Menu planner: Tomato salad offers simple but flavorful addition to your meal

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

SHARE Menu planner: Tomato salad offers simple but flavorful addition to your meal
A simple tomato salad serves up a lot of flavor.

A simple tomato salad serves up a lot of flavor.

America’s Test Kitchen

Simple tomato salad

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes


1 1/2 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves

Arrange tomatoes on large, shallow platter. Whisk oil, shallot, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in bowl. Spoon dressing over tomatoes. Sprinkle with pine nuts and basil. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 142 calories, 3 grams protein, 12 grams fat (73% calories from fat), 1.7 grams saturated fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 300 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Pasta pesto salad

Makes about 6 1/2 cups

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: for the pasta


6 ounces rotini pasta

1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

1 6-ounce jar quartered artichokes, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup reduced-fat or regular pesto

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions; rinse and drain. In a large serving bowl, combine walnuts, basil, tomatoes and artichokes. Stir in pasta. Add pesto and cheese and toss to cover and mix. Refrigerate until serving time.

Per cup: 237 calories, 7 grams protein, 13 grams fat (46% calories from fat), 1.7 grams saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 215 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

Mexican Chicken

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: about 20 minutes


4 (4- to 6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

3/4 cup drained salsa

3/4 cup shredded 50% light cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Flatten chicken to an even thickness. Rub chicken with garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium high. Cook chicken 3 or 4 minutes per side or until browned. Transfer chicken to a shallow, rimmed nonstick foil-lined baking pan. Divide salsa and top each breast. Divide cheese and sprinkle over salsa. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Per serving: 200 calories, 30 grams protein, 6 grams fat (29 percent calories from fat), 2.9 grams saturated fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, 84 milligrams cholesterol, 578 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0.

Turkey roll-ups

For each serving: Spread 1 tablespoon Thousand Island dressing on a multigrain wrap flatbread; layer with 2 ounces deli sliced turkey, 2/3 cup shredded lettuce and 2 thin slices tomato. Roll; place seam side down on a cutting board and slice on the diagonal. Serve with baked chips and petite green peas (from frozen).

Stuffed tomatoes

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Hollow out large tomatoes and fill with a mixture of leftover brown rice, finely chopped red onion, leftover green peas, crumbled Greek feta cheese and chopped parsley (all ingredients to taste). Drizzle with canola oil and bake 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through. If you don’t want to heat your oven, cover the tomatoes with waxed paper and microwave 1 to 2 minutes per tomato on high. (Start with 1 minute per tomato.)

Parmesan herb-crusted flounder

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix 1/3 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup plain panko breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons Parmesan herb seasoning blend and 1/2 teaspoon paprika in a shallow dish. Brush 4 (4- to 6-ounce) flounder fillets with olive oil. Coat evenly with almond mixture. Place fish on nonstick foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout.

TIP: Substitute tilapia or red snapper for the flounder, if desired.

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