry. Cover and cook on low, stirring several times, 6 to 8 hours. Season with pepper. Remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig (if using) and serve.

Per serving: 241 calories, 12 grams protein, 12 grams fat (43 percent calories from fat), 3.7 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 91 milligrams cholesterol, 866 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber. Carb count: 1.5.

Turkey roll-ups

Mix together 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons any chutney. Spread evenly over 8 (8-inch) whole-grain tortillas. Top with sliced turkey, thin slices of red onion and fresh spinach leaves. Roll tightly and cut in half.

Meat sauce with pasta

Cook 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey breast in a Dutch oven on medium 5 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Add 1 (24- to 26-ounce) jar tomato-and-basil pasta sauce, 1 (4- to 6-ounce) can drained sliced mushrooms and 1 teaspoon dried basil to meat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Serve over any prepared refrigerated pasta.

Lentil soup with tomatoes and pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add 1 1/2 cups chopped onion, 1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper, 2 teaspoons minced garlic and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Cover and cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are soft but not browned; stir often. Add 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth or water, 1 cup rinsed and sorted lentils, 2 small bay leaves, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Mix in 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors. Remove bay leaves and serve.

Beany burritos

Heat canned vegetarian refried beans and spread on burrito-size tortillas. Cover beans with drained mild salsa, shredded lettuce and any shredded cheese. Roll, cut in half and serve with rice.

Rocky road parfait

In a tall dessert glass, layer prepared instant chocolate pudding with butterscotch sauce, marshmallow cream, a few chopped pecans and some raisins; repeat and end with marshmallow cream.

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