A week’s worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: Everyone wanted seconds of this Peach-Glazed Pork Loin Roast (see recipe). Serve the flavor-packed roast with Rice and Petite Green Peas (toss hot cooked rice with microwaved frozen petite peas and garnish with chopped fresh mint). Add a bibb lettuce salad and dinner rolls. Slice chocolate layer cake for dessert.
Plan ahead: Prepare Monday's rice and the lemon-mustard dressing today. Save enough pork for Monday and enough cake for Tuesday.
MONDAY: Wild Rice and Pork Salad was a hit at our house. Prepare 1 (6-ounce) package long grain and wild rice according to package directions, using unsalted chicken broth as the liquid. Cool. Mix together the rice, 2 cups (leftover) chopped pork, 2 ribs celery (thinly sliced), 1 medium green bell pepper (chopped) and 1 medium red onion (chopped); set aside. For the Lemon Mustard Dressing: Combine ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard and ½ teaspoon black pepper; mix well. Pour over pork mixture and toss to combine. Serve with steamed fresh zucchini and crusty bread. Enjoy figs for dessert.
TUESDAY: No messing around in the kitchen tonight because a barbecue (or other flavor) rotisserie chicken is on the menu. Serve with deli potato salad, a fresh spinach salad and whole-grain rolls. Leftover cake is your dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough chicken for Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY: Make an economical B.C.L.T. Sandwich tonight (bacon, leftover chicken, lettuce and tomato) on whole-grain toast. Serve with oven fries. No one will call you cheap (how rude!) when you bring out the Blueberry-Kiwi Dessert Cookie: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice 1 (18-ounce) package refrigerated cookie dough as directed on package. Arrange slices in an ungreased 14-inch pizza pan. Using floured fingers, press dough evenly in pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Spread 1 cup prepared marshmallow fluff over cookie crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange 2 cups fresh blueberries and 1 peeled, sliced kiwi on top. Sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts. Slice and serve.
Plan ahead: Freeze mango chunks for Thursday's smoothie.
THURSDAY: The kids will go for Pizza Pasta. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 8 ounces rotini pasta according to package directions, drain. In a large skillet on medium-high, cook 1 pound lean ground beef and 1 small onion (chopped) until beef is no longer pink and onion is softened; drain. Combine beef mixture and 1 (26- to 28-ounce) jar marinara sauce, 4 ounces sliced pepperoni and cooked pasta. Mix well and pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with 1 ½ cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until cheese melts and bubbles. Serve with carrot sticks to munch. This Mango and Banana Smoothie is perfect for dessert: Peel, pit and chop 3 mangoes (about 3 pounds); freeze overnight. In a blender, combine mangoes with ¾ cup milk, 1 cup ice, ½ banana and 1 teaspoon honey. Pulse until desired consistency.
FRIDAY: It wasn't easy, but we didn't lick the plate after eating this delicious Garbanzo Tomato Stew (see recipe). Serve the high-fiber, high-flavor stew over couscous. Add a crisp iceberg lettuce wedge and whole-grain pitas. For dessert, try a scoop of strawberry ice cream.
SATURDAY: Invite guests for the Indian flavors of Garam Masala and Sour Cream Chicken Bake (see recipe). Serve with aromatic basmati rice. Add color and flavor with steamed asparagus. Alongside, serve Cucumber Raita: In a small pan, heat ½ teaspoon olive oil on medium. Add 1 minced garlic clove and cook 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and add 1 cup peeled, seeded and finely chopped cucumber, ⅔ cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, ½ teaspoon honey, ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar, a pinch of cumin, a dash of hot sauce, and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve immediately with flatbread. Lemon sherbet is the perfect dessert.
Peach-Glazed Pork Loin Roast
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon less-sodium seasoned salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ to 2-pound boneless pork loin roast, well-trimmed
5 tablespoons all-fruit peach preserves
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cumin, seasoned salt and cinnamon, mix well. Rub on all sides of roast. Place roast on rack in a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes per pound.
Combine preserves, Worcestershire sauce and ginger. Spoon peach mixture over pork. Bake 10 more minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 205 calories, 23 g protein, 8 g fat, 10 g carbohydrate, 64 mg cholesterol, 145 mg sodium and no fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 0.5.
Garbanzo Tomato Stew
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 (15- to 19-ounce) can reduced-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed
1 (14-ounce) can unsalted vegetable broth
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Crumbled Greek feta cheese for garnish
Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium-high. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, beans, broth, tomato paste, rosemary, oregano, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and parsley, cook 5 minutes. Garnish with feta. Serve immediately.
Makes about 7 ½ cups.
Nutrition information: Each cup contains approximately 110 calories, 5 g protein, 3 g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 345 mg sodium and 4 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1.
Garam Masala and Sour Cream Chicken Bake
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
8 skinless bone-in chicken thighs or legs
½ cup sour cream
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon garam masala
½ teaspoon turmeric
Coarse salt to taste
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onion and cook 10 minutes or until golden.
Meanwhile, cut shallow slits in chicken to help infuse spices.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked onions, sour cream, yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, turmeric and salt. Mix until smooth. Pour into a resealable plastic bag, add chicken and turn to coat. Place bag in shallow pan and let marinate in refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.
When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer chicken and marinade to a 7-by-11-inch baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve chicken with sauce immediately.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with reduced-fat sour cream and fat-free yogurt) contains approximately 280 calories, 30 g protein, 15 g fat, 5 g carbohydrate, 164 mg cholesterol, 116 mg sodium and 1 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 0.5.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:
Food on 08/14/2019
Print Headline: 7day menu planner