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Menu planner: Mediterranean savory potato salad will hit the spot

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

Mediterranean savory potato salad.
Courtesy of Potatoes USA

Mediterranean savory potato salad

Servings: 8

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


3 pounds russet potatoes

4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

1/4 cup Greek feta

5 cups fresh spinach

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Pepper to taste

Place potatoes in saucepan and cover with water 2 inches over potatoes; bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to simmer 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Refrigerate until cool. Cut potatoes into quarters. Place in large bowl; add tomatoes, feta and spinach. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil and salt and pepper; mix well and pour over potato mixture. Toss to coat with dressing.

Per serving: 218 calories, 5 grams protein, 9 grams fat (34 percent calories from fat), 1.8 grams saturated fat, 32 grams carbohydrate, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 328 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber. Carb count: 2.

Green bean, red rice and almond salad

Servings: 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes


2 pounds French green beans

3 tablespoons unsweetened almond butter

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

3 cups cooked red or brown rice (1 cup uncooked)

2/3 cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

1 cup flatleaf parsley

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Steam green beans 7 to 8 minutes until just cooked through (but not limp); cool. In a large serving bowl, whisk together almond butter, olive oil, orange juice, cider vinegar and salt. Add beans and turn gently to coat. Stir in rice. Just before serving, add chopped almonds and parsley; sprinkle with pepper and toss to combine.

Per serving: 362 calories, 11 grams protein, 20 grams fat (46 percent calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 41 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 523 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber. Carb count: 3.

Chili-cumin pork tenderloin

Servings: 8

Preparation time: less than 10 minutes

Cooking time: 18 to 22 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes


1 tablespoon chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 3/4 to 2 pounds pork tenderloins

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, black pepper, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper; mix well. Rub spice mixture into all sides of pork tenderloin. Place meat on rack of shallow roasting pan. Bake 16 to 20 minutes, turning once. Set oven to broil; broil 2 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven. Cover with foil and let stand 5 minutes or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. If necessary, roast 2 more minutes or until desired temperature is reached. Slice and serve.

Per serving: 110 calories, 19 grams protein, 3 grams fat (23 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 52 milligrams cholesterol, 118 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Carb count: 0.

Garlic-lime marinated chicken

In a resealable plastic bag, combine 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, 1/3 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup tequila or unsalted chicken broth, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; mix well. Add 8 (5- to 6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts; turn to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour. Heat grill. Remove chicken; discard marinade. Grill or broil 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Italian beef stew

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, layer 2 pounds well-trimmed beef cubes for stew, 2 medium onions cut into wedges and 1 large red bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces. Pour 2 cups spaghetti sauce (from a jar) over all. Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours. Add 1 1/2 pounds yellow summer squash cut into 3/4-inch chunks; cook 15 minutes on high or until squash is tender; mix well. Season with coarse salt and black pepper to taste. Serve over Fettuccine, along with a mixed green salad.

Dogs with doggone good salsa

Combine 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 cup mild salsa and 1/2 medium chopped yellow bell pepper; mix well. Spoon over grilled lowest-sodium, lowest-fat hot dogs in whole-grain hot dog buns.