Menu planner: Southwestern tomato and corn salad a fine complement to your dinner

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

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Southwestern tomato and corn salad.

America’s Test Kitchen

Southwestern tomato and corn salad

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: none

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds ripe mixed tomatoes, cored

1 ear corn, kernels cut from cob

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapenos

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup queso fresco or crumbled Greek feta cheese

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

Cut tomatoes into 1/2-inch-thick wedges, then halve wedges. Arrange tomatoes on large, shallow platter, alternating colors. Sprinkle corn over top. In a medium bowl, whisk oil, shallot, jalapenos, lime juice, salt and pepper together. Spoon over tomatoes. Sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro. Serve.

Per serving: 220 calories, 6 grams protein, 17 grams fat (65% calories from fat), 3.6 grams saturated fat, 14 grams carbohydrate, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 294 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Basil spaghetti with cheesy, broiled tomatoes

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes plus pasta

INGREDIENTS

12 ounces uncooked spaghetti

3 large beefsteak tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces grated part-skim mozzarella

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

Heat broiler. Cook pasta according to directions; drain and return to pot. Meanwhile, arrange tomato slices in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Divide and sprinkle cheeses evenly over tomatoes. Broil 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden. In a small saucepan, heat oil with garlic and red pepper 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the garlic oil and basil to pasta; toss to combine. Serve topped with the tomatoes and additional basil and Parmesan.

Per servings: 599 calories, 28 grams protein, 22 grams fat (33% calories from fat), 8.1 grams saturated fat, 72 grams carbohydrate, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 695 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 5.

Moroccan chicken

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 small thinly sliced onion

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat butter, oil and cinnamon on medium. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until softened; add bell pepper. Continue cooking 3 more minutes or until pepper is softened. Add chicken, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes or until chicken is browned and no longer pink inside. Add orange juice and raisins. Cook 2 minutes to heat through, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Per servings: 253 calories, 27 grams protein, 9 grams fat (33% calories from fat), 3 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 90 milligrams cholesterol, 318 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Spicy. chicken skillet

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium high. Add 1 pound chicken breast (cut into 1-inch pieces); cook and stir 5 minutes or until browned and no longer pink inside. Add 1 medium chopped onion; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until softened; stir occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles and 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce; simmer 3 minutes. Stir in 3 cups cooked rice and 1 (15-ounce) can ranch-style pinto beans until combined. Heat through.

Avocado-spinach paninis

Divide and layer 2 sliced avocados, 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained and julienned), 2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion and 2 cups baby spinach on 4 (4-ounce) split ciabatta rolls. Coat skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium. Place sandwich in pan; weigh down with another smaller skillet. Cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned; turn.

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