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Menu planner: Vary your routine with very berry trifles

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

Very berry trifles with cubed pound cake
Cabot Creamery

Very berry trifles

Servings: 4

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups 1/2-inch cubed pound cake

3 cups mixed berries

In a blender or food processor, combine cottage cheese, sugar and vanilla; process 1 to 2 minutes or until completely silky and smooth. Place 1/4 cup cake cubes in each of 4 (8-ounce) glasses or goblets. Top with about 2 tablespoons of fruit followed by 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar cream. Repeat layers. Top with remaining fruit. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Per serving: 377 calories, 11 gram protein, 10 grams fat (23 percent calories from fat), 5.2 grams saturated fat, 63 grams carbohydrate, 84 milligrams cholesterol, 428 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber. Carb count: 4.

Chili with green salsa

Servings: about 5 1/2 cups

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon canola oil

12 ounces chicken breast tenders, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 (15- to 19-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium white beans

1 3/4 to 2 cups mild to medium green salsa

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth

1 cup quartered grape tomatoes

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Cook chicken, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until it is no longer pink. Add beans, salsa, cilantro and broth or water; cook 5 minutes longer to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Top with tomatoes and serve.

Per cup: 248 calories, 19 gram protein, 5 grams fat (19 percent calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 675 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber. Carb count: 2.

Salmon with pesto

Servings: 4

Preparation time: less than 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets

3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons basil pesto

2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese

Place salmon, skin down, on the rack of broiler pan coated with cooking spray; tuck under thinner ends. Broil 4 inches from heat, 4 to 6 minutes per half-inch of salmon. (If salmon is 1 inch thick or more, turn skin side up halfway through cooking time.) Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise and pesto. Combine crumbs and cheese separately. Spoon mayonnaise mixture over fish; sprinkle with crumb mixture. Broil 1 to 2 more minutes.

Per serving: 244 calories, 31 gram protein, 10 grams fat (39 percent calories from fat), 1.8 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 67 milligrams cholesterol, 325 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Carb count: 0.5.

Lemon couscous

Cook 1 1/2 cups couscous according to package directions; fluff with a fork. Stir in 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (yellow part only) and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley.

Lamb sandwiches

Spread focaccia with a thin layer of low-fat mayonnaise. Top with sliced lamb, roasted red peppers (from a jar), crumbled Greek feta cheese and a red-tipped lettuce leaf.

Spaghetti with broccoli

Cook 1 pound broccoli florets in boiling water 2 to 3 minutes or until tender; drain and set aside. In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 1 medium-sliced onion; cook 5 minutes or until golden. Add 2 ounces sliced prosciutto (cut into strips); mix well. Add 4 1/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir in 12 ounces broken spaghetti; return to boiling and cook 4 minutes; turn off heat and add drained broccoli; cover and let stand 3 minutes. Drain until preferred consistency. (Mixture will be soupy.) Ladle into bowls; top with freshly grated pecorino cheese.

Quesadillas

Combine 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans. Spread 3/4 cup bean mixture over each of 4 (6-inch) whole-grain tortillas. Top with another tortilla; press down lightly. In a nonstick skillet, heat each quesadilla 2 minutes on each side on medium-high or until browned. Cut each one into wedges.

Cheese-stuffed crepes

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon 1 cup (of 2 cups) red pasta sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a bowl, mix 4 cups low-fat ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Divide and spread mixture into center of 8 crepes. Roll; place crepes, seam down, into prepared dish. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce over crepes. Cover dish loosely with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 5 more minutes or until bubbly.