Menu planner: Crustless curried spinach tart is tasty with a low carb count

Chicago
By Chicago 6 Min Read

Crustless curried spinach tart

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 to 40 minutes; standing time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

3/4 cup 1% milk

2 tablespoons flour

4 eggs

4 egg whites

1 tablespoon curry powder

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from skillet and cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk milk and flour until smooth. Add eggs, egg whites, curry powder, salt, garlic powder and cayenne. Whisk until smooth. Add cooked onion, spinach and ricotta cheese; mix well. Pour into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden and center is set. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Per serving: 184 calories, 15 grams protein, 10 grams fat (46% calories from fat), 3.9 grams saturated fat, 11 grams carbohydrate, 144 milligrams cholesterol, 456 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Spanish spaghetti

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces thin spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

8 ounces 95% lean ground beef

1 2/3 cups no-salt-added or regular marinara sauce

1/2 cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 tablespoon rinsed capers

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

Cook spaghetti according to directions (without salt or oil). Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in oregano, celery salt, red pepper and black pepper. Crumble beef into pan; cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring frequently. Stir in marinara sauce, olives, sherry, capers and 3 tablespoons parsley. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add spaghetti to sauce mixture; cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. (Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.)

Per serving: 427 calories, 22 grams protein, 11 grams fat (23% calories from fat), 1.8 grams saturated fat, 58 grams carbohydrate, 31 milligrams cholesterol, 625 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 4.

Grilled chicken with mustard-tarragon sauce

Servings: Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided

3 tablespoons minced shallots

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/2 teaspoon sugar

4 cups gourmet salad greens (baby mixed greens)

Coat grill pan with cooking spray. Heat it on medium-high. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken in pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through. In a small bowl, combine remaining salt and pepper, shallots, mustard, vinegar, water, oil, tarragon and sugar, stirring well with a whisk. Serve chicken over greens with sauce. (Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.)

Per serving: 256 calories, 38 grams protein, 9 grams fat (31% calories from fat), 1.5 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 109 milligrams cholesterol, 683 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.

Turkey sloppy joes

Heat a large, nonstick skillet on medium; cook 1 pound ground turkey breast in 1 tablespoon canola oil with 1 chopped medium onion and 1 clove minced garlic about 6 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink. Add 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce, 1/4 cup each packed dark brown sugar and barbecue sauce and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until thickened. Serve on whole-grain hamburger buns. (Adapted from Real Simple magazine.)

Vegetable cheese casserole

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat 4 eggs with 2/3 cup flour until smooth. Add 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry), 1 (24-ounce) container low-fat cottage cheese, 3 cups 50% reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spoon into baking dish, smoothing top. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour or until center is set and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Accompany the entree with a romaine salad and Italian bread.

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