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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.

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

INGREDIENTS

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)

INGREDIENTS

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

INGREDIENTS

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.