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Menu planner: Complement your meal with herbed walnut potato salad

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

Herbed walnut potato salad.
Herbed walnut potato salad.
Courtesy of California Walnuts

Herbed walnut potato salad

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

3/4 cup green onions, sliced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (or to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup California walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil

Quarter potatoes and place in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Steam for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife; set aside to cool. Add bell pepper and green onions. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and black pepper and drizzle over potatoes and vegetables; lightly toss to coat with dressing, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (at least 1 hour). Just before serving, stir in walnuts and basil.

Note: Salad may be prepared a day in advance, but add the walnuts and basil just before serving for the best flavor and texture.

Per serving: 239 calories, 4 grams protein, 17 grams fat (60% calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 21 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 110 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

Three-bean chili

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: about 20 minutes

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium chopped onion

2 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 medium chopped red, orange or yellow bell peppers

1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch crosswise

1 (14.5-ounce) can undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans

1 (15-ounce) can small white beans

1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans

Shredded 50% light cheddar cheese for garnish.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add onion, garlic and chili powder; cook 3 minutes. Add peppers and zucchini; cook 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup and oregano. Cook 8 minutes. Gently stir in all beans. Cover; cook 3 minutes. Ladle into bowls; garnish with cheese.

Per serving: 275 calories, 15 grams protein, 3 grams fat (9% calories from fat), 0.5 gram saturated fat, 55 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 560 milligrams sodium, 18 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.5.

Chipotle chicken pasta

Makes about 8 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 12 minutes plus pasta

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces whole-wheat rotelle or rotini pasta

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14.5-ounce) can drained diced tomatoes

3/4 cup whole milk

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Cook pasta according to directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium until hot. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, milk, chipotles and salt. Simmer, uncovered, 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro. Toss pasta with sauce; add reserved water as needed to thin sauce.

Per cup: 243 calories, 23 grams protein, 5 grams fat (19% calories from fat), 1.1 grams saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 57 milligrams cholesterol, 315 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2

Grilled pork chops

Marinate 4 (3/4-inch-thick) boneless pork chops in 3/4 cup Italian dressing and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 20 minutes to overnight. Grill chops (discard marinade), turning once, 8 to 11 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

Strawberry shortcake trifle

In a large bowl, mix together 1 quart sliced strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar. In a medium bowl, stir together 8 ounces frozen whipped topping (thawed) and 1/3 cup strawberry topping (such as Smuckers). Cut a marbled or other pound cake (13 ounces) into 1-inch cubes. Place half the cake cubes in a large glass bowl. Spoon half the berries and juice evenly over cake. Spread half the topping over berries. Repeat once. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Garnish with more berries, if desired.

Taco dogs

Cook 8 lowest-fat lowest-sodium hot dogs in boiling water; drain. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup canned vegetarian refried beans, 1 cup 50% light shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mild salsa; mix well. Cover and microwave on high (100 percent power) 2 minutes or until heated; stir once. Spread mixture on 1 side of 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas; place hot dogs on tortillas. Top dogs with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes, and roll.

Baked Dijon tilapia

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon each Dijon mustard and olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Spread mixture over top of four 6-ounce tilapia fillets. Sprinkle each fillet with some panko breadcrumbs and sliced almonds. Bake 12 minutes or until tilapia is opaque throughout.