A week's worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: Treat the family like royalty and serve them Garlic Herb Roast Pork (see recipe). Add mashed potatoes, steamed fresh broccoli spears, a red-tipped lettuce salad and dinner rolls. Top vanilla ice cream with strawberries for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pork and strawberries for Monday and enough ice cream for Tuesday.
MONDAY: Warm the leftover pork for an easy meal. Serve Minted Peas and Rice alongside. Toss cooked green peas with cooked rice and stir in some chopped fresh mint. Add whole-grain rolls. Leftover strawberries are dessert.
TUESDAY: Start with a few ingredients and end with Chicken-Tabbouleh Toss. You'll need 2 cups cooked diced chicken (from a rotisserie chicken or other cooked chicken) and 2 cups tabbouleh from the deli. Toss them both with a ranch salad kit, using half the salad dressing. Mix in some toasted chopped walnuts. Serve with whole-grain rolls. Scoop leftover ice cream for dessert.
WEDNESDAY: Salsa Verde Chicken (see recipe) will save some money in a tasty way. Serve the easy entree over hot cooked brown rice. Add deli coleslaw and garlic bread. How about peaches for dessert?
THURSDAY: Keep that slow cooker working with Lentil and Vegetable Stew (see recipe). Serve with mixed greens and sourdough bread. Instant vanilla pudding sprinkled with nutmeg is an easy dessert.
FRIDAY: Ham, Provolone and Pineapple Melt will satisfy kids and adults, too. Spread one side of 8 slices whole-grain bread with ½ teaspoon butter each. Place 4 slices bread, buttered side down, on a griddle. Add 4 thin slices provolone cheese, 4 well-drained pineapple rings and 4 thin slices ham. Add second slices of bread, buttered side up. Cook at medium 3 to 4 minutes per side or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Serve with vegetarian baked beans. Dip apple slices in vanilla yogurt for dessert.
SATURDAY: Invite guests for Zesty Shrimp With Garlic and Tomatoes. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a 1 ½-quart baking dish, combine 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp with tails, 1 pint grape tomatoes (halved lengthwise), 1 packet (¾-ounce) zesty Italian salad dressing mix, ¼ cup dry white wine, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic and ¼ teaspoon coarse salt; toss ingredients. Bake 20 minutes or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Serve over angel hair pasta. Add sugar snap peas and a baguette. Almond cookies served with raspberry sorbet make the perfect dessert.
Garlic Herb Roast Pork
2 pounds boneless pork loin center roast
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, or 2 teaspoons dried
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat pork dry with paper towels; place in shallow roasting pan.
In small bowl, stir together garlic, salt, sage, rosemary, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub paste over all surfaces of pork loin; place in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Remove from oven, tent loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing to serve.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 171 calories, 20 g protein, 9 g fat, 1 g carbohydrate, 51 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium and no fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 0.
Salsa Verde Chicken
2 pounds trimmed boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into chunks)
1 (1-ounce) packet less-sodium taco seasoning mix
1 (16-ounce) jar salsa verde
Chopped cilantro and diced avocado for garnish
In a large bowl, combine chicken and seasoning mix; toss to coat. Arrange in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Spoon salsa verde over chicken. Cook 7 hours on low. Garnish with cilantro and avocado.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 227 calories, 25 g protein, 9 g fat, 8 g carbohydrate, 141 mg cholesterol, 575 mg sodium and no fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 0.5.
Lentil and Vegetable Stew
1 ½ cups dried lentils
3 cups water, plus ½ cup if needed
1 small acorn squash (about 1 ¼ pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups marinara sauce
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium baking potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut green beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
Combine lentils and 3 cups water in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.
In a large bowl, combine squash, marinara sauce, bell pepper, potato, onion and garlic; mix well. Add to slow cooker. Cook on low 7 hours; add green beans and oil. If too thick, stir in additional water. Cook 1 more hour or until lentils and vegetables are done.
Makes 14 (1-cup) servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 131 calories, 8 g protein, 1 g fat, 24 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 56 mg sodium and 5 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1.5.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:
Food on 03/18/2020
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner