Menu planner: Spicy lemon-pesto flat iron steaks a savory treat

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

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Spicy lemon-pesto flat iron steaks.

Spicy lemon-pesto flat iron steaks.

Courtesy Cattlemen’s Beef Board

Spicy lemon-pesto flat iron steaks

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 to 14 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Spicy lemon pesto:

1/3 cup prepared basil pesto sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 large cloves garlic, minced

4 beef flat iron steaks (6 to 8 ounces each)

Coarse salt

Combine spicy lemon pesto ingredients in small bowl. Set aside. Press garlic evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 10 to 14 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally. Season with salt, as desired. Top steaks with pesto. Garnish with lemon peel, if desired.

Per serving: 398 calories, 36 grams protein, 26 grams fat (60% calories from fat), 9.2 grams saturated fat, 3 grams carbohydrate, 114 milligrams cholesterol, 262 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 0

Mexican roast chicken with olive salsa

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 2 hours; standing time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 (5- or 6-pound) chicken to roast

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cup each sliced black (ripe) pitted olives and pimento-stuffed manzanilla olives

1 (11-ounce) jar chunky salsa

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat chicken with cooking spray; sprinkle chicken evenly with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast about 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until internal temperature of breast is 165 degrees. Meanwhile, combine olives, salsa and cilantro; refrigerate until ready to use. (Reserve 2/3 cup olive salsa for later.) Remove chicken from oven; transfer to carving board. Tent with foil; let stand 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serve chicken with salsa.

Per serving (white meat without skin): 172 calories, 33 grams protein, 4 grams fat (21% calories from fat), 0.8 gram saturated fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 108 milligrams cholesterol, 131 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0

Per serving (dark meat without skin): 169 calories, 27 grams protein, 6 grams fat (32% calories from fat), 1.5 grams saturated fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 128 milligrams cholesterol, 194 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0

Per serving (salsa): 46 calories, no protein, 3 grams fat (64% calories from fat), 0.2 grams saturated fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 414 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0

Chicken tacos

Makes 8 tacos

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 5 minutes, plus heating tacos

INGREDIENTS

2 cups shredded cooked Mexican roast chicken breast

2/3 cup (leftover) olive salsa

8 heated taco shells (from a 4.6-ounce box with 12 tacos per box)

1 cup shredded jalapeno cheese

1 cup shredded lettuce

1/2 cup sliced black olives (leftover)

1 ripe Haas avocado, diced

In a medium bowl, combine chicken and olive salsa; cover and microwave on medium (50% power) 5 minutes or until hot. Divide mixture evenly among tacos shells; top with cheese, lettuce, olives and avocado.

Per serving: 182 calories, 11 grams protein, 11 grams fat (54% calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 11 grams carbohydrate, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 481 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1

Pea and pasta soup

Go meatless. Bring 6 cups unsalted vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot on medium-high. Add 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, 3/4 cup orzo or ditalini pasta and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons apple juice. Spoon into bowls; top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches and cherry tomatoes.

Grilled hem reuben sandwiches

Spread rye bread with reduced-fat Russian dressing. Top with sliced ham, rinsed, refrigerated sauerkraut, reduced-fat Swiss cheese and another slice of bread. Coat bread with cooking spray; cook, coated side down, in a nonstick skillet on medium until both sides are browned.

Sweet-and-sour chicken stir-fry

In a large, nonstick skillet, stir-fry 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-size pieces) in 1 tablespoon hot canola oil for 2 or 3 minutes or until browned. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. To skillet, add 1 red bell pepper (cut into strips) and 2 carrots (cut into thin strips) and cook 2 minutes. Add juice from 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks and 1 1/2 cups stir-fry sauce; cook 5 minutes. Stir in pineapple chunks and chicken; cook 1 minute. Spoon over hot rice. Serve with sesame bread sticks.

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