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Menu planner: Keep it simple and tasty with pot roast soup

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

Slow-cooker pot roast soup.
Slow-cooker pot roast soup.
Cattlemen’s Beef Board

Slow-cooker pot roast soup

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, place a 2 1/2-pound boneless shoulder roast (cut into 12 pieces).

Add 2 cups chopped onions, 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green peppers and onion, 1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes (cubes), 1 cup unsalted beef broth, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Cover and cook on low 8 to 9 hours or until beef is fork-tender.

Stir in 2 cups broccoli slaw; continue cooking 30 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Turn off cooker, stir in 1/2 cup frozen peas. Let stand 5 minutes.

Turkey moussaka

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 medium green bell peppers, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1 pound ground turkey breast

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

12 ounces roasted eggplant dip

1/3 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Heat oil in a large, oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, garlic, bay leaf, paprika, cinnamon and allspice. Cook 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add turkey; cook 8 minutes or until just browned. Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste; bring to a simmer. Cover; reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes. Heat broiler. Stir in eggplant dip; simmer 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Remove pan from heat; top with feta. Broil 1 to 2 minutes to lightly brown cheese. Just before serving, garnish with mint.

Per serving: 259 calories, 23 grams protein, 12 grams fat (43% calories from fat), 1.5 grams saturated fat, 14 grams carbohydrate, 46 milligrams cholesterol, 825 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Meatloaf with zucchini

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups shredded zucchini (1 large or 2 small)

1/3 cup Italian dry breadcrumbs

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 pounds 95% lean ground beef

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix eggs, zucchini, breadcrumbs, onion, salt, oregano, pepper and beef until well-blended. Press mixture into an ungreased 9-inch deep-dish glass baking dish. Bake 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix together sugar, ketchup and mustard. Remove loaf from oven; pour off drippings. Spread topping over loaf. Return to oven; bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

NOTE: The recipe produces lots of liquid because of the moisture in the zucchini.

Per slice: 167 calories, 21 grams protein, 6 grams fat (30% calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 93 milligrams cholesterol, 344 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Glazed salmon with sesame green beans

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes; marinating time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup honey

4 teaspoons less-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons five-spice powder

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

1 pound fresh or frozen thin (French) green beans, thawed and drained

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk honey, soy sauce, five spice powder and garlic. Place salmon on a large plate. Pour spice mixture over salmon; turn to coat. Marinate 15 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, toss green beans with canola and sesame oils. Arrange beans on rimmed baking pan lined with foil; bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven; push beans to one side of pan. Place salmon, skin side down, on other side of pan. Brush salmon with any remaining marinade. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until salmon is medium doneness and beans are crisp-tender. Remove salmon from pan, leaving skin. Toss beans with sesame seeds and lemon juice. Serve beans with salmon.

Per serving: 388 calories, 39 grams protein, 14 grams fat (33% calories from fat), 2.2 grams saturated fat, 27 grams carbohydrate, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 332 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Black bean soup

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat. Add 1 large, finely chopped onion, 1 medium chopped green bell pepper and 3 cloves minced garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, puree 1 (15-ounce) can (of 2 cans total) low-sodium black beans (with liquid) with 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth. To the pot, add 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Cook 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste; cook 1 minute. Stir in bean puree and the other can beans (with liquid). Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover pot and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in 1/4 cup dry sherry if desired. Ladle into bowls and garnish with diced tomatoes.

Curry chicken salad

Into 2 cups of deli chicken salad, stir 2 teaspoons curry powder and 1/4 cup diced red apples. Spread the mixture on whole-grain bread or stuff it into a pita. Serve with a packaged green salad.