Menu planner: Baked cod with panko is as tasty as it looks

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

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Baked cod with panko.

Baked cod with panko breadcrumbs.

Gwynn Galvin/

Baked cod with panko

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 to 12 minutes


2/3 cup plain panko breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 (4-ounce) pieces cod fillets

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Lemon wedges

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a shallow-sided baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine panko, butter, parsley, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Arrange fillets on prepared baking sheet and brush tops with Dijon. Top with breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flaky and breadcrumbs are golden. Serve with lemon wedges.

Per serving: 213 calories, 21 grams protein, 9 grams fat (42% calories from fat), 5.6 grams saturated fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 72 milligrams cholesterol, 566 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Creamed leeks with Parmesan crumbs

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 25 minutes


1 tablespoon butter

8 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup half-and-half

Parmesan crumbs:

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 cup panko crumbs

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Melt butter in a 12-inch straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, salt, pepper, nutmeg and half-and-half; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until leeks are tender. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish; pour half-and-half over top. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for Parmesan crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over leeks; bake 15 minutes or until cream is bubbling and crumbs are golden.

Per serving: 147 calories, 6 grams protein, 5 grams fat (27% calories from fat), 2.6 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 12 milligrams cholesterol, 232 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

Bright chili with walnuts

Makes about 9 cups

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes


2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 teaspoons cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast

1 medium finely chopped red or yellow bell pepper

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

1 (28-ounce) can petite diced or crushed tomatoes

3/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Add onion; cook on medium 5 minutes or until softened. Add carrot, salt, cumin and chili powder; cook 1 minute. Crumble in turkey, sprinkle with bell pepper and cook 6 minutes or until the turkey is no longer pink. Add beans and tomatoes; stir gently. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low; partly cover and cook 20 more minutes. Ladle into bowls; garnish with walnuts as you serve.

Per cup: 276 calories, 23 grams protein, 11 grams fat (33% calories from fat), 1.1 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 36 milligrams cholesterol, 494 milligrams sodium, 9 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

Skillet lasagna

Cook 1 pound lean ground beef and 1 (1.5-ounce) package meatloaf seasoning in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high 5 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 8 lasagna noodles (broken into 2-inch pieces), 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, stirring often, and cook 18 minutes or until noodles are tender. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend. Spoon 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta on top; add 1/2 cup more shredded cheese. Cover for 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Fettuccine with ricotta, tomatoes and basil

Cook 2 (9-ounce) packages refrigerated fettuccine according to package directions. Return to pan. In small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons softened butter, 1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta and 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; toss with fettuccine. Serve fettuccine topped with grape tomato halves, chopped fresh basil and another 1/4 cup Parmesan. Serve with a green salad and garlic bread. Sprinkle fresh pineapple with toasted coconut for dessert.

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