Menu planner: Go meatless with spicy linguine with garlic and oil

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

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Spicy linguine with garlic and oil.

Spicy linguine with garlic and oil.

Linda Xiao

Spicy linguine with garlic and oil

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes, plus pasta


1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt, divided

16 ounces linguine or spaghetti

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on medium high; add 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup water. Return pasta with a few tablespoons of the water back to the pot. In a large skillet on medium, heat oil. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring frequently so as not to burn, 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of pasta water to skillet; cook, stirring 2 minutes to make a loose sauce. Add cooked pasta to skillet; mix together with tongs. Heat 1 minute. Remove from stove and add parsley, cheese and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Mix together one last time and serve.

Per serving: 381 calories, 11 grams protein, 11 grams fat (27% calories from fat), 2 grams saturated fat, 58 grams carbohydrate, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 380 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 4.

Turkey-couscous meatloaves

Makes 6 loaves

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 to 35 minutes


3/4 cup unsalted chicken broth

1/2 cup whole-wheat couscous

1 medium coarsely grated zucchini

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

4 teaspoons rubbed (crumbled) sage

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast

1 egg

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons tomato paste

3 slices lower-sodium bacon, halved

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Boil broth; stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer couscous to a large bowl, fluff with fork. Stir in zucchini, onion, sage, salt and pepper. Add turkey and egg and mix to combine. Shape into 6 loaves, each about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with nonstick foil. In a small bowl, mix sugar, mustard and tomato paste until blended and smooth; brush most of mixture over loaves. Lay a bacon piece diagonally over each loaf. Brush bacon with remaining mustard mixture. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until loaves’ internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. If desired, broil 1 minute to crisp bacon.

Note: I used a box shredder for the zucchini.

Per loaf: 262 calories, 29 grams protein, 4 grams fat (13% calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, 92 milligrams cholesterol, 381 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Honey-ginger grilled salmon

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes; marinating time: 15 minutes to 1 hour

Cooking time: 12 to 18 minutes


1/3 cup fresh orange juice

1/3 cup less-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 green onion, chopped

1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets

In a resealable plastic bag, combine juice, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic powder and onion. Add salmon; turn to coat. Refrigerate 15 minutes to 1 hour. Discard marinade, pat salmon dry with paper towels. Grill on medium-high 6 to 8 minutes per side or bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.

Per serving: 230 calories, 36 grams protein, 8 grams fat (31% calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 490 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0.

Apple-cinnamon pockets

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll 1 (15-ounce) package of 2 refrigerated piecrusts (on wax paper for easy cleanup) according to package directions. Cut each crust into fourths. Divide 2 (12-ounce) packages frozen cinnamon-spiced apples (defrosted) into eight portions and place in center of each crust; sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired. Pull corners over apples, pinching to seal. Brush bundles evenly with lightly beaten egg white; place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Turkey Cuban sandwiches

Spread 8 slices Italian bread with Dijon mustard. Top each of 4 slices bread with 1 slice reduced-fat Swiss cheese, thin slices of ham, deli-sliced turkey, another slice of cheese and slices of dill pickle. Top with second slice of bread. Coat bread with cooking spray, place in a hot nonstick skillet, press down with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Turn and repeat browning.

Chicken rice bake

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice, 1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth, 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup dry white wine or additional chicken broth, 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Spoon mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place 3 1/2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken breasts and thighs in dish. Sprinkle chicken with paprika. Cover with nonstick foil; bake 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature of thighs reaches 165 degrees. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

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