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Menu planner: Mango and banana smoothie makes an ideal dessert

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

Mango and banana smoothie

Peel, pit and chop 3 mangoes (about 3 pounds); freeze overnight. In a blender, combine mangoes with 3/4 cup low-fat milk, 1 cup ice, 1/2 banana and 1 teaspoon honey. Pulse until desired consistency. For a thicker smoothie, add more ice.

Cucumber raita

In a small pan, heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil on medium. Add 1 minced garlic clove and cook 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and add 1 medium peeled, seeded and finely chopped cucumber, 2/3 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, a pinch of cumin, a dash of hot sauce, and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve immediately with flatbread.

Wild rice and pork salad

Prepare 1 (6-ounce) package long grain and wild rice according to directions, using unsalted chicken broth as the liquid. Cool. Mix together the rice, 2 cups chopped pork, 2 ribs thinly sliced celery, 1 medium chopped green bell pepper and 1 medium chopped red onion; set aside. For the dressing, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; mix well. Pour over pork mixture and toss to combine.

Blueberry kiwi dessert cookies

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice 1 (18-ounce) package refrigerated cookie dough as directed on package. Arrange slices in an ungreased 14-inch pizza pan. Using floured fingers, press dough evenly in pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Spread 1 cup prepared marshmallow fluff over cookie crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange 2 cups fresh blueberries and 1 peeled, sliced kiwi on top. Sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts. Slice and serve.

Pizza pasta

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 8 ounces rotini pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, cook 1 pound lean ground beef and 1 small chopped onion until beef is no longer pink and onion is softened; drain. Combine beef mixture and 1 (26- to 28-ounce) jar marinara sauce, 4 ounces sliced pepperoni sausage and cooked pasta. Mix well and pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until cheese melts and bubbles.

Peach-glazed pork loin roast

Servings: 6 to 8

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 40 to 50 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes


1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon less-sodium seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 to 2-pound boneless pork loin roast, well-trimmed

1/3 cup all-fruit peach preserves

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cumin, seasoned salt and cinnamon; mix well. Rub on all sides of roast. Place on rack in baking dish and bake 20 minutes per pound. Meanwhile, combine preserves, Worcestershire sauce and ginger. Spoon peach mixture over pork. Bake 10 more minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Per serving: 205 calories, 23 grams protein, 8 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 64 milligrams cholesterol, 145 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Carb count: 0.5.

Garbanzo tomato stew

Makes about 7 1/2 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 30 minutes


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

1 (15- to 19-ounce) can reduced-sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed

1 (14-ounce) can unsalted vegetable broth

2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon Greek seasoning

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Crumbled Greek feta cheese for garnish

Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium-high. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, beans, broth, tomato paste, rosemary, oregano, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and parsley; cook 5 minutes. Garnish with feta. Serve immediately.

Per cup: 110 calories, 5 grams protein, 3 grams fat (21 percent calories from fat), 0.3 gram saturated fat, 18 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 345 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber. Carb count: 1.

Garam masala and sour cream chicken bake

Servings: 8

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: less than 60 minutes; marinating time: 4 to 6 hours


2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

8 skinless bone-in chicken thighs or legs

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Coarse salt to taste

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onion and cook 10 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, cut shallow slits in chicken to help infuse spices. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked onions, sour cream, yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, turmeric and salt. Mix until smooth. Pour into a resealable plastic bag, add chicken and turn to coat; place bag in shallow pan and let marinate in refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours. When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer chicken and marinade into a 7-by-11-inch baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve chicken with sauce immediately.

Per serving: 280 calories, 30 grams protein, 15 grams fat (49 percent calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 164 milligrams cholesterol, 116 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber. Carb count: 0.5.