Menu Planner: Try this delicious flank steak with peppers

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

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Flank steak with peppers.

Flank steak with peppers.

Cattlemen’s Beef Board

Flank steak with peppers

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup Italian dressing, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin. Place 1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour 1/3 cup marinade over steak; turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 6 hours to overnight; refrigerate remaining marinade separately. When ready to cook, remove steak and discard its marinade.

Brush 3 quartered yellow or green bell peppers with separately refrigerated marinade.

Grill steak 17 to 21 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness. Grill peppers 12 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Brush steak and peppers occasionally with marinade; do not brush during last 5 minutes.

Remove steak from grill; let stand 5 minutes; carve across grain into thin slices and serve with peppers. Add roasted potatoes and carrots, a romaine salad and whole-grain rolls.

Pineapple and black bean enchiladas

Makes 8 enchiladas

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 35 to 45 minutes


2 teaspoons canola oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 (20-ounce) can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained, reserving 1/3 cup juice

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed

1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus 8 teaspoons for garnish

3 cups (12 ounces) shredded 50% light cheddar cheese, divided

10 ounces mild enchilada sauce

8 (8- or 9-inch) whole-grain flour tortillas

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 4 to 6 minutes or until softened. Stir in pineapple, beans, green chiles and salt. Cook and stir until thoroughly heated. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup cilantro and 2 cups of the cheese. Spread 1 tablespoon enchilada sauce onto each tortilla. Spoon about 3/4 cup vegetable mixture over sauce on each. Roll; place seam side down in baking dish. In small bowl, mix reserved pineapple juice and remaining enchilada sauce; pour over entire surface of enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Cover tightly with nonstick foil; bake 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 to 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Top each enchilada with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 1 teaspoon cilantro. Serve immediately.

Per enchilada: 368 calories, 20 grams protein, 11 grams fat (25% calories from fat), 5.8 grams saturated fat, 52 grams carbohydrate, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 1,198 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.5.

Picadillo stuffed peppers

Makes 6 peppers

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 40 minutes


6 medium red, green or yellow bell peppers

1/2 cup water

1 (25-ounce) jar mushroom-and-olive pasta sauce, divided

1 pound lean ground beef

2 small zucchini (12 ounces total), diced

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup sliced green olives with pimentos

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the top fourth of stem end of bell peppers; remove seeds. Stand peppers and tops in baking dish. Add water, cover, and microwave on high (100% power) 5 to 7 minutes or until peppers are softened. Stir 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce into water in dish. Meanwhile, cook beef, zucchini and onions in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high for 7 minutes or until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are almost tender. Stir in garlic, cinnamon, cumin, salt and black pepper; cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat; stir in raisins, olives, vinegar and remaining sauce. Spoon mixture into peppers; replace tops. Coat peppers with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until sauce bubbles and pepper tops are lightly charred.

Per serving: 287 calories, 19 grams protein, 10 grams fat (32% calories from fat), 2.9 grams saturated fat, 30 grams carbohydrate, 43 milligrams cholesterol, 778 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Pork stir-fry with asparagus and mint

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes


1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons roasted red chile paste (see Note)

2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices

3 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

3/4 pound pork (pork loin or thin pork chops), cut into strips 1/4 inch thick by 1 1/2 inches long

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

Heat oil in a wok or skillet on medium-high. Add chile paste, fish sauce (or soy sauce) and sugar; stir well to combine. Cook 1 minute. Add onion and asparagus; stir-fry 3 minutes. Cover and cook 3 to 5 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove cover; add pork and bell pepper. Stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Add the mint, toss to combine and serve.

Note: Look for roasted red chile paste and fish sauce in the ethnic section of your supermarket.

Per serving: 183 calories, 18 grams protein, 8 grams fat (36% calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 43 milligrams cholesterol, 796 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Adult pizza

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place a pre-baked 12-inch whole-grain thin pizza crust on a baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes or until hot and crisp. Spread crust with 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese, 4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (cut into strips), 1 cup diced ripe tomato, 1/3 cup diced red onion, 2 tablespoons rinsed capers and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Season to taste with pepper.

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