Menu Planner: Make it a special day with red wine vinegar and herb-marinated beef steak

Red wine vinegar and herb-marinated beef steak

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 6 hours to overnight

Cooking time: 16 to 22 minutes


1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 (16-ounce) boneless beef ribeye steaks

Combine vinegar, water, oil, garlic, thyme and red pepper in a small bowl. Place beef steaks and marinade in a food-safe plastic bag; close bag securely and turn steak to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally.

Heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove steaks from bag; discard marinade. Place steaks in skillet; cook 16 to 22 minutes for medium-rare doneness, turning occasionally. (Do not overcook.) Carve steaks into thin slices.

Per serving: 136 calories, 19 grams protein, 6 grams fat (41% calories from fat), 2.3 grams saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 40 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0.

Turkey vegetable soup

Makes 8 cups

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 6 hours on low


1 to 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast

2 ribs celery, sliced (about 1 cup)

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup shredded carrots

2 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato juice

1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth

2 cups frozen cut green beans

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 teaspoons reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 bay leaf

Heat a large, nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray on medium. Add turkey, celery, onion and carrots; cook 10 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and vegetables are softened. Add mixture to 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Add tomato juice, broth, beans, mushrooms, tomato, Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder and bay leaf. Mix well. Cover and cook on low 6 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.

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NOTE: Thin soup with additional broth or water if desired.

Per cup: 124 calories, 13 grams protein, 4 grams fat (28% calories from fat), no saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 33 milligrams cholesterol, 372 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Fettuccine with chicken, goat cheese and spinach

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 minutes, plus pasta; standing time: 2 minutes


1 cup dry white wine

2 small shallots, minced

5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled and at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (5- to 6-ounce) package baby spinach

9 ounces refrigerated fettuccine

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

In a small saucepan, combine wine and shallots. Bring to a boil on medium-high; reduce liquid by half in 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk in the goat cheese until smooth; season with half the salt and black pepper and all of the red pepper. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a large, nonstick skillet on medium. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from skillet; cover with foil and let stand 2 minutes. To skillet, add remaining oil. Add spinach; cook, turning with tongs, 2 minutes or until wilted. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water; drain and place pasta in a large bowl. Add goat cheese sauce, spinach and chicken with any juices. Add reserved cooking water until the sauce is the desired consistency. Stir in remaining salt and pepper; serve, topped with the basil.

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Per serving: 375 calories, 29 grams protein, 16 grams fat (38% calories from fat), 6.9 grams saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 390 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

Oven-baked fajitas

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9- by 13-inch baking dish, combine 2 tablespoons canola oil, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 teaspoon coarse salt; mix well. Add 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, 1 medium green bell pepper and 1 medium red bell pepper cut into thin strips, and 1 thinly sliced onion. Mix well. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir in 2 cups cooked (leftover) beef, cut into strips. Bake 10 more minutes. Serve beef mixture wrapped in warm whole-grain tortillas.

Southwestern baked potatoes

Scrub, pierce and microwave 4 (8-ounce) baking potatoes 10 to 12 minutes on high (100% power) or until almost tender. Wrap potatoes in paper towels and then in a terry towel for 5 minutes (to absorb moisture). Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large, nonstick skillet on medium. Add 1 medium chopped onion and cook 10 minutes or until golden. Add 2 teaspoons cumin and 1 clove minced garlic; cook 1 minute. Add 2 cups mild salsa and 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans; cook 5 minutes. To serve, split potatoes and divide bean mixture among them. Top with chopped cilantro and plain yogurt. Serve with deli coleslaw and whole-grain rolls.

Mexican flatbread pizza

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 4 flatbreads (label may say flatbread wraps) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spread 1 tablespoon salsa over each flatbread. Divide and sprinkle evenly 1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend and 1/2 cup sliced black olives over the flatbreads. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp. Sprinkle pizzas with 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes; top with avocado slices. Serve with carrot sticks.

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