Menu planner: Smothered tilapia provencal stretches your dollar, pleases your palate

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

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Smothered tilapia provencal

Smothered tilapia provencal

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets

1 (6.5-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1 large shallot, chopped (about 1/4 cup)

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise

1/4 cup white wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange fillets in dish, overlapping if necessary. In a medium bowl, combine artichokes, tomatoes, shallot, olives, wine, oil, capers, garlic, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Arrange mixture over fillets to “smother.” Bake 30 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 315 calories, 36 grams protein, 16 grams fat (43 percent calories from fat), 2.3 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 85 milligrams cholesterol, 733 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber. Carb Count: 0.5.

Asian chicken with vegetables and noodles

Servings: 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes


8 ounces thin no-yolk noodles

1 8-ounce package fresh matchstick or shredded carrots

2 cups fresh broccoli florets

2 cups cooked and shredded chicken

1/2 cup sweet-and-spicy stir-fry sauce (or citrus, if desired)

1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges with liquid

Cook noodles according to directions; stir in carrots and broccoli. Cook 2 more minutes or until vegetables are softened; drain and return to pot. Add chicken, stir-fry sauce and oranges with liquid and toss to mix. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 310 calories, 19 grams protein, 5 grams fat (15 percent calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 47 grams carbohydrate, 47 milligrams cholesterol, 402 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber. Carb count: 3.

Linguine with parsley and parmesan

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 4 minutes, plus linguine


8 ounces linguine

1 teaspoon butter

1/3 cup minced onion

2 cloves garlic, pressed

8 ounces reduced-fat sour cream

1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Cook linguine according to directions; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 4 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Then stir in sour cream, pepper and parsley. Toss mixture with linguine. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Per serving: 325 calories, 11 grams protein, 9 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 5.5 grams saturated fat, 48 grams carbohydrate, 33 milligrams cholesterol, 86 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber. Carb Count: 3

Garlic-rosemary chicken

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove and discard giblets and neck from a 5- to 6-pound roasting chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, including drumsticks, loosen skin with your fingers. Place several sprigs of fresh rosemary and crushed garlic cloves under skin of breast and drumsticks. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under. Place chicken, breast side up, on broiler pan. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, not touching bone. Bake 30 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 1 hour 15 minutes more or until thermometer registers 165 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Slice chicken, discard skin and serve.

Chili pizza

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brown 1/2 pound ground turkey breast and 1/2 pound lean ground beef in a nonstick skillet on medium 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 1 (1.25-ounce) packet less-sodium chili seasoning mix, 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes and 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium pinto beans; cook 8 minutes on medium or until heated. Arrange 8 burrito-size tortillas in a circle on a 12-inch pizza pan, overlapping edges where necessary. Spoon ground meat mixture onto tortillas. Top with 1 cup shredded 50% light cheddar cheese. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Slice into wedges and serve.

Hero sandwich

Split a loaf of French or Italian bread. Spread bottom with deli coleslaw and add a variety of sliced deli meats. Layer cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and whatever else the cook is in the mood for. Slice into portions and serve.

Pork medallions with apples

Slice 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin into 8 slices and season on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Brown pork on both sides, remove from pan and set aside. To skillet, add 1 small chopped onion and 1 large cored and coarsely chopped apple; cook 6 minutes or until soft. Add 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice to skillet. Reduce heat to low. Return pork to skillet, cover and simmer 5 minutes.

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