Menu planner: Try some ‘eyeball’ pizza for Halloween

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

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Eyeball pizza.

Gwynn Galvin,

Eyeball pizza

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 to 17 minutes


3/4 cup pizza sauce, divided

1 (14-ounce) prepared pizza crust

1 cup shredded mozzarella (4 ounces)

8 bocconcini, halved (small nuggets of mozzarella, usually about 1 inch)

4 pimento-stuffed green olives, drained and cut crosswise into 16 slices total

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat pizza pan with cooking spray. Reserve 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce. Place crust on prepared pan. Top with remaining sauce, mozzarella and bocconcini halves, flat sides down. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Place 1 olive slice in middle of each bocconcini to form “eyeballs.” Bake 5 to 7 more minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is heated through. Place reserved pizza sauce in small plastic bag. Snip off one corner. Pipe sauce onto bocconcini eyeballs for “bloodshot” effect.

Per serving: 273 calories, 16 grams protein, 9 grams fat (31% calories from fat), 4.6 grams saturated fat, 31 grams carbohydrate, 21 milligrams cholesterol, 735 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 2.

Barley and black bean pilaf

Makes 9 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 65 minutes; standing time 5 minutes


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups unsalted vegetable broth

1 cup uncooked pearled barley

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise in 1/2-inch slices

1 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium rinsed black beans

1 cup frozen green peas, thawed

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onion and garlic; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in broth, barley, turmeric, cumin, chili powder and salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in squash, bell pepper and beans. Cover; cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash and barley are just tender. Stir in peas. Cover; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until peas are cooked. Let stand 5 minutes, covered, to blend flavors.

Per cup: 172 calories, 6 grams protein, 2 grams fat (10% calories from fat), no saturated fat, 34 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 265 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 2.5.

Chunky chicken chili

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 7 to 8 hours on low, plus hominy


2 pounds well-trimmed boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 (10-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with green chilies (mild to original), with liquid

1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

1 (1 1/4-ounce) packet less-sodium chili seasoning mix

2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans hominy, rinsed

Reduced-fat sour cream, if desired

Chopped cilantro, if desired

Place chicken in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes with green chilies and liquid, tomato sauce and chili seasoning mix. Mix well and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir to break up chicken. Mix in hominy; cover and cook on low 15 minutes or until heated through. Serve with sour cream and cilantro, if desired.

Per serving: 229 calories, 25 grams protein, 5 grams fat (19% calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 108 milligrams cholesterol, 655 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 1.5.

Spice-rubbed pork loin roast

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat 1 (2-pound) well-trimmed boneless pork loin roast with paper towels. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper and 2 teaspoons ground coriander. Mix well. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of rub to season all surfaces of roast. Place roast in shallow pan and bake 20 minutes per pound or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Turkey cranberry sandwich

Spread honey-wheat bread with deli cranberry mustard. Top with deli sliced turkey, sliced Muenster cheese and baby greens. Alongside, add deli vegetable soup.

Cube steaks

Lightly coat the tender steaks with flour and pan-fry in a nonstick skillet on medium in a little canola oil until cooked through. Serve gray on the side, along with mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, and breadsticks.

Peanut butter and banana wraps

Spread 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter on each of 4 whole-wheat flour tortillas. Drizzle 1 or 2 teaspoons honey over each tortilla. Top with banana slices and miniature chocolate chips. Roll and secure with toothpicks.

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