A week’s worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: Be prepared for heaps of praise from the family with this Garlic-Rosemary Chicken, a French classic. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove and discard giblets and neck from a 5- to 6-pound roasting chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, including drumsticks, loosen skin with your fingers. Place several sprigs of fresh rosemary and crushed garlic cloves under skin of breast and drumsticks. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under. Place chicken, breast side up, on broiler pan. Bake 30 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 1 hour 15 minutes more or until a thermometer in the meaty part of thigh, not touching bone, registers 165 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Slice chicken, discard skin and serve with your own oven-browned potatoes. Roast some fresh Brussels sprouts with lemon and olive oil, halved and seasoned to your taste. Add dinner rolls. For dessert, buy a yellow layer cake.
Plan ahead: Save enough chicken and cake for Monday.
MONDAY: Turn Sunday's leftover chicken into Asian Chicken With Vegetables and Noodles (see recipe). Serve with mixed greens and whole-grain rolls. Slice leftover cake for dessert.
TUESDAY: Treat the kids to Chili Pizza. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brown ½ pound ground turkey breast and ½ pound lean ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat for 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 1 (1.25-ounce) packet less-sodium chili seasoning mix, 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes and 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans (rinsed); cook 8 minutes on medium or until heated. Arrange 8 burrito-size tortillas in a circle on a 12-inch pizza pan, overlapping edges where necessary. Spoon ground meat mixture onto tortillas. Top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Slice into wedges and serve with deli carrot-raisin salad. How about animal crackers and peaches for dessert?
WEDNESDAY: Skip the meat and enjoy Linguine With Parsley and Parmesan (see recipe) for an easy meal. Serve with a romaine salad and garlic bread. Scoop strawberry ice cream for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.
THURSDAY: Call it a Hero, Grinder, Submarine or Po'Boy, and it's still a great sandwich no matter where you live. Split a loaf of French or Italian bread. Spread bottom with deli coleslaw and add a variety of sliced deli meats. Layer cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and whatever else the cook is in the mood for. Slice into portions and serve your masterpiece with deli potato salad. Pears are dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough coleslaw for Friday.
FRIDAY: Save money and enjoy Smothered Tilapia Provencal (see recipe). Serve the dollar-stretcher with rice and leftover coleslaw. Add crusty bread to sop up the juices. For dessert, make instant vanilla pudding.
SATURDAY: Pork Medallions With Apples is a perfect fall entree for guests. Slice 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin into 8 slices and season on both sides with ½ teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Brown pork on both sides, remove from pan and set aside. To skillet, add 1 small chopped onion and 1 large cored and coarsely chopped apple; cook 6 minutes or until soft. Add ½ cup apple cider or apple juice to skillet. Reduce heat to low. Return pork to skillet, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Serve with brown rice and sugar snap peas. Add whole-grain rolls. For dessert, spoon frozen or fresh strawberries over leftover ice cream.
Asian Chicken With Vegetables and Noodles
8 ounces thin egg noodles
1 (8-ounce) package fresh matchstick or shredded carrots
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
½ cup sweet-and-spicy stir-fry sauce (or another flavor such as citrus, if desired)
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges with liquid
Cook noodles according to package directions; stir in carrots and broccoli. Cook 2 more minutes or until vegetables are softened; drain and return to pot. Add chicken, stir-fry sauce and oranges with liquid and toss to mix. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with no-yolk noodles) contains approximately 310 calories, 19 g protein, 5 g fat, 47 g carbohydrate, 47 mg cholesterol, 402 mg sodium and 4 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 3.
Linguine With Parsley and Parmesan
8 ounces linguine
1 teaspoon butter
⅓ cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed
8 ounces sour cream
½ teaspoon cracked pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook linguine according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 4 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Then stir in sour cream, pepper and parsley. Toss mixture with linguine. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with reduced-fat sour cream) contains approximately 325 calories, 11 g protein, 9 g fat, 48 g carbohydrate, 33 mg cholesterol, 86 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 3.
Smothered Tilapia Provencal
4 (6-ounce) tilapia filets
1 (6.5-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 large shallot, chopped (about ¼ cup)
¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
¼ cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 2 ½-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
Arrange fish in dish, overlapping if necessary.
In a medium bowl, combine artichokes, tomatoes, shallot, olives, wine, oil, capers, garlic, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Arrange mixture over fish to "smother." Bake 30 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 315 calories, 36 g protein, 16 g fat, 10 g carbohydrate, 85 mg cholesterol, 733 mg sodium and 3 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 10/16/2019
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner