Menu Planner: You'll find cumin-rubbed steaks with avocado salsa verde easy to prepare

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

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Cumin-Rubbed Steaks With Avocado Salsa Verde

Grill some skewered chunks of red bell pepper, red onion and yellow squash to serve with your cumin-rubbed steaks with avocado salsa verde.

Cattlemen’s Beef Board

Cumin-rubbed steaks with avocado salsa verde

Press 2 teaspoons ground cumin into 2 beef top loin (strip) steaks (cut 1 inch thick).

Heat a large, nonstick skillet on medium. Add steaks and cook 12 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, for medium-rare to medium doneness; let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 3/4 cup tomatillo salsa, 1 small diced avocado and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Carve steaks into slices; season with coarse salt as desired. Serve sliced steak with salsa.

Grill some skewered chunks of red bell pepper, red onion and yellow squash to serve with the steaks, and add some crusty rolls to the feast.

Clam chowder

Makes about 8 1/2 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 rib celery, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper

2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice

2 (6.5-ounce) cans whole or chopped clams, with liquid

1 pound red potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups 2% milk (see NOTE)

1 (16-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a Dutch oven, heat oil on medium-high. Add onion, celery, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add clam juice, clams with liquid and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. In a 2-cup measure, whisk flour into milk until smooth. Add milk mixture and frozen mixed vegetables to pot; bring to a boil over medium-high. Boil 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and ladle into bowls.

NOTE: Thin with additional milk if desired.

Per cup: 147 calories, 8 grams protein, 3 grams fat (17% calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 24 grams carbohydrate, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 585 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

Potato salad with buttermilk chive dressing

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes; chilling time: about 2 hours


1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 pounds yellow potatoes

3/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup dill pickle cubes, drained

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, mustard and horseradish until smooth. Stir in chives, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper. (Refrigerate overnight if desired.) Cook potatoes in boiling water about 15 minutes or until a sharp knife passes easily into them. Drain; let cool until you can handle, then peel and cut into chunks. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with celery and pickles. Pour the dressing over all and toss to combine. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 hours. Serve chilled. (Adapted from “Buttermilk,” Debbie Moose, The University of North Carolina Press.)

Per serving: 215 calories, 6 grams protein, 1 gram fat (6% calories from fat), 0.3 gram saturated fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, 2 milligrams cholesterol, 364 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Chicken breasts florentine

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: about 30 minutes

Cooking time: about 1 hour


6 slices bacon

6 (5- or 6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

3/4 cup crumbled garlic-and-herb feta cheese

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, minced

Paprika for garnish

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Partially cook the bacon by microwaving 3 minutes on high (to decrease the fat). Cut a pocket into each chicken breast; set aside. Combine spinach with cheese, mayonnaise and garlic; mix well. Divide and stuff into chicken pockets. Sprinkle top of chicken with paprika. Wrap each breast with 1 strip bacon. Place breasts on a rack in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish lined with foil (for easy clean-up). Bake uncovered 50 minutes to 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.

Per serving: 331 calories, 42 grams protein, 15 grams fat (39% calories from fat), 5.4 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 132 milligrams cholesterol, 753 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Fettuccine caponata

Cook 8 ounces fettuccine according to directions. Meanwhile, mix together 1 (6- to 8-ounce) container eggplant appetizer (caponata), 1 (15- to 19-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium garbanzo beans and 2 cups marinara sauce; heat sauce and toss with fettuccine. Serve with a packaged green salad Italian bread.

Savory lentils

Go meatless: In a large pot, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add 2 cups lentils; boil 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally; drain. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 2 cups chopped red onions and 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic cloves. Cook and stir 10 minutes or until tender. Add cooked lentils, 2 cups chunky salsa, 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, 1 (1.25-ounce) package reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and add 1 cup chopped cilantro; mix well. Serve over couscous.

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