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Menu planner: Invite guests for lemon-herb roasted cod with crispy garlic potatoes

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

Lemon-herb roasted with with crispy garlic potatoes.
Lemon-herb roasted with with crispy garlic potatoes.
America’s Test Kitchen

Lemon-herb roasted cod with crispy garlic potatoes

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

4 (6-to 8-ounce) skinless cod fillets, 1 inch thick

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 thin lemon slices

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, garlic, remaining oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover; microwave on high (100% power) 12 to 14 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Stack potatoes in a shingle pattern in 4 rectangular piles that measure roughly 4 by 6 inches on prepared sheet. Pat cod dry with paper towels, sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper and lay 1 fillet, skinned side down, on each potato pile. Place butter, thyme sprig and 1 lemon slice on top. Roast 15 to 18 minutes or until fish flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife and internal temperature is 135 degrees. Slide spatula underneath potatoes and cod to gently transfer to individual plates and serve.

Per serving: 411 calories, 34 grams protein, 17 grams fat (37% calories from fat), 6.6 grams saturated fat, 31 grams carbohydrate, 96 milligrams cholesterol, 464 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Pork goulash

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: about 10 minutes

Cooking time: 6 to 8 hours

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds well-trimmed boneless pork shoulder or loin, cut into bite-size chunks

1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 (1.1-ounce) packet beef-onion soup mix

2 tablespoons paprika

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, place pork. Add tomatoes, soup mix, paprika, garlic and caraway seeds. Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours or until pork is tender. Stir in sour cream and top each serving with dill.

Per serving: 243 calories, 27 grams protein, 10 grams fat (38% calories from fat), 4.3 grams saturated fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 88 milligrams cholesterol, 509 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Diego’s meatball mountain range

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: Less than 25 minutes, plus pasta

INGREDIENTS

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

3/4 pound 95% lean ground beef

2 1/2 cups meatless pasta sauce

8 ounces whole-grain spaghetti

1 to 2 cups large fresh broccoli florets, cooked

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2 1/2-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine egg, onion, breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, Italian seasoning and salt. Add rice and beef; mix well. On a piece of waxed paper, flatten meat mixture into a 1-inch-thick square. Cut the square into a grid to make 20 equal pieces. (Kids can help here:) Roll each piece into a meatball. Arrange in prepared dish and bake about 15 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat pasta sauce on low. Transfer cooked meatballs to sauce and wipe out baking dish. Cook spaghetti according to directions; drain. Transfer spaghetti to baking dish. Add about 1/2 cup sauce without meatballs; toss to coat. Arrange remaining sauce and the meatballs on spaghetti in center of dish. (Kids can help here:) Arrange broccoli around edge to look like trees. Loosely cover with nonstick foil and bake 5 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and serve.

NOTE: Cut broccoli into smaller pieces before serving.

Per serving: 325 calories, 22 grams protein, 7 grams fat (18% calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 44 grams carbohydrate, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 449 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Spicy Thai chicken salad

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups chopped cooked chicken, 3 cups cooked brown rice, 6 cups coleslaw mix and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. In medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups Thai peanut sauce (bottled), 1/4 cup canola oil and 1/4 cup water. Add to rice mixture and toss to coat. Garnish with 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dry roasted peanuts and serve.

Penne with bean sauce

Cook a 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach. Stir in 1 (16-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium cannellini beans and 2 cups no-salt-added or regular marinara sauce. Heat through and stir into any cooked pasta. Serve with a lettuce wedge and garlic bread.