Menu planner: Make it a special day with pomegranate steak

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

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Pomegranate steak.

Pomegranate steak.

Courtesy Cattlemen’s Beef Board

Pomegranate steak

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 15 minutes to 2 hours

Cooking time: 22 to 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 boneless beef strip steaks (about 8 ounces each), cut 3/4 inch thick

2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

In a medium bowl, combine juice, vinegar, rosemary, thyme, oil, garlic, mustard and pepper. Reserve 3/4 cup for basting sauce. Place steaks in remaining marinade in resealable plastic; turn to coat. Close and refrigerate 15 minutes to 2 hours. Meanwhile, pour reserved sauce into small saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cook 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced by half and slightly thickened; stir occasionally. Set aside. Remove steaks and discard marinade. Grill, covered, 7 to 10 minutes on medium for medium rare to medium doneness (145 to 160 degrees), turning occasionally and basting with sauce.

NOTE: To cook on grill pan, heat nonstick grill on medium. Grill 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally and basting with sauce.

Per serving: 240 calories, 27 grams protein, 13 grams fat (49% calories from fat), 5.9 grams saturated fat, 3 grams carbohydrate, 83 milligrams cholesterol, 123 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0.

Hungarian beef stew

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 8 hours on low

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 pounds beef stew cubes

1 pound sliced fresh carrots

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

3 cups thinly sliced cabbage

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 1/2 cups water

1 (6-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato paste

1 (0.9-ounce) package dry onion-mushroom soup mix

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine beef, carrots, onions, cabbage, red wine, water, tomato paste, soup mix, paprika and caraway seeds; mix well. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Turn off cooker; stir in sour cream.

Per serving: 227 calories, 17 grams protein, 9 grams fat (35% calories from fat), 4.3 grams saturated fat, 19 grams carbohydrate, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 332 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Broiled grouper with provencal vegetables

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 cups thinly sliced fennel (about 1 medium bulb)

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

12 nicoise olives, chopped

1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

4 (6-ounce) grouper fillets (about 1 inch thick)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine fennel, orange juice, olives and tomatoes; add half the salt and pepper; toss to mix. Spoon mixture into bottom of broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes; stir once. Combine remaining salt and pepper, oil and garlic; brush evenly over fish. Remove pan from oven. Place fish on rack of pan coated with cooking spray; place rack over fennel. Bake 10 minutes or until fish flakes and is opaque throughout. Serve fish with sauce.

Per serving: 271 calories, 35 grams protein, 7 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 14 grams carbohydrate, 63 milligrams cholesterol, 556 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Vegetable beef soup

In a large pot, combine 6 cups multi-vegetable juice (such as less-sodium V-8), 1 (14-ounce) can lower-sodium beef broth, 1/2 packet dry onion-mushroom soup mix, 1 (16-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables and 3 cubed medium-size baking potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add the leftover chopped steak and heat through.

Creamy pasta with tomatoes

Enjoy a no-meat dinner: Cook 12 ounces linguine according to directions; reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain pasta. Return pasta to pot; add 4 ounces refrigerated light garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese (softened), the reserved water and 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved); toss until cheese melts and coats pasta and tomatoes. Serve immediately with a spinach salad and garlic bread.

Mac ‘n Cheese

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in medium pan. Add shells from 1 (12-ounce) package of macaroni-and-cheese mix; cook 7 to 10 minutes or until shells are tender; do not drain. Stir in cheese from mix, 2 cups 1% milk, 1 cup frozen green peas and 4 thinly sliced lower-fat lower-sodium hot dogs. Cook 5 to 8 minutes or until soup is heated through.

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