A week’s worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: For family day, enjoy Mustard-Crusted Pork Roast. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Season a 2-pound boneless pork loin roast with coarse salt and pepper to taste. Place in a shallow pan and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and spread with 2 tablespoons spicy mustard; sprinkle with 1 cup crushed garlic-flavored croutons. Return to oven; continue to roast 10 to 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with baked sweet potatoes, spinach souffle (from frozen) and sourdough bread. Buy a deep-dish apple pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pork, potatoes and pie for Monday.
MONDAY: Make Sliced Pork Sandwiches on rosemary bread with the leftover pork tonight. (Toast the bread and brush it with olive oil.) Cut the leftover potatoes into wedges, sprinkle with chile powder and bake at 425 degrees until hot (about 10 minutes). Buy deli coleslaw to accompany this simple meal. Leftover pie is dessert.
TUESDAY: Serve Italian-inspired Cannellini Bean and Escarole Stew (see recipe) over brown rice for a no-meat meal. Add a mixed green salad and crusty rolls. For dessert, serve fresh pineapple spears.
WEDNESDAY: Kids know that pizza is one of the special food groups just for them, so Chopped Chicken Pizza fits right in. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread a thin whole-grain pizza crust with 1 (9- or 10-ounce) package chopped cooked chicken. Top with 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese mixed with ½ cup finely chopped fresh spinach. Bake about 10 minutes or until hot. Accompany the pizza with carrot sticks. For dessert, orange sections are good.
Plan ahead: Order a heart-shaped chocolate cake for your honey for Friday.
THURSDAY: Pinch some pennies and serve Saucy Meatball Subs (see recipe) for a delicious money-saver. Accompany the flavor-packed dish with a green salad. Kiwi makes a simple dessert.
FRIDAY: Make Valentine's Day special with Asian Barbecue Steaks (see recipe). Serve the tender steaks with stuffed baked potatoes (from frozen) and peas with pearl onions (from frozen). Add dinner rolls. For dessert, enjoy a heart-shaped chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet by candlelight.
Plan ahead: Save some cake for Saturday.
SATURDAY: Prepare your own lamb chops for guests. Accompany your prize recipe with Rice Pilaf: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet on medium; add 1 small chopped onion and ½ cup slivered almonds. Cook 7 minutes or until onion is softened and almonds are golden. Stir in 1 ½ cups uncooked basmati rice, ½ cup golden raisins, 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon coarse salt; cook 2 minutes. Add 3 cups unsalted chicken broth and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve with Marinated Cucumber and Tomato Salad: Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint to your own vinaigrette. Pour over 3 thinly sliced medium cucumbers, 3 medium tomatoes (cut into wedges), 1 thinly sliced medium red onion, and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to coat; cover and marinate 2 hours. Serve with flatbread. Slice the leftover cake and top it with whipped cream.
Cannellini Bean and Escarole Stew
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bunch escarole, coarsely chopped (about 12 ounces)
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (15- to 19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 (14 ½-ounce) can diced no-salt-added tomatoes with liquid
In a medium skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onions and cook 8 minutes or until softened; stir occasionally. Add escarole, garlic, salt and pepper; cook 3 minutes or until escarole is wilted. Stir in beans and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes or until flavors are blended.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 162 calories, 6 g protein, 2.8 g fat, 28 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 470 mg sodium and 8 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.
Saucy Meatball Subs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups whole-grain soft bread crumbs (about 2 slices)
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 pounds 95% lean ground beef
1 (26- to 28-ounce) jar no-salt-added or regular red pasta sauce
12 hoagie or other sandwich buns
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, bread crumbs, onion, salt and Italian seasoning; mix well. Add beef; mix well. Shape into 48 meatballs. Arrange them on a rimmed 10-by-15-inch baking pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees; drain well.
In a Dutch oven, combine the pasta sauce and cooked meatballs. Heat through. Split buns; spoon hot meatball mixture into buns. Spoon remaining sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes before serving.
Makes 12 servings.
Nutrition information: Each sandwich contains approximately 362 calories, 27 g protein, 11 g fat, 40 g carbohydrate, 76 mg cholesterol, 596 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.5.
Asian Barbecue Steaks
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 beef sirloin tip side steak, cut 1 inch thick (about 8 ounces)
Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate ¼ cup marinade. Place steak and remaining marinade in a resealable plastic bag; turn to coat. Refrigerate 6 hours to overnight. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Grill, covered, on 145-degree preheated gas grill 12 to 14 minutes for medium-rare doneness, turning once. (Do not overcook.) Serve with warmed reserved marinade.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 187 calories, 24 g protein, 6 g fat, 7 g carbohydrate, 69 mg cholesterol, 291 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 02/05/2020
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner