Menu planner: Grilled bacon-wrapped scallops will be on your list of favorites

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

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Grilled bacon-wrapped scallops with celery salad.

Grilled bacon-wrapped scallops with celery salad.

America’s Test Kitchen

Grilled bacon-wrapped scallops with celery salad

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: fewer than 15 minutes


5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

8 celery ribs, sliced thinly on diagonal

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

1 shallot, thinly sliced

12 slices bacon (12 ounces)

24 large sea scallops (1 pound), tendons removed

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons oil, vinegar and mustard. Add celery, parsley and shallot and toss to combine; set aside. Place triple layer white paper towels on large microwavable plate and arrange 6 slices bacon in single layer on towels. Top with 3 more paper towels, remaining 6 slices bacon and second plate. Microwave 4 minutes until bacon is slightly shriveled but still pliable. Toss scallops with remaining oil, salt and pepper. Press 2 scallops together, side to side, and wrap sides of bundle with 1 slice bacon. Thread onto 12-inch metal skewer through bacon. Repeat with remaining scallops and bacon, threading 3 bundles onto each of 4 skewers. Place kebabs, bacon side down, on cooler side of grill. Cook 4 minutes or until crisp. Turn; move to hotter side of grill. Cook 4 more minutes or until firm and centers are opaque. Serve with salad.

Per serving: 406 calories, 25 grams protein, 30 grams fat (67% calories from fat), 6.4 grams saturated fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 58 milligrams cholesterol, 1,336 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Asian pork and pineapple kebabs

Makes 8 kebabs

Preparation time: 20 minutes; refrigeration time: 2 to 4 hours

Cooking time: 10 to 12 minutes; standing time: 3 minutes


2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups teriyaki marinade, divided

4 cups pineapple chunks (about 1 inch in size)

2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares

8 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

Place pork in resealable plastic bag. Add 1 cup marinade; turn to coat. Seal bag; refrigerate 2 to 4 hours. Heat grill to medium-high. Remove pork; discard marinade from bag. On stainless steel skewers, thread pork, pineapple, bell peppers and onions. Grill directly over fire, turning to brown evenly, 10 to 12 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees, brushing kebabs with reserved 1/2 cup marinade. Let stand 3 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 192 calories, 23 grams protein, 3 grams fat (15% calories from fat), 1 gram saturated fat, 17 grams carbohydrate, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 664 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 1.

Vidalia onion risotto

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes


2 teaspoons canola oil

2 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

2 (14-ounce) cans unsalted vegetable broth

1/2 cup reduced-fat crumbled Greek feta cheese, divided

1/2 cup chopped flatleaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in saucepan over medium. Add onions and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in rice; cook 1 to 2 minutes to thoroughly coat grains.

Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer. Add 1/2 cup broth to rice; cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is nearly absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup feta, parsley and parmesan. Spoon into serving bowl; top with 1/4 cup remaining feta and pepper. Garnish with parsley sprigs.

Per serving: 373 calories, 11 grams protein, 6 grams fat (14% calories from fat), 2.4 grams saturated fat, 68 grams carbohydrate, 11 milligrams cholesterol, 503 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 4.5.

Italian sloppy Joes

Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil on medium in a large nonstick skillet; add 1 pound ground turkey breast and cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan coated with cooking spray on medium and add 1 small finely chopped onion and 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots. Cook 5 minutes or until softened. Add cooked turkey, 3 cups red pasta sauce and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning to vegetables; simmer until heated through. Spoon mixture onto toasted whole-grain hamburger buns; garnish with fresh basil ribbons.

Stuffed tomatoes

In a large nonstick skillet, cook 1 finely chopped medium onion and 1 pound lean ground beef on medium-high for 7 minutes or until meat is no longer pink; drain. Meanwhile, cut a thin slice from the stem end of each of 4 jumbo ripe tomatoes; reserve slices. With a spoon, scoop out seeds and pulp from each tomato; reserve. Place tomatoes in a baking dish, cut-side down; cover and microwave on high (100% power) 2 minutes or until heated; drain. Chop 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint, the reserved tomato slices and reserved pulp; set mint aside. Stir the pulp mixture, 3/4 cup cooked rice, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into meat mixture. Cover and microwave 8 to 10 minutes on high. Stir mint into meat mixture. Fill tomato shells with meat mixture and serve.

Pizza with smoked turkey

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place 1 (10-ounce) ready-to-bake whole-grain pizza crust on baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese onto crust. Evenly distribute 2 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey (cut into 1/2-inch strips) over cheese. In small bowl, mix 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese with 1 (4-ounce) container garlic-and-herb cheese spread. Evenly place dollops of cheese mixture over pizza. Bake 10 minutes or until heated through and cheese melts. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil.

Berry parfait

Cut a pound cake into 10 slices (3/4 inch thick). Cut each slice into 8 cubes. Place cubes in a bowl; set aside. In a skillet, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Heat on medium 4 minutes or until mixture is a syrupy consistency; remove from heat and toss with 2 cups fresh berries (any). Fill 10 parfait glasses (or stemmed dessert glasses) with half the cake cubes. Divide and layer half the fruit mixture, 1/4 cup sliced almonds (1/2 cup total), 1 cup (thawed) frozen whipped topping (2 cups total); repeat layers of cake and fruit mixture, ending with remaining almonds and whipped topping.

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