Menu planner: Treat yourself to Cajun beef pepper steak with rice

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

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Cajun beef pepper steak with rice

Cattlemen’s Beef Board

Cajun beef pepper steak with rice

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 7 to 13 minutes


2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning blend, divided

2 (1-pound) boneless sirloin steaks, 3/4 inch thick

2 medium green or red bell peppers, cut into quarters

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 (5.5- to 8-ounce) package Cajun or Creole rice mix with seasonings

Press 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning blend evenly into steaks. Toss peppers with oil and remaining seasoning blend. Place steak in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange peppers around steak. Grill, covered, 7 to 11 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness (on preheated gas grill: medium heat, 8 to 13 minutes) and until peppers are tender, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, prepare rice blend according to directions, omitting oil or margarine. Carve steak into slices. Serve with peppers and rice.

Per serving: 294 calories, 26 grams protein, 6 grams fat (20% calories from fat), 1.7 grams saturated fat, 33 grams carbohydrate, 56 milligrams cholesterol, 504 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Beef, rotini and artichoke salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes; refrigeration time: 2 hours

Cooking time: for the pasta (follow package cooking time instructions)


4 cups (about 12 ounces) tri-colored rotini (corkscrew) pasta

1 pound boneless cooked sirloin steak, cut into thin 2-inch strips

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

1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 cup pitted black olives

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Cook pasta according to directions; rinse and drain. In a large bowl, combine steak, cooked pasta, artichokes, bell pepper, olives and basil. Add vinaigrette; toss. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Per serving: 356 calories, 22 grams protein, 12 grams fat (31% calories from fat), 3.2 grams saturated fat, 38 grams carbohydrate, 33 milligrams cholesterol, 410 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.5.

Seasoned black beans

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 6 to 8 hours on high


1 pound dried black beans, sorted and rinsed

1 large onion, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with liquid

5 cups unsalted vegetable broth or water

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 teaspoons cumin

1 tablespoon seeded and finely chopped fresh jalapeno pepper

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Chopped red onion, chopped hard-cooked eggs, chopped cilantro and reduced-fat sour cream for garnish

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine beans, onion, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes, broth or water, olive oil, cumin, jalapeno pepper and salt. Cover and cook on high 6 to 8 hours or until beans are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove bay leaves. Garnish as desired and serve.

Per serving: 268 calories, 12 grams protein, 4 grams fat (13% calories from fat), 0.5 gram saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 374 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 3.

Barbecue pizza

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large ready-to-heat pizza crust on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with 1 cup (of 2 cups total) shredded 50% light cheddar cheese. Top with 1 (15-ounce) container refrigerated fully cooked shredded beef with barbecue sauce and 4 red onion rings. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until hot.

Fettuccine with tuna and white beans

Cook 12 ounces fettuccine; drain. In a large bowl, combine 2 (6-ounce) cans drained, flaked, water-packed albacore tuna, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium cannellini beans and 2 cups marinara sauce. Toss with the fettuccine.

Soft bean tacos

Spread warmed corn tortillas with heated canned fat-free refried beans. Top with salsa, shredded lettuce and shredded 50% light cheddar cheese. Serve with canned Mexican-styled corn on the side, along with sliced avocados.

Pork medallions with Dijon-dill sauce

Cut a 1- to 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloin into 8 pieces. Place each piece on flat surface; cover pork pieces with waxed paper and flatten gently with heel of hand to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cook in a nonstick skillet on medium heat in two batches, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to warm platter; season with garlic salt and black pepper on both sides; cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons fresh dill leaves and 2 teaspoons sugar; mix well. Serve sauce with pork.

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