Menu Planner: Blue Devils deviled eggs make a nice side dish

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

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Blue devils deviled eggs are topped with crumbled bacon.

Blue Devils deviled eggs are made with blue cheese and topped with crumbled bacon.

Duane Winfield

Dad’s fried chicken

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 30 minutes to 8 hours

Cooking time: 40 to 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon hot sauce

2 1/2 to 3 pounds skinless chicken legs

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic and hot sauce in shallow baking dish until well-blended. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes to 8 hours.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil. Place wire rack coated with cooking spray on baking sheet. Whisk flour, sesame seeds, paprika, thyme, baking powder, salt and pepper in small bowl. Place flour mixture in a resealable plastic bag. Shake excess marinade from chicken and place chicken (one or two pieces at a time) in flour mixture; shake to coat. Place chicken on prepared rack. (Discard extra marinade and flour.) Coat chicken pieces with cooking spray. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until golden and no longer pink in center. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 312 calories, 39 grams protein, 14 grams fat (41% calories from fat), 3.5 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 196 milligrams cholesterol, 265 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 1/2.

Panzanella

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes for bread; standing time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:

4 slices leftover crusty Italian bread, 3/4-inch thick, cut into bite-size pieces

1 (15- to 19-ounce) can reduced-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed

8 ounces part-skim mozzarella, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 cups salad greens

For the dressing:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until toasted. In a large bowl, combine beans, mozzarella, bell pepper and onion. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, oil, salt, garlic, basil, mustard and crushed red pepper; mix well. Pour dressing over bean mixture; toss to mix well. Add bread to bean mixture; toss to mix. Let mixture stand 30 minutes; stir occasionally. Serve over salad greens.

Per serving: 453 calories, 23 grams protein, 24 grams fat (47% calories from fat), 7.9 grams saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 36 milligrams cholesterol, 1,121 milligrams sodium, 9 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2 1/2.

Blue Devils deviled eggs

Hard-cook 12 eggs; cool, peel, halve and remove yolks to a medium bowl. Mash, and then blend in 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Add 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese, and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Divide mixture; fill eggs and garnish with 3 tablespoons crumbled bacon.

Beef and barley summer salad

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 25 minutes; marinating time: 6 hours to overnight

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes, plus barley

INGREDIENTS

For the marinade:

1 cup reduced-fat balsamic vinaigrette

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 pound beef top-round steak (3/4-inch thick)

For the salad:

1 cup quick-cooking barley

1/4 pound fresh green beans

1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Combine vinaigrette, orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice and lemon zest in small bowl. Place steak and 1/2 cup marinade in resealable plastic bag; turn to coat steak. Marinate in refrigerator 6 hours to overnight; turn occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.

Cook barley according to package directions; set aside. Cook green beans in boiling water 3 minutes; drain. Run cold water over beans to stop cooking; drain and set aside. Heat grill on medium. Remove steak; discard marinade. Grill steak, uncovered, 8 to 9 minutes for medium-rare; turn occasionally. Do not overcook or steak will be tough. Carve steak across grain into thin slices.

Toss barley, green beans, steak slices, bell pepper and onions in large bowl. Arrange on plates. Drizzle with reserved marinade; sprinkle with chives.

NOTE: To broil, place steak on rack in broiling pan 3 to 4 inches from heat. Broil 12 to 13 minutes for medium-rare.

Per serving: 339 calories, 31 grams protein, 7 grams fat (19% calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 38 grams carbohydrate, 70 milligrams cholesterol, 461 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2 1/2.

Blue devil deviled eggs

Hard-cook 12 eggs; cool, peel, halve and remove yolks to a medium bowl. Mash, and then blend in 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Add 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese, and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Divide mixture; fill eggs and garnish with 3 tablespoons crumbled bacon.

Open-faced asparagus quesadillas

Lightly toast 1 teaspoon cumin seeds in a large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, shaking pan; set seeds aside. Microwave 4 slices bacon 3 or 4 minutes on high (100% power); let stand 3 minutes and crumble when cool. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in skillet over medium heat; add 3/4 pound asparagus (cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces) and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms and 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt; cook 2 minutes or until mushrooms begin to release their moisture.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place 4 (6-inch) fat-free flour tortillas on a large rimmed baking pan. Divide and top them with asparagus mixture; sprinkle with 2 sliced green onions, 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, the bacon and the cumin seeds. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve with canned reduced-sodium pinto beans.

Herbed couscous and peas

Bring 1 (14-ounce) can unsalted vegetable broth to simmer in medium pan. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup whole-wheat couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas according to directions; drain. To couscous, add green peas, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium chickpeas, 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley, 2 tablespoons fresh mint, 2 tablespoons fresh basil and 1 teaspoon lemon zest; fluff with fork. Serve immediately.

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