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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy of Antonis Achilleos (Oxmoor House) Roasted Asparagus With Lemon, Parmesan and Garlic

A week’s worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families

SUNDAY: Impress the family with Roasted Chicken With Orange Juice and Candied Carrots (see recipe). Serve the chicken with scalloped potatoes and flatbread. Enjoy Key lime pie for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough chicken for Monday.

MONDAY: Transform the leftover chicken into Chicken Jambalaya. Follow the package directions for any jambalaya mix and add 4 ounces diced ham. Then stir in 1 (10-ounce) package frozen sliced okra (thawed) and simmer 10 more minutes. Add 2 cups diced leftover chicken; mix well. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Serve with a mixed green salad and a baguette. Peaches are for dessert.

TUESDAY: Buy frozen black bean burgers for kids' night. Serve on toasted whole-grain buns and top with their favorites, such as shredded lettuce, chopped green chiles, salsa and Mexican-blend shredded cheese. Serve with oven fries. For dessert, red and green grapes are fun.

WEDNESDAY: We lapped up this super-easy Shepherd's Pie (see recipe). Serve it with a lettuce wedge and whole-grain bread. For dessert, try ice cream sandwiches.

THURSDAY: Keep the slow cooker busy today with Sausage and Sauerkraut With Potatoes. In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, place 1 (12- to 14-ounce) package kielbasa (cut into chunks), 2 (14.5-ounce) cans sauerkraut (rinsed and drained), 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, 4 medium red potatoes (halved), 1 medium onion (sliced) and ⅔ cup water. Stir, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Alongside, add pickled beets. Serve with pumpernickel bread. Add chunky applesauce for dessert.

FRIDAY: Forget meat tonight and enjoy Fettuccine With Blue Cheese. Cook 12 ounces fettuccine according to package directions; add 1 (10-ounce) package frozen green peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. To empty pot, add ¼ cup half-and-half, 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons chopped green onions and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 1 minute. Return fettuccine and peas to pot. Sprinkle with ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese; toss to coat. Serve immediately. Add a romaine salad and garlic bread. Raspberry sorbet is dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough sorbet for Saturday.

SATURDAY: Entertain your guests and put Italian Pork Roast With Roasted Potato Wedges on the menu. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rub 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning over 1 (2-pound) boneless pork loin roast. Place roast in a shallow pan and roast 25 minutes. Place 4 medium unpeeled potatoes (cut into wedges) and ¼ cup bottled Italian dressing in a resealable plastic bag; toss to coat. Discard marinade; arrange potatoes around pork roast and return to oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature of roast reaches 145 degrees and potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and let pork stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with Roasted Asparagus With Lemon, Parmesan and Garlic (see recipe). Add crusty bread. For dessert, leftover raspberry sorbet with butter cookies is light.

THE RECIPES

Roasted Chicken With Orange Juice and Candied Carrots

For the chicken:

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

2 chicken-flavored bouillon cubes, crumbled

1 (4-pound) roasting chicken

Coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

For the carrots:

2 pounds fresh baby carrots, peeled

¼ cup PLUS 2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons canola oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk orange juice with bouillon to dissolve cubes. Place chicken in roasting pan and season the cavity with salt and pepper. Spoon half the juice mixture over the chicken and into the cavity. Roast, basting occasionally with remaining juice mixture, 2 to 2 ¼ hours or until internal temperature of thigh is 165 degrees. Let chicken stand 5 minutes before carving; serve the chicken hot with pan juices on the side.

For the carrots: Cook the carrots in boiling water 12 to 15 minutes; drain and return to pan. Add sugar, oil and lemon juice. Partially cover and cook over low heat, stirring gently once or twice so as not to damage carrots, until evenly glazed, 75 to 90 minutes. Serve hot. (Adapted from The Scent of Orange Blossoms by Kitty Morse and Danielle Mamane; Ten Speed Press)

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving of chicken without skin contains approximately 159 calories, 24 g protein, 3 g fat, 7 g carbohydrate, 75 mg cholesterol, 375 mg sodium and no fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 0.5.

Nutrition information: Each serving of carrots contains approximately 127 calories, 1 g protein, 6 g fat, 19 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 40 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1.5.

Shepherd's Pie

1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef

1 (16-ounce) package frozen peas and carrots

1 cup frozen chopped onions

2 tablespoons water

1 (10.5-ounce) can or jar mushroom gravy

1 (8-ounce) package any frozen mashed potatoes, defrosted

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, cook beef 6 minutes or until no longer pink.

Meanwhile, microwave peas and carrots, onions and water for 10 minutes on 100 percent power; drain. Add gravy and cooked beef; mix well and microwave 3 minutes on high. Spoon into a 2 ½-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread potatoes evenly over mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are browned and mixture is bubbly.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 322 calories, 29 g protein, 9 g fat, 32 g carbohydrate, 68 mg cholesterol, 665 mg sodium and 5 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 2.

Roasted Asparagus With Lemon, Parmesan and Garlic

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon coarse salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic, pressed

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Lemon wedges for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss asparagus with oil, salt, pepper and garlic.

On a lightly oiled large rimmed baking sheet, arrange asparagus in a single layer. Roast 8 minutes or until asparagus is tender-crisp. Return to bowl. Add parmesan and juice; toss to coat. Garnish with lemon wedges; serve immediately. (Adapted from Martina's Kitchen Mix by Martina McBride, Oxmoor House)

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 101 calories, 4 g protein, 8 g fat, 5 g carbohydrate, 3 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: .5.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:

susan@7daymenu.com

Food on 04/10/2019

Print Headline: 7-day menu planner

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