7-Day Menu Planner

Toad-in-the-Hole (The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook/Tina Rupp)

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

SUNDAY: Celebrate family day and enjoy Spiced Pork With Black-Eyed Pea Salsa (see recipe). Serve it with steamed cabbage, a lettuce wedge and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, top apple crisp with vanilla ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Monday.

MONDAY: For a fast meal, serve Roast Beef Wraps With Horseradish Slaw. For 2 wraps: In a medium bowl, combine ¼ cup sour cream and 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish. Fold in 1 cup coleslaw mix. Top each of two (10-inch) whole-grain flour tortillas with 1 cup baby spinach, 2 ounces deli sliced roast beef, 1 slice cheddar cheese and half the slaw. Roll tightly, folding the sides. Slice on the diagonal and serve. Add baked chips and grape tomatoes to the plate. Enjoy leftover ice cream for dessert.

TUESDAY: Forget meat tonight for Grilled Cheese-and-Tomato Paninis. On Italian bread, spread a little pesto; top with tomato slices and part-skim mozzarella cheese slices. Coat outside of bread with cooking spray; brown in a skillet, pressing sandwiches with a spatula until cheese melts. Serve with vegetarian split pea soup. Make the meal extra-special and add your own deviled eggs. For dessert, try plums.

WEDNESDAY: Serve the kids Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs tonight. Heat beef gravy (from can or jar) with seedless red raspberry jam to taste. Add refrigerated meatballs; heat through. Stir in some sour cream and chopped fresh parsley. Serve over egg noodles. Add green peas and soft rolls. For dessert, how about a big bowl of fresh strawberries?

THURSDAY: You'll save money and get a taste of merry old England with Toad-in-the-Hole (see recipe). Serve it with chicken noodle soup and sesame bread sticks. Pears are an easy dessert.

FRIDAY: A dinner of rotisserie chicken and deli macaroni salad is almost ready. Serve with mixed greens and whole-grain bread. Slice kiwis for dessert.

SATURDAY: Entertain your friends with Chicken Paprika (see recipe). Serve over egg noodles. Add a romaine salad and whole-grain rolls. Buy a carrot cake for dessert.


Spiced Pork With Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided use
  • 1 (1 ¼-pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt, divided use
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided use
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • ½ small seedless cucumber, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet on medium-high. Season the pork with the chile powder, cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, turning until browned on all sides. Transfer the skillet to the oven; roast 12 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove from oven to cutting board and tent with foil; let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the peas, cucumber, onions, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, remaining 2 teaspoons oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Serve salsa with pork.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 300 calories, 35 g protein, 8 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate, 92 mg cholesterol, 509 mg sodium and 5 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1 ½

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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard, plus more for serving
  • 12 ounces sweet pork sausage links (about 12 links)
  • Warmed maple syrup to taste for serving

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt and pepper.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, melted butter and mustard until well combined and frothy. Slowly pour egg mixture into flour mixture and whisk until combined and smooth. Allow the batter to rest 30 minutes.

Coat a 9-inch-square casserole dish with cooking spray. Arrange sausages in dish and bake in oven until partially cooked, about 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove casserole dish from oven. Pour or spoon batter into dish and return to oven. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until the batter turns light golden, puffs up and is crispy around the edges. Remove pudding from oven, cut into wedges and serve warm with syrup and more mustard on the side. (Adapted from "The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook," Lisa Steele, Harper Horizon.)

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 285 calories, 13 g protein, 17 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate, 155 mg cholesterol, 682 mg sodium and 1 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1 ½

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Chicken Paprika

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into strips
  • 2 ½ teaspoons paprika, divided use
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired

Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon paprika and the salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes per side or until browned. Remove chicken from skillet. Add onion to skillet; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomatoes and remaining paprika. Bring to a boil. Return chicken and accumulated liquid to skillet. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in half-and-half until blended. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 230 calories, 27 g protein, 9 g fat, 10 g carbohydrate, 90 mg cholesterol, 198 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: ½

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: susan@7daymenu.com