Menu Planner: Grilled lime-mint shrimp suits any occasion

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

SHARE Menu Planner: Grilled lime-mint shrimp suits any occasion
Invite friends for a special dinner of grilled lime-mint shrimp.

Invite friends for a special dinner of grilled lime-mint shrimp.

Gwynn Galvin/

Grilled lime-mint shrimp

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 8 minutes


4 (12-inch) wooden or metal skewers

1/3 cup spiced rum or other flavored rum or rum extract

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

3 tablespoons honey, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon lime zest

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left on

If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes. In small bowl, combine rum, lime juice, chopped mint, honey, oil, lime zest, garlic powder and salt. Reserve 2 tablespoons rum mixture. Transfer remaining rum mixture to resealable plastic food storage bag. Add shrimp to bag. Marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes, turning once. Preheat grill for direct-heat grilling. Remove shrimp from marinade; discard marinade. Skewer shrimp and grill 8 minutes or until opaque and cooked through, turning once. Arrange skewers on serving platter. Brush with reserved rum mixture before serving.

Per serving: 96 calories, 15 grams protein, 2 grams fat (17% calories from fat), 0.2 gram saturated fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, 143 milligrams cholesterol, 374 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0.

Fresh apple squares

Makes 16 squares

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes


1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3 tablespoons canola oil

1/4 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed

2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Work in oil and apple juice concentrate with your fingers until coarse crumbs form. Firmly press 2 cups of the oat mixture into prepared pan. Arrange apples over crust in three rows. Mix walnuts into remaining oat mixture. Sprinkle walnut mixture evenly over apples and pat firmly into an even layer. Bake until top is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares to serve.

Per square: 168 calories, 2 grams protein, 4 grams fat (23% calories from fat), 0.4 gram saturated fat, 31 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 88 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Oven-fried back-wrapped chicken thighs

Servings: makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 40 minutes


8 slices bacon

8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave bacon 30 seconds to 1 minute on high (100% power) or until limp. Wrap thighs with the bacon. In a flat dish, combine cornmeal, salt, paprika and pepper. Coat chicken in mixture. Arrange on wire rack coated with cooking spray; place in a foil-lined broiler pan. Coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake 30 minutes; turn, bake 10 more minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Per serving: 272 calories, 32 grams protein, 13 grams fat (44% calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 163 milligrams cholesterol, 441 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Grilled pork loin

While the grill is hot, make grilled sriracha cauliflower steaks: Cut 1 head cauliflower into 1/2-inch steaks, cutting through the core. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Place on medium grill. Turn after 5 minutes and brush with sriracha sauce. Turn again after 5 minutes and brush other side with sauce. Turn several times at 5-minute intervals or until tender, brushing with sauce after each turn. Remove from heat.

Pork paninis

Heat a ridged grill pan or large, nonstick skillet. Meanwhile, lay 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices from any country white bread loaf on a cutting board; coat with cooking spray. Turn 4 slices; spread other side of these slices with 1 tablespoon bottled mango chutney. Turn and top remaining 4 slices with 2 slices each leftover pork, slices of red onion, roasted red peppers (from 12-ounce jar, drained) and 4 slices Jarlsberg or other cheese. Cover with other slices of bread, chutney side down. Grill 4 to 5 minutes, turning once, until cheese melts. Remove to cutting board and halve.

Zucchini a la toscana

Cook 8 ounces of your favorite pasta; drain. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet on low. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Stir in 3 cups garden vegetable pasta sauce and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley. Add 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (halved lengthwise and sliced), 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, covered, 20 to 30 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Spoon over pasta. Serve with a spinach salad and garlic bread.

Pizza baked potatoes

Let the kids help: Bake 4 medium potatoes; meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 cups chunky spaghetti sauce. Spoon sauce over slashed hot baked potatoes. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. Garnish with the kids’ favorite pizza toppings.

Chicken, sausage peppers and onions

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Arrange 2 packages (about 14 ounces) chicken sausages on one side of skillet; cover and cook 6 minutes. Cut 2 green bell peppers into strips and add to other side of skillet; cook 2 minutes. Meanwhile, cut 1 medium onion in half lengthwise, then lengthwise again into thin strips; add to peppers. Turn sausages. Cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausages are lightly charred and cooked through and vegetables are lightly browned and softened.

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