Menu planner: For a low-cost meal, try barbecue chicken pizza

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

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Barbecue chicken pizza.

Barbecue chicken pizza.

Courtesy of Shadow Mountain/Christy Denney

Barbecue chicken pizza

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 to 12 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 (13.8-ounce) package refrigerated pizza dough

1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken

1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup sliced red onion

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough on floured surface to desired shape. Transfer to baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine chicken and 1/4 cup barbecue sauce. Set aside. Brush dough with remaining 1/4 cup sauce, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle mozzarella on pizza and top with barbecue chicken and onion. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Per serving: 337 calories, 20 grams protein, 9 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 4 grams saturated fat, 42 grams carbohydrate, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 868 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Spinach lasagna

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 2 1/2 hours on low; standing time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese

1/3 cup 1% milk

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

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

1 (8- or 9-ounce) box no-boil lasagna noodles

1 (26-ounce) jar no-salt-added or regular red pasta sauce

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, mix together the spinach, ricotta, milk and Parmesan until well-blended; set aside. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Pour the tomato sauce into cooker; top with one-fourth of noodles. Cover as much of the sauce as possible by breaking some noodles to fit and overlapping if necessary. Spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce over noodles, then top with one-third of ricotta mixture (about 1 cup) and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat two more times. For the final layer, cover with remaining noodles, sauce and mozzarella. Cover and cook on low 2 1/2 hours or until the noodles absorb the sauce and are tender. Turn off cooker; let stand 15 minutes to let noodles absorb any remaining moisture before serving.

Per serving: 325 calories, 20 grams protein, 12 grams fat (32% calories from fat), 6.7 grams saturated fat, 36 grams carbohydrate, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 360 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.5.

Moroccan lentil stew

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added or regular petite diced tomatoes

2 (19-ounce) cans lentil soup

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 cup raisins

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

6 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes, soup, chickpeas, raisins, cinnamon, cumin and red pepper. Bring stew to a simmer on medium-high, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced and sauce has thickened, stirring often to prevent sticking. Serve, garnishing each serving with yogurt.

Per serving: 277 calories, 13 grams protein, 4 grams fat (13% calories from fat), 0.5 gram saturated fat, 48 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 369 milligrams sodium, 9 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Turkey reuben wraps

Spread each of 4 (8-inch) whole-grain tortillas with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat Thousand Island dressing. Top each tortilla to within 1 inch of edge with 1 1/2 cups (6 cups total) fresh baby spinach, 2 ounces (8 ounces total) turkey, 1 ounce sliced (4 ounces total) reduced-fat Swiss cheese and 1 cup (4 cups total) packaged coleslaw mix. Roll tightly. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate 15 minutes. Cut diagonally in halves. Serve with oven fries (from frozen).

Dijon wine-steak kebabs

Marinate 1 1/4 pounds boneless beef round tip steak (cut into 1-inch cubes) in 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons coarse-grain Dijon mustard, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 teaspoons canola oil and 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. Refrigerate 6 hours to overnight. Remove beef; discard marinade. Chop 1 medium red onion, 1 medium yellow squash and 1 red bell pepper into 1-inch pieces. On 8 metal skewers, thread the beef alternately with onion, squash and bell pepper. Grill 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.

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