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Menu planner: Salad Nicoise pleasing to the taste buds and the budget

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

Salad Nicoise is traditionally made with hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise or Kalamata olives, tomatoes, anchovies (and sometimes tuna) and a vinaigrette dressing.
Salad Nicoise is traditionally made with hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise or Kalamata olives, tomatoes, anchovies (and sometimes tuna) and a vinaigrette dressing.
Heidi’s Bridge

Salad Nicoise

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: for potatoes, green beans

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

6 small red potatoes (or 12 fingerling potatoes), cooked, cooled and cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 pound haricots verts (green beans), trimmed, cooked, chilled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 head Boston lettuce, separated into leaves (or 5 cups loosely packed mixed greens)

2 large tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges

5 eggs, hard-cooked and halved

2 (6-ounce) cans oil-packed albacore tuna, drained

4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry

1/2 cup pitted Nicoise or Kalamata olives

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

4 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons capers, drained

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup vinaigrette dressing

Place potatoes in a large bowl along with the green beans; gently mix. Arrange the lettuce on a platter. Place the potatoes and green beans on top of the greens along with the eggs, tuna and anchovies. Scatter over the top: olives, parsley, green onions, capers, salt and pepper. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

Per serving: 272 calories, 24 grams protein, 12 grams fat (38% calories from fat), 2.2 grams saturated fat, 21 grams carbohydrate, 182 milligrams cholesterol, 619 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 1.5.

Mamma mia sauce over spaghetti

Add 1 to 2 cups chopped beef and onions to a 16-ounce jar of tomato-based pasta sauce. Heat and serve over cooked spaghetti, along with mixed greens and garlic bread.

Turkey ranch pie

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Place 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey (or a 10-ounce can drained chicken breast) and 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables in pie plate. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded 50% light cheddar cheese. In a small bowl, blend 1/2 cup reduced-fat baking mix (such as Bisquick Heart Smart), 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch dressing mix, 1 cup 1% milk and 2 lightly beaten eggs. Spoon over turkey mixture. Bake 33 to 38 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

Honey mustard pork tenderloin.
Honey mustard pork tenderloin.
stock.adobe.com

Honey mustard pork

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1/4 cup honey; mix well. In baking dish, coat 1 (1- to 1 1/4-pound) pork tenderloin with sauce. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, basting occasionally, until meat thermometer registers 145 degrees. Remove pork from oven, tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

TIP: Honey will slide out of the measuring cup more easily if you first coat it with cooking spray.

Caramelized onion pot roast

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 6 to 8 hours on low

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) boneless chuck (pot) roast, well trimmed

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 medium onions, sliced

1 1/2 cups lower-sodium beef broth

3/4 cup regular or nonalcoholic beer

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Cook roast, turning once, 10 minutes or until browned on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place onions in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Place roast on onions. Mix broth, beer, sugar, Dijon mustard and cider vinegar; pour over roast and onions. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours or until roast is tender. Remove roast and onions from cooker using slotted spoon. Cut roast into slices. Skim fat from juices in cooker. Serve roast with juice.

Per serving: 261 calories, 29 grams protein, 11 grams fat (39% calories from fat), 3.9 grams saturated fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 78 milligrams cholesterol, 307 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb choices: 0.5.

Vegetable ‘jambalaya’

Servings: makes 7 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup uncooked rice

1 (14-ounce) can unsalted vegetable broth

1 cup frozen corn

2 tablespoons less-sodium Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black-eyed peas

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, undrained

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook onion, bell pepper and garlic 6 minutes or until vegetables are softened; stir occasionally. Stir in rice. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is light golden. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in corn, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, black-eyed peas and tomatoes. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables and rice are tender. Serve warm.

Per cup: 223 calories, 7 grams protein, 2 grams fat (9% calories from fat), 0.2 gram saturated fat, 44 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 78 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 3