Menu planner: For a flavorful entree, serve sheet pan chicken and sweet potatoes

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

SHARE Menu planner: For a flavorful entree, serve sheet pan chicken and sweet potatoes

Sheet pan chicken and sweet potatoes.

Sheet pan chicken and sweet potatoes

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 clove minced garlic

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts

1 pound sweet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 (10-ounce) package Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise

1 cup chopped onion

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, honey, olive oil, Dijon, garlic, salt and red pepper until blended. Place chicken in another bowl and add 3 tablespoons balsamic mixture, tossing until chicken is coated; let stand. In another bowl, combine potatoes, Brussels sprouts and onion and toss with remaining balsamic mixture until evenly coated. Arrange chicken in center of baking sheet. Arrange potato mixture on each side of chicken. Roast 40 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees and potatoes and vegetables are tender. Transfer to serving platter and drizzle any pan juices over chicken, potatoes and vegetables.

Per serving: 375 calories, 33 grams protein, 11 grams fat (26% calories from fat), 2.3 grams saturated fat, 36 grams carbohydrate, 125 milligrams cholesterol, 421 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2 1/2

Sweet and smoky ‘pork and beans’

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 25 to 30 minutes for pork (stand 5 minutes); 10 to 13 minutes for beans


1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as Thai Kitchen)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, divided

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 (1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloin

2 slices diced bacon

1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 tablespoon no-salt-added tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (15-ounce) can rinsed no-salt-added or regular adzuki (see NOTE) or small red beans

2 thinly sliced green onions

Heat oven to 350. In a small bowl, mix honey, fish sauce, lime juice, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and red pepper until well-blended. Brush on pork. Roast 25 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature is 150. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet on medium until crisp. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining paprika and garlic powder, ginger, salt and pepper; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Gently stir in beans. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Slice pork on an angle into thin slices; serve over bean mixture. Garnish with onions. NOTE: If not in your local supermarket, look for adzuki beans in a health food store or at Whole Foods.

Per serving: 292 calories, 30 grams protein, 6 grams fat (20% calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 536 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb Count: 2

Blueberry oatmeal crumble bars

Makes 18 1-by-2-inch bars

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 25 minutes


For the filling:

3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

For crust and topping:

2 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces butter, melted

In medium pan, stir together all filling ingredients. Bring to boil on medium-high 15 minutes, stirring often to reduce until mixture is thick and berries break down. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together oats, flour, sugar, zest and baking soda; add butter and blend. Reserve 3/4 cup mixture for topping. Transfer remaining mixture to a 9-by-9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Press firmly in bottom to form a crust. Spoon filling in an even layer. Sprinkle with remaining topping. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool before cutting.

Per serving: 172 calories, 2 grams protein, 6 grams fat (30% calories from fat), 3.4 grams saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 14 milligrams cholesterol, 61 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb Count: 2

Chicken fingers

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix 1/2 cup panko crumbs, 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon each dried thyme and dried basil. Coat 1 pound chicken strips in cooking spray, then roll in crumb mixture. Place chicken on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray; bake 20 minutes. Serve with frozen oven fries, celery sticks and dip, along with soft rolls.

Vegetable chili

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine 1 medium chopped red onion, 1 medium chopped green bell pepper, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (yes, cocoa powder), 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 (28-ounce) can undrained no-salt-added or regular fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 1 (15.5-ounce) can each rinsed reduced-sodium black beans and kidney beans, 1 (8-ounce) peeled sweet potato (cut into 1/2-inch slices) and 1 cup water. Cover; cook on low 6 to 7 hours or until potatoes are tender and chili has thickened. Garnish with reduced-fat sour cream and sliced green onions. Serve with a lettuce wedge and hard-boiled egg slices and whole-grain rolls.

Spaghetti with parsley and cheese

Cook 8 ounces whole-grain spaghetti according to directions; drain. Meanwhile, combine 5 minced cloves garlic and 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high for 1 minute. Add the parsley-garlic mixture; stir well to combine with the oil and remove skillet from heat. Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss well to coat. Add 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Serve with a romaine salad and Italian bread.

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