Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
TIP Make extra chicken, meat or seafood early in the week and substitute it for the protein in any of these recipes.
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium (8 ounce) zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups salsa
6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 ounces baked tortilla chips
1. Combine the sour cream, chipotle and lime juice.
2. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium high; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the turkey, cumin and salt; cook, breaking the turkey into crumbles, until it is no longer pink, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, tomatoes and salsa; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is crisp-tender, another 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. To serve, make a bed of lettuce, top with turkey mixture and add dollop of dressing. Accompany with the chips. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 414 calories, 30 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 17 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 905 mg sodium
ASIAN TUNA SALAD WITH MANGO AND AVOCADO
4 (1-inch-thick) tuna steaks, about 1 1/2 pounds total
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Sriracha (or other hot sauce) to taste
8 cups shredded Napa cabbage
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 cup precut julienne carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 mango, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1. Season the tuna with salt and pepper. Heat the grill or grill pan to medium high, add the tuna and cook 2 minutes on each side (for rare) or to desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat.
2. Whisk the lime juice, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil and sriracha together in a large bowl. Remove and set aside 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Add cabbage, celery, carrot, onion, mango, avocado and cilantro to the large bowl and gently toss. Divide among four plates.
3. Cut tuna across the grain in thin slices; top each plate with fanned tuna and drizzle with the reserved dressing. Makes 4servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 407 calories, 44 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 675 mg sodium
CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD
8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices French baguette, about 4 ounces
1 clove garlic
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
10 ounces (2 cups) chopped cooked skinless chicken breast
6 cups torn romaine
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1. Preheat broiler. Place bread on baking sheet pan; broil 1 minute, until golden. Remove from oven; break garlic clove in half and rub cut surface of one half over bread. (Save the remaining half.) Brush top of each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of the oil; sprinkle 1/4cup of the cheese over the 8 slices and return to broiler until cheese is just melted.
2. Combine chicken, romaine and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan in a large bowl.
3. Mince the remaining half clove of garlic to a paste; combine with lemon juice, Worcestershire and Dijon in a bowl; whisk in remaining 3tablespoons of olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Toss with lettuce and chicken; serve salad with Parmesan toasts. Makes 4servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 407 calories, 32 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 22 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 491 mg sodium