clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Menu planner: Cajun sausage and rice is filling and delicious

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

Cajun sausage and rice.
Cajun sausage and rice.
Shadow Mountain/Christy Denney

Cajun sausage and rice

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 to 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

14 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth

5 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Ground black pepper to taste

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage and cook until browned on both sides. Add bell pepper and onion. Cook 2 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. Stir in broth, paste, rice, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduced heat to medium-low; simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Per serving: 523 calories, 17 grams protein, 30 grams fat (52% calories from fat), 9.4 grams saturated fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, 62 milligrams cholesterol, 1,254 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Chicken potatoes with pearl onions and carrots

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 6 to 7 hours

INGREDIENTS

6 bone-in skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon herbes de Provence

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 pounds small red potatoes

3/4 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed

2 cups baby carrots

8 ounces cremini mushrooms

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Place chicken in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle with herbs de Provence, garlic powder and pepper. Add potatoes, onions, carrots and mushrooms. Pour broth over all. Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Remove bones and serve.

Per serving: 220 calories, 24 grams protein, 3 grams fat (12% calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 24 gram carbohydrate, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 185 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

Pork roast with apples and sage

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 to 7 hours

INGREDIENTS

4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 (2 3/4- to 3-pound) boneless pork loin roast, well-trimmed

1 (12-ounce) jar pork gravy or au jus

4 medium gala apples, divided

Mix sage, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread over top of pork. Place gravy in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Core 2 apples and coarsely chop; add to gravy. Place pork on top. Cover and cook on low 5 to 7 hours. Core and cut remaining apples into 8 wedges each; add to cooker the last hour of cooking. Remove pork and apple wedges to a tray; tent with foil. Let stand. Remove chopped apples with slotted spoon to food processor; puree. Add 1 cup cooking liquid to apple puree; heat. Slice pork; serve with apple wedges and apple gravy.

Per serving: 247 calories, 28 grams protein, 9 grams fat (35% calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 74 milligrams cholesterol, 464 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Chili dogs

Spoon some chili over the kids’ favorite hot dogs (lowest-sodium lowest-fat dogs) on a whole-grain bun. Crunch on celery sticks alongside.

S’mores puffs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place 12 round buttery crackers on a baking sheet. Top each with 1 milk chocolate kiss (of 12 total) and half of 1 large marshmallow (6 marshmallows total). Bake 8 minutes or until marshmallows just begin to melt. Let cool on a wire rack 5 minutes before eating.

Tuna salad sandwiches

Buy some deli tuna salad. Before you spread it on whole-grain bread, stir in some halved grapes. Add a lettuce leaf to the sandwich, too. Serve with bean soup. Add plums for dessert.

Mediterranean bulgur with chickpeas

In a large serving bowl, combine 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat), 2 diced plum tomatoes, 1 small diced zucchini and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over all; cover with foil. Let stand 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and bulgur is tender. Stir in 1 (15.5-ounce) can rinsed chickpeas, 2 cups cooked broccoli florets, 3/4 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil; mix well and serve.