A week's worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: Prepare Apple-Glazed Lamb Chops for family day. Trim fat from 4 (6-ounce) lean lamb rib chops; set aside. Combine ¼ cup unsweetened apple juice, 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar and ⅛ teaspoon dry mustard in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chops and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours; turn bag occasionally. Heat broiler. Remove chops from bag; reserve marinade. Place chops on broiler rack coated with cooking spray and then place rack in broiler pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat for 9 minutes per side or to desired doneness, basting frequently with marinade. Serve the chops with brown rice and steamed green beans. Add dinner rolls. For dessert, top angel food cake with strawberries.
MONDAY: For a spectacular New Year's Eve dinner, serve your guests Herbed Tenderloin Steaks and goat cheese topping with sauteed arugula and tomatoes (see recipe). Alongside, add oven-roasted potato wedges, mixed greens and whole-grain rolls. Ring in the new year with a toast and some chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge sauce to end a great year.
Plan ahead: Save some cake for Tuesday, ice cream for Thursday and fudge sauce for Saturday.
TUESDAY: Make New Year's Day fun and economical with lots of good luck thrown in while you enjoy Smoked Sausage Creole With Black-Eyed Peas (see recipe) add collard greens. Serve with cornbread muffins. Slice the leftover cake for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough muffins for Wednesday; save enough Sausage Creole for Thursday.
WEDNESDAY: It's time to take it easy, so use your slow cooker for chili following the directions on any chili seasoning mix. Serve the chili with a packaged salad and leftover muffins. Keep dessert light with orange slices.
THURSDAY: Dinner will be ready as soon as you warm the leftover Sausage Creole. Add a spinach salad and crusty rolls on the side. Leftover ice cream is dessert.
FRIDAY: Serve this simple Italian White Bean Soup for an easy and healthy meal. Combine 1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans (rinsed) with 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth and puree in a blender (or use an immersion blender) until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Add another can of rinsed beans, 2 more cups broth, ½ cup chopped onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, 6 seeded and diced plum tomatoes, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1 ¼ teaspoons dried thyme and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes or until desired doneness. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches and a red-tipped lettuce salad. Try fresh pineapple spears for dessert.
SATURDAY: Serve your guests Pan-Roasted Scallops With Sesame Sauce (see recipe) with jasmine rice and snow peas on the side. Add sourdough bread. For dessert, top peppermint ice cream with leftover fudge sauce.
Herbed Tenderloin Steaks
¼ cup goat cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced and divided use
4 beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 5 ounces each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cups arugula
½ cup diced tomatoes
Combine goat cheese and basil in a small bowl; set aside.
Press thyme and half of the garlic evenly onto steaks.
Heat a nonstick skillet on medium. Cook steaks 10 to 13 minutes for medium doneness, turning occasionally. Remove steak from skillet; immediately top with cheese mixture. Keep warm.
Heat oil in a skillet on medium. Add arugula and remaining garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until wilted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes. Serve with steak.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 300 calories, 33 g protein, 17 g fat, 3 g carbohydrate, 83 mg cholesterol, 131 mg sodium and 1 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 0.
Smoked Sausage Creole With Black-Eyed Peas
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound smoked turkey sausage, cut into ½-inch slices
1 large carrot, cut into ½-inch slices
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
2 (14-ounce) cans unsalted chicken broth
¾ cup water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup orzo pasta
2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed
1 large zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced ½ inch thick
Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium-high. Add onion and bell pepper; cook and stir 4 minutes. Add sausage and carrot; cook and stir 5 minutes or until sausage is browned. Stir in Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper, bay leaf, broth, water and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add orzo and peas and stir. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 5 minutes. Add zucchini; cook 5 more minutes or until orzo and zucchini are tender, stirring frequently. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Makes about 10 cups.
Nutrition information: Each cup contains approximately 228 calories, 11 g protein, 5 g fat, 35 g carbohydrate, 10 mg cholesterol, 555 mg sodium and 5 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.5.
Pan-Roasted Scallops With Sesame Sauce
16 medium or 12 large sea scallops (about 1 ¼ pounds)
1 green onion, sliced (white and green sections reserved separately)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon dark (toasted) sesame oil
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon canola oil
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
Bring scallops to room temperature (about 10 minutes).
In a small bowl, whisk together white pieces of onion, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil and crushed red pepper; set aside.
Heat canola oil in a large skillet on medium. Add scallops; sprinkle with black pepper. Cook 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate; keep warm. Whisk sauce and add to skillet. Cook 45 seconds or until sauce boils and thickens slightly; remove pan from heat. Divide scallops among four dinner plates and drizzle some sauce over each portion. Garnish with a sprinkle of green onion pieces and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 162 calories, 18 g protein, 5 g fat, 10 g carbohydrate, 34 mg cholesterol, 752 mg sodium and no fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 0.5.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:
Food on 12/26/2018
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner