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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple dinners under 300 calories

Lean ground turkey, chopped vegetables and whole wheat

Lean ground turkey, chopped vegetables and whole wheat panko (bread crumbs) baked in muffin cups make tasty, portion-controlled meatloaves. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

MEAT LOAF MUFFINS

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 small carrots, diced into ¼-inch pieces

½ cup chopped onion

¼ teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and thyme

2 large eggs

¾ cup ketchup, divided

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1¼ pounds lean ground turkey

¾ cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat 10 cups in a muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium; add the celery, carrot, onion, basil, oregano and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are soft, about 5 minutes.

3. Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl; stir in ½ cup of the ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the turkey, crumbling the meat; stir in the panko and vegetable-herb mixture until well combined. Spoon into muffin cups, pat lightly and mound each slightly. Spread remaining ketchup on top.

4. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 degrees, about 25 minutes. Makes 5 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: (2 muffins) 270 calories, 22 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 754 mg sodium (To lower sodium, use no-salt ketchup.)

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PORK MARSALA

3 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or ¾ teaspoon dried), chopped

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut across into 1-inch-thick slices

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces sliced mushrooms (about 3 cups)

1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth

¼ cup Marsala wine

1. Combine flour, salt, pepper and rosemary on a plate.

2. Lightly pound the pork slices to ½ inch thickness. Dredge in flour mixture. Reserve any flour remaining on the plate.

3. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add pork in one layer and cook without moving until golden brown underneath, about 4 minutes; turn and cook another 4 minutes; transfer to a plate.

4. Add mushrooms to the pan and sprinkle with reserved flour. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms just begin to give off liquid, 1 to 2 minutes. Add broth and Marsala and cook, stirring often, until liquid is reduced and thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, return pork to pan and turn once to coat in the sauce.

5. To serve, spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the pork. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 214 calories, 24 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 504 mg sodium

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TUNA PUTTANESCA

Add crushed red pepper to the topping for more heat.

4 (6-ounce) tuna steaks

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 anchovy fillet, minced

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon drained capers

¼ cup parsley, chopped

1. Season tuna with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high; add fish and cook 3 to 4 minutes a side, or to desired doneness. Remove from pan, drape loosely with foil.

2. Add garlic and anchovy and cook, stirring, 1 minute, until garlic is no longer raw. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to cook down, about 2 minutes. Stir in capers and parsley; serve topping over fish. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 245 calories, 43 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 714 mg sodium (To reduce sodium, use no-salt-added canned tomatoes.)

TIP: Serve a salad before the meal and increase the amount of vegetables on each plate to help encourage consumption of more plant nutrients and fewer calories.

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