Menu planner: Tomatoes with olive oil make special addition to your meal

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

SHARE Menu planner: Tomatoes with olive oil make special addition to your meal
Tomatoes with olive oil go well with roasted red peppers and tilapia.

Tomatoes with olive oil go well with roasted red peppers and tilapia.

America’s Test Kitchen

Tomatoes with olive oil

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5 to 6 hours on low, or 3 to 4 hours on high


6 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or 3/4 teaspoon dried)

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours (or high 3 to 4 hours) or until tomatoes are tender and slightly shriveled around edges. Let tomatoes cool in oil for at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Per serving: 186 calories, 1 gram protein, 18 grams fat (85% calories from fat), 2.5 grams saturated fat, 6 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 247 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Chicken curry casserole

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour


4 cups cooked rice

8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained

3 to 4 cups cooked diced chicken breast or thigh meat

2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed reduced-sodium reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup

1 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1 cup 1% milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon rice into dish; spread evenly. Microwave mushrooms on high 3 minutes; drain. Scatter mushrooms and 3/4 of the broccoli over rice; top broccoli with chicken. In a medium bowl, blend soup, mayonnaise, milk, juice and curry powder until blended and smooth. Pour evenly over casserole. Sprinkle remaining broccoli and almonds over top. Cover; bake 45 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes; serve warm.

Per serving: 353 calories, 25 grams protein, 9 grams fat (22% calories from fat), 1.1 grams saturated fat, 44 grams carbohydrate, 45 milligrams cholesterol, 600 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Pasta with chickpeas, tomatoes and herbs

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes, plus pasta


2 cups penne pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

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

2 teaspoons dried basil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 (19-ounce) can reduced-sodium chickpeas, rinsed

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions; drain and transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat oil on medium. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, dried basil, oregano and chickpeas; simmer 5 minutes. Add fresh basil; simmer 5 minutes. Pour over hot pasta; toss to mix. Sprinkle cheese over each serving.

Per serving: 394 calories, 16 grams protein, 8 grams fat (19% calories from fat), 1.7 grams saturated fat, 64 grams carbohydrate, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 284 milligrams sodium, 9 grams fiber.

Carb count: 4.

Spiral sandwiches

Cover 1 soft cracker bread (15 inches in diameter from a 17-ounce package) with Neufchatel cheese. Layer cheese with sliced turkey, tomatoes, Swiss cheese and fresh spinach, leaving about 4 inches at one side that’s covered with cheese only. Beginning at the side layered with turkey, roll up bread. Trim each end with serrated knife to make even; cut bread roll into 1-inch slices.

Blackened cumin-cayenne tilapia

Heat broiler. Rub some olive oil all over 4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets. In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Arrange fish on broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork. Serve.

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