Menu planner: For an easy no-meat dinner, try one-pot penne pomodoro

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

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One-pot penne pomodoro.

One-pot penne pomodoro.

One-pot penne pomodoro

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes


8 ounces penne pasta

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

2 1/2 cups water

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano, with liquid

4 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon chopped garlic (about 4 large cloves)

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish

Thinly sliced fresh basil leaves for garnish

In a pot with tall sides, combine pasta, grape tomatoes, water, canned tomatoes, butter, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and a brothy sauce has formed. Serve with the Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

Per serving: 376 calories, 9 grams protein, 13 grams fat (30% calories from fat), 7.5 grams saturated fat, 57 grams carbohydrate, 31 milligrams cholesterol, 884 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 4.

Upside-down roast chicken

Makes 10 servings (3 ounces cooked weight)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours; standing time: 5 minutes


6 small red potatoes, halved

1 cup baby carrots

1/2 medium onion, cut into wedges

Canola oil

1 (4- to 5-pound) roasting chicken (giblets and neck discarded)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a Bundt pan with cooking spray. Place potatoes, carrots and onion around center of pan. Remove excess skin and any fat around neck. Rub oil on chicken skin. Position chicken in pan with cavity of chicken over center hole. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil to catch drippings. Bake chicken and vegetables 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature of thigh reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven. Remove chicken to cutting board; tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes before carving. Drain vegetables and serve with chicken.

Per serving: (without skin): 140 calories, 20 grams protein, 3 grams fat (17% calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 82 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Pulled pork

Servings: makes 14 to 16 servings (3 ounces cooked weight)

Preparation time: about 15 minutes

Cooking time: 7 to 8 hours on low


1 large onion, halved and sliced

3/4 cup medium salsa

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 (4- to 4 1/2-pound) bone-in pork shoulder, well-trimmed

3 tablespoons tomato paste

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine the onion, salsa, 1/3 cup vinegar, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder and salt. Add pork and turn to coat. Cover and cook 7 to 8 hours on low. Transfer to cutting board. Use two forks to shred pork. Discard bone and fat. Pour 1 cup of juices into a large bowl; add onion. Whisk in the tomato paste and remaining vinegar. Add pork and stir to combine. Add more juice as needed.

Per serving: 194 calories, 27 grams protein, 5 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 1.6 grams saturated fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 350 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Pasta with chicken and peas

Cook 1 (13.25-ounce) package whole-grain rotini pasta according to directions. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add 1 (10-ounce) package frozen petite green peas. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Return pasta and peas to pot and stir in 8.8 ounces reduced-fat herbed soft cheese, 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 1 to 2 cups leftover diced chicken. Stir until blended; add some pasta water to thin, if necessary.

Sausage and lentil soup

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add 2 cups chopped onions and 1 cup sliced celery; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add 4 ounces turkey kielbasa (chopped); cook and stir 3 more minutes or until kielbasa is lightly browned and vegetables are softened. Stir in 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper; cook and stir 2 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in 4 cups unsalted chicken broth, 1 (14.5-ounce) can drained no-salt-added diced tomatoes and 1 cup lentils (picked over and rinsed). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in 5 ounces baby spinach leaves. Simmer until wilted.

Seasoned lamb chops

Heat a small, dry skillet on medium. Add 2 tablespoons cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns; toast, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Crush or grind to a coarse powder. Combine the mixture with the chopped leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary. Rub mixture over both sides of 8 loin lamb chops. Cook on medium in a large, nonstick skillet 3 to 4 minutes or until browned. Turn; cook another 3 or 4 minutes.

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