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Menu planner: Salmon fillets, fusilli star in this week’s recipes

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

Roasted salmon with lemon and dill

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes


4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning

8 fresh dill sprigs

4 lemon slices, halved

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon on lightly coated rack on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Place 2 dill sprigs and 2 lemon slice halves on each fillet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or just until fish is opaque; serve warm.

Per serving: 221 calories, 36 grams protein, 8 grams fat (33 percent calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 80 mg cholesterol, 130 mg sodium, no fiber. Carb count: 0.

Fusilli vegetable toss

Servings: 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: for the pasta; chilling time: 2 hours


3 cups fusilli

1 cup fresh broccoli florets

1 cup carrots, shredded

1 (14-ounce) can water-packed quartered artichokes, drained

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

4 green onions, sliced

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 cup Italian dressing with parmesan

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Cook fusilli according to directions. Just before pasta is done, add broccoli and carrots and cook 1 minute; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again. Return to pot and stir in artichokes, tomatoes, green onions, oregano and basil. Add dressing; toss to coat. Cover and chill 2 hours. Sprinkle with feta and serve.

Per serving: 300 calories, 11 grams protein, 7 grams fat (20 percent calories from fat), 2.5 grams saturated fat, 49 grams carbohydrate, 13 milligrams cholesterol, 405 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber. Carb count: 3.5.

Fruit tarts

Servings: 10

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: 9 to 13 minutes; cooling time: 30 minutes; refrigeration time: 30 minutes


1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)

5 cups fresh fruit, such as blueberries, raspberries or sliced medium strawberries

1 (16-ounce) jar strawberry glaze

Light whipped cream

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Unfold crusts; press out fold lines. With 4-inch round cutter, cut 5 rounds from each crust. Turn over ungreased, regular-size muffin tins and fit rounds over outside of each tin. Pinch 5 equally spaced pleats around sides of each crust. Prick each pastry cup generously with fork. Bake 9 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown. Allow to cool on the tins about 30 minutes. Remove from muffin tins to cool further.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine fruit and glaze; stir gently to mix. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until thoroughly chilled. Just before serving, spoon 1/2 cup fruit mixture into each cooled tart crust. Garnish with whipped cream and serve immediately.

Per tart: 245 calories, 2 grams protein, 10 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 252 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber. Carb count: 2.5.

Wasabi sweet potato fries

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 2 pounds peeled sweet potatoes into thick “fingers” and place on a large roasting pan. Whisk 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste together.

Drizzle it over potatoes; toss together using your hand. Sprinkle evenly with coarse salt; roast 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley; serve.

To make wasabi paste: Combine 1 tablespoon wasabi powder with 2 to 3 teaspoons water.

Cobb salad

In a large bowl, toss 12 cups torn romaine with 1/3 cup reduced-fat blue cheese dressing; divide among 4 dinner plates.

Divide and arrange 2 cups leftover diced cooked chicken, 2 slices cooked and crumbled bacon and 3 seeded and chopped medium tomatoes among the plates. Top each salad with 1 to 2 tablespoons more blue cheese dressing.

To make your own reduced-fat blue cheese dressing:

Whisk together 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream and 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise. Stir in 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley and 1 tablespoon sliced green onion. Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste.

Beany sloppy joes

In a large skillet, combine 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed and drained black-eyed peas, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium kidney beans, 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, 1/2 cup frozen cut green beans, 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder; mix well. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer 12 minutes or until peppers are tender. Spoon onto toasted whole-grain hamburger buns. Accompany the sandwiches with frozen hash-browned potatoes and a mixed green salad.

Spaghetti and meatballs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef, 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 12 (2-inch) meatballs. Place on rack in broiler pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Combine the cooked meatballs and 1 (24- to 26-ounce) jar any red pasta sauce in a large saucepan; heat through, stirring occasionally. Serve over cooked spaghetti.

Pork stir-fry

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add 1 pound pork loin cut into 1/2-inch strips and cook 2 minutes or until cooked through.

Add 1 (16-ounce) package any frozen stir-fry vegetable mixture and 1/2 cup stir-fry sauce. Continue to stir-fry 3 minutes or until mixture is hot.

Serve over quick-cooking rice.

Marinated strawberries

Combine 4 cups halved fresh medium strawberries, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Toss and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Toss again before serving.