Today's Edition Local Missouri National World Opinion Obits Sports GoMidMo Events Classifieds Newsletters Contests Special Sections Jobs
story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy of Tomato Wellness Council

SUNDAY: Family day

Make family day special with ginger pork loin (see recipe). Serve it topped with mango salsa: In a small bowl, combine one peeled and finely chopped mango, 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, 1/2 finely chopped cucumber, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon lime zest and 1/4 teaspoon cumin. Cover and let stand at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours before serving.

Add brown rice, snow peas and whole-grain rolls to round out the meal. Buy a carrot cake for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough pork, rice and cake for Monday.

SHOPPING LIST: orange marmalade, lemon, fresh gingerroot, garlic, Dijon mustard, less- sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, boneless pork loin, mango, red onion, cucumber, lime, cumin, brown rice, snow peas, whole-grain rolls, carrot cake.

MONDAY: Heat and eat

Use the leftover pork for pork and broccoli stir-fry. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon less- sodium soy sauce and 1 tablespoon dry sherry; add to 3/4 pound cooked leftover pork (cut into strips); stir to coat. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil on medium-high heat. Add pork mixture and stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in two cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons minced gingerroot and 3 cups broccoli florets; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water; cover and steam 2 minutes or until broccoli is softened. Stir in 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce if desired. Serve over hot leftover rice and add bread sticks on the side. For dessert, slice the leftover cake.

SHOPPING LIST: cornstarch, less-sodium soy sauce, dry sherry, canola oil, garlic, fresh gingerroot, broccoli florets, hoisin sauce if desired, bread sticks.

TUESDAY: Kids favorite

Treat the children to the ultimate chicken fingers: Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil. In a resealable plastic bag, combine 2/3 cup reduced-fat baking mix (such as Bisquick), 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Dip 1 pound chicken tenders (several tenders at a time) into two lightly beaten egg whites and then toss in bag. Shake off excess coating mixture and place tenders on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake 12-14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes.

Serve with oven fries (from frozen) and green beans. Peaches are your dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Soak Wednesday's black beans overnight.

SHOPPING LIST: reduced-fat baking mix (such as Bisquick), parmesan cheese, coarse salt, paprika, chicken tenders, eggs, cooking spray, frozen oven fries, green beans, peaches.

WEDNESDAY: Meatless meal

Black bean corn chili (see recipe) makes an excellent no-meat meal. Serve with a red-tipped lettuce salad and whole-grain rolls. Enjoy pears for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: dried black beans, unsalted vegetable broth, frozen sweet corn, yellow onion, canned tomato paste, garlic, agave nectar, barbecue sauce, crushed red pepper, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, red-tipped lettuce, whole-grain rolls, pears.

THURSDAY: Express cooking

Fettuccine with cherry tomatoes will be on the table in no time. Cook a 9-ounce package refrigerated fettuccine according to directions; drain and return it to pot. To pot, add 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil and one (6- to 10-ounce) package refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips. Return pot to low heat; toss to coat and heat through. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved) and 1/2 cup pitted ripe olives (halved). Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste; toss again and serve.

Add a packaged green salad and garlic bread. Fresh tropical fruit is a light dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: refrigerated fettuccine, parmesan cheese, olive oil, refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips, cherry tomatoes, pitted ripe olives, coarse salt, pepper, packaged green salad, garlic bread, fresh tropical fruit.

FRIDAY: Budget dining

For a low-cost meal, try this upscale tuna salad and make tuna paninis: In a medium bowl, combine 3 tablespoons minced red onion, 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, three slices cooked and crumbled bacon and two (5-ounce) cans albacore tuna in water, drained and flaked. Mix well and spread on four slices sourdough bread. Top tuna with one slice provolone cheese and another slice of bread. Heat a large skillet on medium high; lightly coat each sandwich with cooking spray. Grill sandwiches until lightly browned, pressing flat with another heavy skillet throughout cooking time (see tip). Halve sandwiches and serve.

Add baked chips and apple slices. Enjoy a sugar cookie for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: red onion, low-fat mayonnaise, lemon, fennel seeds, pepper, bacon, canned albacore tuna in water, sourdough bread, provolone cheese, cooking spray, baked chips, apples, sugar cookies.

TIP: Use a panini pan if you have one.

SATURDAY: Entertain the family

Dijon chicken (see recipe) has a great flavor for special guests. Serve it with mashed potatoes to catch the sauce and add sugar snap peas, a romaine salad and a baguette on the side. For a special dessert, enjoy key lime pie.

SHOPPING LIST: boneless skinless chicken cutlets, coarse salt, black pepper, olive oil, red bell pepper, sweet onion, low-sodium chicken broth, flour, Dijon mustard, potatoes to mash, sugar snap peas, romaine, baguette, key lime pie.

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 Read Susan's blog: And check out Susan's book! "7-Day Menu Planner for Dummies" is on shelves now. Order yours on today!

** ** **


Makes: 12 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 4 hours to overnight

Cooking time: 20 minutes per pound; standing time: 10 minutes

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced fresh gingerroot

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons less-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 (3- to 4-pound) boneless pork loin, well-trimmed

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except pork; mix well. Place pork in a large resealable plastic bag; pour marinade over pork and turn to coat. Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight, turning occasionally. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove roast; discard marinade. Place pork on a rack in roasting pan. Bake 20 minutes per pound or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Per serving: 175 calories, 23 grams protein, 8 grams fat (43 percent calories from fat), 2.9 grams saturated fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 58 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Carb count: 0.


Makes: 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus overnight soak of beans

Cooking time: about 1 hour

1 pound dried black beans

4 cups water

2 cups unsalted vegetable broth

2 cups frozen sweet corn

1 yellow onion, diced

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tablespoon agave nectar

1 tablespoon barbecue sauce

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin

Soak black beans overnight in a pot filled with water. Discard water. Place drained, soaked beans in a large pot. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 60-70 minutes, until chili is thick and beans are tender. Serve warm.

Per serving: 263 calories, 13 grams protein, 1 gram fat (2 percent calories from fat), no saturated fat, 50 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 139 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber. Carb count: 3.5.


Makes: 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 20 minutes

6 boneless skinless chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add chicken and cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken to plate; cover to keep warm. Add bell pepper to skillet along with onion; cook 5-6 minutes or until softened. Return chicken and accumulated liquid to skillet. Whisk together broth, flour and mustard; pour over chicken. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through; serve.

Per serving: 190 calories, 26 grams protein, 6 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 1 gram saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 73 milligrams cholesterol, 401 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber. Carb count: 0.5.

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.