Menu planner: Louisiana crab cakes a special appetizer or meal

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

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Enjoy these easy-to-make Louisiana crab cakes.

Enjoy these easy-to-make Louisiana crab cakes.

McCormick USA

Louisiana Crab Cakes

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; refrigeration time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 egg

1 package crab cake mix

2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1 pound fresh lump or back fin crabmeat

1 tablespoon canola oil

In a large bowl, beat egg. Add crab cake mix and mayonnaise; stir until well blended. Add crabmeat; toss gently to combine. Shape mixture into 8 patties. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet on medium. Add 4 crab cakes; fry about 4 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through (internal temperature 165 degrees). Repeat with remaining crab cakes, adding additional oil if needed.

Per serving: 183 calories, 15 grams protein, 4 grams fat (22% calories from fat), 0.3 grams saturated fat, 21 grams carbohydrate, 63 milligrams cholesterol, 648 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

Cheese ravioli with mushrooms and peas

Makes 5 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes, plus ravioli

INGREDIENTS

1 (24-ounce) bag frozen cheese-filled ravioli (about 45 pieces)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup chopped onion

8 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup frozen green peas

1/2 cup sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce

1/2 cup tomato basil pasta sauce

2 teaspoons basil pesto

Cook ravioli according to directions. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic powder in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add onion, mushrooms and peas. Cook 7 minutes or until onions are softened and mushrooms release their liquid. Stir in Alfredo sauce, pasta sauce and pesto; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes or until hot. Drain ravioli and return to skillet. Pour sauce over ravioli, stirring gently to coat. Heat 2 to 3 minutes; serve.

Per serving: 364 calories, 12 grams protein, 11 grams fat (29% calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 578 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Pork medallions with blue cheese and chive topping

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pork tenderloin

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (1/2 cup)

3 tablespoons finely snipped fresh chives

1 tablespoon plain breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut tenderloin into 1-inch slices. Flatten to 3/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle with pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add pork and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until brown, turning once. Transfer pork to a baking sheet covered with nonstick foil. In a small bowl, mix together blue cheese, chives and breadcrumbs, breaking cheese into fine crumbs. Top pork slices evenly with cheese mixture. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 201 calories, 27 grams protein, 9 grams fat (41% calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 84 milligrams cholesterol, 235 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0.

Broiled honey-sesame chicken tenders

Marinate chicken tenders in honey teriyaki (or another flavor) marinade (from jar) for 10 minutes, then roll in sesame seeds before broiling on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with rice, green beans and whole-grain rolls.

Panini Caprese

Cut a 10- to 14-ounce focaccia loaf (olive oil and herb or another flavor) in half horizontally. On bottom half, arrange 8 ounces fresh sliced mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin oil and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Cover with bread top; press down gently. Cut into wedges and serve.

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