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Menu Planner: Quick green chicken chili adds flavorful side to your meal

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

Quick green chicken chili
America’s Test Kitchen/Steve Klise

Quick green chicken chili

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons cumin

4 cups unsalted chicken broth

2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed

1 cup tomatillo salsa

3 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Lime wedges, reduced-fat sour cream and tortilla chips for garnish

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, pepper and salt; cook about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic and cumin; cook about 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in broth, beans and salsa; bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes or until flavors blend. Using back of wooden spoon, mash some of beans against side of pot until slightly thickened. Stir in chicken and cilantro and cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Stir and serve with garnishes.

Per serving: 440 calories, 41 grams protein, 9 grams fat (21% calories from fat), 1.6 grams saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 89 milligrams cholesterol, 1,335 milligrams sodium, 9 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.5.

Creamed onion bake

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 1/2 cups cornbread stuffing

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

3 onions, halved and cut into slices

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup 1% milk

1 cup frozen tiny green peas

1 cup shredded 50% light sharp cheddar cheese

Heat half the butter in a 1-quart pan on medium heat until melted. Remove pan from heat. To butter, add stuffing and parsley; mix lightly and set pan aside. Heat remaining butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add onions and cook 6 minutes or until softened. Stir in soup, milk and peas. Spoon soup mixture into a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and stuffing mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling.

Per serving: 176 calories, 6 grams protein, 10 grams fat (50% calories from fat), 6 grams saturated fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 304 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Lentil salad with sheared shrimp

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: less than 5 minutes, plus lentils; standing time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces lentils, picked over and rinsed

2 large ribs celery, finely chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 bay leaf

3 cups water

4 sprigs fresh thyme, divided, plus extra for garnish

8 extra-large (16- to 20-count) or 16 large shrimp, shelled and deveined

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 cup finely chopped and packed fresh flatleaf parsley leaves

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a 4-quart saucepan, combine lentils, celery, onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, water and 3 sprigs thyme. Heat to boiling on medium-high. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer 25 to 35 minutes or until lentils are tender. Meanwhile, from remaining thyme sprig, remove leaves and finely chop; discard stem. In medium bowl, combine shrimp, 1 tablespoon oil and chopped thyme. Let stand 15 minutes while lentils simmer. Heat a large nonstick skillet to medium-high. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until browned. Turn; cook 2 minutes longer or until shrimp are opaque throughout. Drain lentil mixture; transfer to large bowl. Remove and discard bay leaf and thyme stems. Toss lentil mixture with parsley, vinegar, mustard and remaining olive oil, along with the salt and pepper. Divide lentil mixture among serving plates; top each serving with shrimp; garnish with thyme sprig.

Per serving: 344 calories, 24 grams protein, 11 grams fat (28% calories from fat), 1.5 grams saturated fat, 41 grams carbohydrate, 71 milligrams cholesterol, 338 milligrams sodium, 9 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Hot dog heaven

Prepare 1 1/3 cup dehydrated mashed potatoes according to directions but without salt. Stir in 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon instant minced onion and 2 teaspoons yellow mustard. Spread mixture in an ungreased 1-quart casserole. Arrange 4 to 6 lowest-fat lowest-sodium hot dogs (cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise) around edge of mashed potatoes by standing them like fence posts. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is hot.

Noodle soup with kale and white beans

In a Dutch oven, cook 3 medium chopped carrots and 1 chopped onion in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil on medium heat for 10 minutes or until soft and golden brown; remove to a bowl and wipe pot if necessary. Heat another tablespoon oil on medium-high in same pot. Add 1 cup broken (2- or 3-inch pieces) angel hair pasta and cook 3 or 4 minutes or until dark golden brown; stir often. Add 8 cups unsalted chicken broth and stir. Scrape bottom of pan to release any pasta stuck on pot. Add the carrots and onions, 6 cups roughly chopped fresh kale (ribs removed), 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium cannellini beans, 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Before serving, add more lime juice and pepper if desired.