Menu planner: Pecan-crusted tilapia with Italian salsa hits the spot

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

SHARE Menu planner: Pecan-crusted tilapia with Italian salsa hits the spot
Pecan-crusted tilapia with Italian salsa.

Pecan-crusted tilapia with Italian salsa.

American Pecans

Pecan-crusted tilapia with Italian salsa

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 6 to 8 minutes for each fillet


1 cup raw pecan pieces

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 egg

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets

Coarse salt to taste


1 1/2 cups diced cherry tomatoes

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade

1 tablespoon olive oil

Coarse salt to taste

In a medium bowl, mix pecans, garlic powder and dried basil. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and mustard. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Pat tilapia dry. Coat both sides of each fillet with egg mixture, then pecan mixture. Place in skillet, being careful not to overcrowd in pan. Cook 3 or 4 minutes (depending on thickness); turn and cook until opaque throughout. Remove from pan; salt to taste. Repeat with any remaining fillets.

Meanwhile, make salsa: In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, oil and salt; toss to coat. Top tilapia with salsa; serve immediately.

Per serving: 489 calories, 39 grams protein, 35 grams fat (62% calories from fat), 4.3 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 132 milligrams cholesterol, 143 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Tomato Florentine pasta bake

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: about 35 minutes, plus pasta; standing time: 5 minutes


2 teaspoons canola oil

1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 (8-ounce) cans no-salt added or regular tomato sauce

1 (6-ounce) can no-salt-added or regular tomato paste

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

8 ounces penne or other tube pasta

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)

3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a Dutch oven, heat oil on medium. Add turkey and onion and cook 7 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and onion is softened. Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, oregano, sugar, cinnamon, garlic powder and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions; drain. Stir pasta and well-drained spinach into sauce and mix well. Spread half the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread ricotta evenly over pasta. Top with remaining pasta mixture. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella. Bake 15 minutes or until heated through; let stand 5 minutes.

Per serving: 276 calories, 27 grams protein, 7 grams fat (21% calories from fat), 3.2 grams saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 179 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Salsa verde chicken and rice

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 40 minutes, plus rice


2 (3.5-ounce) bags boil-in-bag brown rice

2 ripe avocados

3/4 cup salsa verde

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast, or 1 (12-ounce) can chicken breast, drained

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

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Chopped tomatoes for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice according to directions. Cut avocados in half; scoop pulp into a medium bowl and mash with the salsa verde, green chilies and lime juice. Stir in hot cooked rice. Mix together the chicken, soup and sour cream in a small saucepan on low heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until blended and slightly heated. Spoon rice mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon chicken mixture over rice. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cheese melts and bubbles. Sprinkle with cilantro and top with tomatoes.

Per serving: 365 calories, 19 grams protein, 17 grams fat (42% calories from fat), 6.6 grams saturated fat, 33 grams carbohydrate, 59 milligrams cholesterol, 396 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Dijon lamb chops

Remove excess fat from 12 loin lamb chops; arrange in a single layer on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon crushed whole peppercorns. Spread over chops. Broil 4 inches from heat 5 minutes; turn and broil 4 to 6 more minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness.

Pasta with pink sauce

Enjoy a no-meat meal. Combine 2 cups any red pasta sauce with 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. Simmer about 5 minutes and serve over any cooked pasta. Garnish with chopped fresh basil. Serve the easy meal with a spinach salad with hard-cooked egg slices and crusty rolls.

The Latest
Jim Thome’s legendary status around White Sox camp is big, larger than the physical stature he carries around his thick, broad-shouldered 6-4 frame.
Just before 11 a.m. a person tried to rob a store in the first block of North Wabash Avenue, but a concealed carry license holder fired a shot, Chicago police said.
Chelios’ No. 7 jersey will be retired in a pregame ceremony, then Kane will play his first game at the United Center as a member of the Red Wings shortly thereafter — all in front of an emotional, sold-out crowd.
Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, you need certain information and documentation to file your tax return.
Don’t ignore the bill. The agency offers short-term and long-term payment plan options for qualifying taxpayers.