SUNDAY: Family day
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.
SHOPPING LIST: olive oil, pork tenderloin, chili powder, cumin, coarse salt, black pepper, canned reduced-sodium black-eyed peas, seedless cucumber, green onions, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, lime, cabbage, lettuce, whole-grain rolls, apple crisp, vanilla ice cream.
MONDAY: Express cooking
For a fast meal, serve roast beef wraps with horseradish slaw. For two wraps: In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup reduced-fat 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, one slice 50 percent light 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.
SHOPPING LIST: reduced-fat sour cream, prepared horseradish, coleslaw mix, whole-grain flour tortillas, baby spinach, deli sliced roast beef, 50 percent light cheddar cheese, baked chips, grape tomatoes.
TUESDAY: Meatless meal
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.
SHOPPING LIST: Italian bread, pesto, tomatoes, part-skim mozzarella, cooking spray, vegetarian split pea soup, ingredients for your deviled eggs, plums.
WEDNESDAY: Kids favorite
Serve the children 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 reduced-fat sour cream and chopped fresh parsley.
Serve over egg noodles. Add green peas (from frozen) and soft rolls. For dessert, how about a big bowl of fresh strawberries?
SHOPPING LIST: can or jar beef gravy, seedless red raspberry jam, refrigerated meatballs, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh parsley, egg noodles, frozen green peas, soft rolls, fresh strawberries.
THURSDAY: Budget cooking
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.
SHOPPING LIST: flour, coarse salt, pepper, eggs, whole milk, butter, stone-ground mustard, cooking spray, sweet pork sausage links, maple syrup, chicken noodle soup, sesame bread sticks, pears.
FRIDAY: Heat and eat
A dinner of rotisserie chicken and deli macaroni salad is almost ready. Serve with mixed greens and whole-grain bread. Slice kiwis for dessert.
SHOPPING LIST: rotisserie chicken, deli macaroni salad, mixed greens, whole-grain bread, kiwis.
SATURDAY: Easy entertaining
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.
SHOPPING LIST: boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, paprika, coarse salt, pepper, olive oil, onion, no-salt-added or regular fire-roasted diced tomatoes, half-and-half, fresh parsley, egg noodles, romaine, whole-grain rolls, carrot cake.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: [email protected]. Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The Menu Planner is also accessible at 7daymenuplanner.com. Read Susan's blog: makingthemenu.com. And check out Susan's book! "7-Day Menu Planner for Dummies" is on shelves now. Order yours on Amazon.com today!
SPICED PORK WITH BLACK-EYED PEA SALSA (Sunday)
Makes: 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: less than 25 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 (1 1/4-pound) pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black-eyed peas, rinsed
1/2 small seedless cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
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 chili powder, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 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, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Serve salsa with pork.
Per serving: 299 calories, 35 grams protein, 8 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 1.6 grams saturated fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 92 milligrams cholesterol, 509 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber. Carb count: 1.5.
Makes: 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
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 second 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.)
Per serving: 285 calories, 13 grams protein, 17 grams fat (53% calories from fat), 6.9 grams saturated fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 155 milligrams cholesterol, 682 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber. Carb count: 1.5.
CHICKEN PAPRIKA (Saturday)
Makes: 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 20 minutes
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into strips
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika, divided
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added or regular fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
1/3 cup half-and-half
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired
Season the chicken with 1/2 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.
Per serving: 230 calories, 27 grams protein, 9 grams fat (35% calories from fat), 2.5 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 90 milligrams cholesterol, 198 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber. Carb count: 0.5.