Menu Planner: Pecan berry green salad marvelously completes your meal

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

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Pecan berry green salad is a great complement to pork chops with sauerkraut.

Pecan berry green salad is a great complement to pork chops with sauerkraut.

American Pecan Promotion Board

Pork chops with sauerkraut and apples

Heat a large, nonstick skillet on medium. Brown 4 well-trimmed pork loin chops (about 1 pound total) on both sides for 4 or 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups refrigerated, rinsed and drained sauerkraut, 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion, 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, 2 chopped Granny Smith apples and 1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth. Add sauerkraut mixture to skillet; cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until apples and pork are tender.

Pecan-berry green salad

Add this to pork chops meal. On a large platter, spread 7 to 8 ounces salad greens. Next, sprinkle on 6 ounces fresh blueberries (see NOTE). Layer in 8 ounces sliced fresh strawberries. Using your fingers, crumble 6 ounces goat cheese in medium-large crumbles. Finally, spread 1 cup pecans. Toss with your favorite dressing. Serve chilled.

NOTE: For an elegant presentation, you may optionally arrange toppings in sections instead of layering. If so, toss before serving.

Honey lime tuna

In a glass dish, combine 1/4 cup canola oil, 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil. Add 1 pound tuna steaks. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove tuna, reserving marinade. Grill each side for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, basting with marinade. Remove from heat; allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Southwestern rice and beans

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes for rice

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:

3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium red kidney beans, rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium pinto or black beans, rinsed

1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed

1 cup sliced celery

1 (10-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

1/4 cup chopped parsley

For the vinaigrette:

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup water

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Leaf lettuce

For the salad: In a large salad bowl, combine rice, beans, peas, celery, tomatoes, onion and parsley. Set aside.

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss to mix. Cover and chill. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Per serving: 371 calories, 13 grams protein, 11 grams fat (26% calories from fat), 1.1 grams saturated fat, 56 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 256 milligrams sodium, 11 grams fiber.

Carb count: 4.

Quinoa taco salad bowls

Servings: makes 4 bowls

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: for the quinoa

INGREDIENTS

8 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup cooked black beans

1 cup chopped mango

4 plum tomatoes, diced

2 cups crushed blue corn chips

2 small Haas avocados, diced

Fresh salsa

In each serving bowl, layer romaine. Arrange quinoa, beans, mango, tomatoes, corn chips and avocados in rows. Serve with salsa.

Per serving: 430 calories, 12 grams protein, 20 grams fat (39% calories from fat), 2.4 grams saturated fat, 57 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 82 milligrams sodium, 16 grams fiber.

Carb count: 4.

Not your mother’s stroganoff

Servings: makes 5 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into 1/4-inch strips

8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms

1 1/2 cups water

6 ounces extra-wide no-yolk noodles

1 (17-ounce) package fully cooked beef pot roast

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or reduced-fat sour cream

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a Dutch oven or large pot, combine butter, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, water and noodles. Cover and bring to a boil on medium-high. Remove cover when mixture begins to boil. Boil 5 or 6 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, remove meat from packaging, reserving gravy, and cut into bite-size pieces. To noodle mixture, stir in pot roast and gravy. Cook, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes or until hot, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in yogurt or sour cream and season with black pepper. Serve.

Per serving: 314 calories, 28 grams protein, 8 grams fat (22% calories from fat), 3.5 grams saturated fat, 32 grams carbohydrate, 63 milligrams cholesterol, 348 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

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