Menu planner: Call the friends over for sesame-crusted pork tenderloin with celery salad

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

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A side of celery salad with a meal of sesame-crusted pork tenderloin will leave you happy and satisfied.

A side of celery salad with a meal of sesame-crusted pork tenderloin will leave you happy and satisfied.

Steve Klise/America’s Test Kitchen

Sesame-crusted pork tenderloin with celery salad

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 12 to 15 minutes


6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

6 celery ribs, thinly sliced on bias

3 tablespoons dried currants

2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed

1/2 cup sesame seeds

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Whisk 1/4 cup oil, lemon juice, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add celery and currants; toss to combine and set aside.

Pat pork dry with paper towels; season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Spread sesame seeds on large plate and roll pork in seeds until fully coated. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet on medium-high until shimmering. Add pork and cook until seeds are lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to prepared wire rack. Roast until internal temperature of meat reaches 135 degrees, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer pork to cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, transfer salad to platter and sprinkle with goat cheese. Slice pork 1/2 inch thick and serve with salad. (Adapted from “Meat Illustrated,” America’s Test Kitchen.)

Per serving: 449 calories, 36 grams protein, 31 grams fat (61% calories from fat), 8.3 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 97 milligrams cholesterol, 501 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Savory garbanzo beans with vegetables

Makes about 9 1/2 cups

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: 4 to 5 1/2 hours


1 pound dried garbanzo beans

5 1/2 cups hot water

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (8-ounce) package fresh sliced mushrooms

1 cup shredded carrots

1 bunch green onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

Rinse beans and add to a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, along with water, salt and pepper. Cover; cook on high 4 to 5 hours or until beans are tender. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add mushrooms, carrots, onions and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Stir into beans along with lemon juice, horseradish and mustard; mix well and cook 15 minutes more on high.

Per cup: 203 calories, 10 grams protein, 4 grams fat (18% calories from fat), 0.2 gram saturated fat, 32 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 144 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Turkey tacos

Servings: makes 8 tacos

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 20 minutes


1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) whole kernel corn

1/2 pound ground turkey breast

1/2 cup mild salsa

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

8 (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas

Reduced-fat sour cream

In a large nonstick skillet, heat broth to boiling on medium. Add onion, bell pepper and corn; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Reduce heat to low. Stir in turkey. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salsa and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until turkey is no longer pink. Stir in cilantro. Spoon slightly less than 1/2 cup turkey mixture down center of each tortilla; roll and serve with sour cream.

Per serving: 175 calories, 11 grams protein, 1 gram fat (5% calories from fat), 0.1 gram saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 19 milligrams cholesterol, 419 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Crispy roast chicken with orange and thyme

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a 5- to 7-pound roasting chicken, breast side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves and some coarse salt and pepper all over the skin. Remove ends from 1 large navel orange, cut into thin slices and stuff into cavity, along with 6 to 8 thyme sprigs. Roast 1 hour 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove chicken from oven; tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Slice and serve. (Remove skin before eating to reduce fat and calories.) Serve with jasmine rice, sugar snap peas and sourdough bread.

Sesame brown rice bowl with shredded chicken and peanuts

Into 4 individual serving bowls, place 3/4 cup cooked rice. To each bowl, add 1/2 cup shredded chicken breast, 1/2 cup shredded carrot, 1 tablespoon sliced green onion, 1 tablespoon dry-roasted peanuts, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; toss to combine. For four servings of dressing: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 4 teaspoons canola oil, 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil; mix well. Drizzle dressing over each bowl. Sprinkle each serving with additional peanuts and cilantro.

Tuna with cannellini beans

In a medium bowl, combine 3 1/2 cups canned reduced-sodium cannellini beans (rinsed), 1 (12-ounce) can water-packed light tuna (drained and flaked) and 1/2 cup finely chopped medium red onion. Add 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1/4 cup sliced black olives, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to mix. Cover and chill for at least one hour. To serve, line a large platter with red-tipped lettuce and mound tuna mixture on lettuce. Garnish with more chopped parsley.

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