Menu planner: Spice up your afternoon with Crab Louis salad

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

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Crab Louis salad.

Crab Louis salad.

America’s Test Kitchen

Crab Louis salad

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: for the eggs


1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

4 thinly sliced green onions

2 tablespoons chopped pitted green olives

2 tablespoons chili sauce

5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 heads bibb lettuce (1 pound), leaves separated and torn into 1 1/2-inch pieces

8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved

3 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, quartered and sliced thin

1 pound fresh crabmeat, picked over for shells and pressed dry between paper towels

Whisk together in bowl mayonnaise, sour cream, bell pepper, onions, olives, chili sauce, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper; set aside. In another bowl, gently toss crabmeat with 1/2 cup dressing. Mound lettuce in center of serving platter; arrange tomatoes, sliced eggs, and avocado over top. Top with dressed crab and serve, passing remaining dressing separately.

Per serving: 255 calories, 22 grams protein, 12 grams fat (40% calories from fat), 2.5 grams saturated fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 156 milligrams cholesterol, 769 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 4.

Chili-orange chicken

Makes 8 servings (3 ounces cooked weight each)

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 to 7 hours


3/4 cup mild enchilada sauce

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 pound bone-in skinless chicken breasts

2 to 2 1/2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken thighs, well-trimmed

3 tablespoons orange marmalade

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons orange zest

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, mix together enchilada sauce and barbecue sauce. In a small bowl, mix together chili powder and cumin. Rub all over chicken. Add chicken to slow cooker and turn to coat. Cover and cook on low 5 to 7 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Turn off cooker; remove chicken to serving platter (discarding bones). Skim fat from sauce. Stir marmalade into sauce until blended. Stir in cilantro and zest. Pour over chicken on platter.

Per serving: 195 calories, 26 grams protein, 5 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 1.1 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 108 milligrams cholesterol, 338 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Cowboy casserole

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: less than 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 50 minutes

1 pound 93% to 95% lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

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

1 cup mild salsa

4 slices cooked crumbled bacon, divided

1 cup shredded 50% light cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef, onion and bell pepper for 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are softened; drain well. Stir in beans and salsa. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spoon half the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with half the bacon and half the cheese. Pour remaining bean mixture over cheese. Top with remaining bacon and cheese. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until bubbly; serve immediately.

Per serving: 269 calories, 26 grams protein, 7 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 3.3 grams saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 43 milligrams cholesterol, 750 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Grilled ancho-rubbed flank steak

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin and 1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Rub mixture all over surface of 1 (1- to 1 1/2-pound) flank steak. Grill 17 to 21 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes before carving across the grain.

Caramelized onion stuffed-potatoes

Bake 4 potatoes. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add 2 thinly sliced onions, 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Cook, covered, about 20 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally. Uncover, cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until onions are golden. Slash potato tops; stuff with onions. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Turkey reuben sandwich

Heat broiler. Place 8 slices rye bread on a baking sheet. Coat one side of each slice with cooking spray; turn slices. Top evenly with reduced-fat Thousand Island dressing. On 4 slices, divide and layer 1/2 pound deli sliced turkey, 1/2 pound reduced-fat sliced Swiss cheese and 1 cup refrigerated rinsed (squeezed dry) sauerkraut. Top with remaining bread, placing dressing side next to sauerkraut. Broil 2 minutes or until browned, turning once.

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