Strawberry and baby greens salad makes your dinner all the richer

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

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Strawberry baby greens salad with buttery spiced pecans and strawberry basil balsamic vinaigrette.

Strawberry baby greens salad with buttery spiced pecans and strawberry basil balsamic vinaigrette.

Gwynn Galvin/

Strawberry baby greens salad with buttery spiced pecans and strawberry basil balsamic vinaigrette

Makes 10 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 3 minutes


1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper

1 cup pecans

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons strawberry preserves

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

8 cups baby greens

8 strawberries, trimmed and quartered, about 1 cup

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add cinnamon, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and chipotle pepper. Stir in pecans. Cook until pecans are fragrant and lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer to waxed paper; cool. In serving bowl, combine olive oil, strawberry preserves, vinegar, basil, black pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk until blended. Add greens, strawberries, onion and pecans. Toss until evenly coated.

Per cup: 158 calories, 2 grams protein, 14 grams fat (73% calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 136 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Tuna noodle casserole

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: less than 20 minutes, plus pasta; standing time: 5 minutes


8 ounces no-yolk egg noodles

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons flour

2 3/4 cups 1% milk

4 ounces softened reduced-fat cream cheese

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 (5-ounce) cans albacore tuna in water, drained and flaked

Heat broiler. Cook noodles according to directions; drain. Heat a large, nonstick skillet on medium; add oil to coat pan. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk; cook 7 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk, until slightly thick. Stir in cream cheese, mustard and pepper. Cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in noodles, peas, almonds and tuna. Spoon mixture into a broiler-safe 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 297 calories, 18 grams protein, 11 grams fat (34% calories from fat), 3.2 grams saturated fat, 32 grams carbohydrate, 27 milligrams cholesterol, 269 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Pasta pizza pie

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 45 minutes, plus pasta

Standing time: 5 minutes


2 cups rotini pasta

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 cup minced onion

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 beaten egg

1/4 cup 1% milk

4 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

1 1/2 cups no-salt-added or regular marinara sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add onion and mushrooms and cook 5 minutes or until the onion is softened and the mushrooms have lost most of their liquid. Remove from heat; set aside. Coat a 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix the egg, milk, cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Spread the pasta mixture evenly on the pizza pan. Bake 20 minutes. Spread the marinara sauce over pasta “crust.” Top with onion mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake 18 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is hot and bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes.

Per serving: 327 calories, 16 grams protein, 11 grams fat (30% calories from fat), 3.7 grams saturated fat, 41 grams carbohydrate, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 280 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.5.

Chicken salad-stuffed avocados

Halve ripe avocados; sprinkle with lemon juice and fill with deli chicken salad. Place on a bed of red-tipped lettuce and serve with hard-cooked egg and tomato wedges. Add crusty rolls. Munch on oatmeal cookies for dessert.

Curried lentils

Cook 2 cups lentils according to directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil on medium. Add 2 medium chopped onions, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon dried coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 3 whole cloves, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper; cook 10 minutes or until onions are softened, stirring frequently. Add 1 cup diced fresh or drained canned tomatoes and the drained lentils; simmer on low 3 minutes. Discard cloves. Stir in 1/3 cup sliced green onions and tops and 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander, if desired.

Grilled lamb chops

Rub both sides of 12 lamb loin chops with olive oil, 2 mashed cloves garlic, chopped leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, some lemon juice and coarsely ground black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours. Season with coarse salt and additional pepper; grill 4 to 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness.

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