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SUNDAY: Family day

Family day will be extra-special with chicken, olives and onions (see recipe) on the menu. Serve it with couscous, a romaine salad and flatbread. Peach cobbler with light whipped cream finishes a delightful meal.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough of the chicken entree and some cobbler for Monday.

SHOPPING LIST: red onion, garlic, dried thyme, dried oregano, coarse salt, pepper, olive oil, bone-in skinless chicken breasts, legs and thighs, Kalamata olives, flatleaf parsley, couscous, romaine, flatbread, peach cobbler, light whipped cream.

MONDAY: Heat and eat

Use Sunday's leftover chicken for stuffed chicken pitas: Dice the leftover chicken entree. Spoon it into whole-grain pitas along with some shredded lettuce and a dollop of plain yogurt.

Alongside, add sliced cucumbers in cider vinegar. Warm the leftover cobbler for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: whole-grain pitas, lettuce, plain yogurt, cucumbers, cider vinegar.

TUESDAY: Meatless meal

Skip meat for delicious stuffed peppers (see recipe). Serve them with a red-tipped lettuce salad and garlic bread. Enjoy plums for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: olive oil, plant-based ground beef substitute, bell peppers (any color), white rice, tomato, reduced-sodium black beans, shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese, coarse salt, black pepper, lime, green onions, cilantro, red-tipped lettuce, garlic bread, plums.

WEDNESDAY: Kids favorite

Oh, to be a child again and find my childhood staple, baked beans and franks waiting for me! Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix a 28-ounce can baked beans, 2 tablespoons molasses, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon mustard. Stir in sliced chicken or turkey hot dogs. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

Serve with rinsed and squeezed-dry refrigerated sauerkraut heated with a little unsalted chicken broth. Add carrot sticks and soft rolls. Slice kiwis for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: baked beans, molasses, cider vinegar, mustard, chicken or turkey hot dogs, refrigerated sauerkraut, unsalted chicken broth, carrots, soft rolls, kiwis.

THURSDAY: Express cooking

One of my favorite quick meals lately is Kung Pao chicken (from frozen). Serve it over rice and add a green salad. For dessert, fresh strawberries sound good.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough strawberries for Saturday.

TIP: Add any leftover vegetables to the chicken.

SHOPPING LIST: frozen Kung Pao chicken, rice, salad greens, fresh strawberries.

FRIDAY: Budget dining

For a low-cost meal, pasta is always a good choice. Try baked rotini tonight. In a baking dish coated with cooking spray, toss hot cooked rotini or another pasta with your favorite pasta sauce and shredded part-skim mozzarella. Bake until cheese melts and serve.

Add a lettuce wedge and Italian bread. For dessert, munch on apple slices.

SHOPPING LIST: cooking spray, rotini or other pasta, favorite pasta sauce, shredded part-skim mozzarella, lettuce, Italian bread, apples.

SATURDAY: Easy entertaining

Serve your guests chili-lime pork tenderloin (see recipe) tonight. Add broccoli, rice tossed with green peas, a bibb lettuce salad and sourdough bread. Top vanilla ice cream with leftover strawberries for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: pork tenderloin, coarse salt, pepper, chili powder, lime, lower-sodium soy sauce, sugar, canola oil, broccoli, rice, green peas, bibb lettuce, sourdough bread, vanilla ice cream.

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!

** ** **

CHICKEN, OLIVES AND ONIONS (Sunday)

Makes: 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35-45 minutes

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 1/2 pounds or 8 pieces bone-in skinless chicken breasts, legs and thighs

1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved

1/4 cup packed chopped fresh flatleaf parsley, plus more for garnish

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and oil. Toss until well mixed. Arrange chicken in single layer on a rimmed sheet pan lined with nonstick foil. Scatter onion mixture over chicken. Roast 30-40 minutes. Scatter olives over chicken. Roast 5 more minutes or until internal temperature of chicken thigh reaches 165 degrees. Transfer mixture to platter and garnish with parsley.

Per serving: 207 calories, 33 grams protein, 7 grams fat (30% calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 89 milligrams cholesterol, 211 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Carb count: 0.

** ** **

STUFFED PEPPERS (Tuesday)

Makes: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 45 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 pound plant-based ground beef substitute

4 bell peppers (any color), halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed

2 cups cooked white rice

1 medium diced tomato

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed

2 cups shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese, divided

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 fresh lime, cut into wedges

2 green onions, thinly sliced on bias

Cilantro for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Add oil to a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add the beef substitute and cook 5-6 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through. Place pepper halves into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, cut side up. In a large bowl, combine the cooked beef substitute, rice, tomato, beans and 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Divide mixture evenly among pepper halves. Drizzle with more oil, cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, 10 more minutes. Garnish with lime wedges, onions and cilantro.

Per serving: 685 calories, 44 grams protein, 32 grams fat (41% calories from fat), 10.8 grams saturated fat, 60 grams carbohydrate, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 650 milligrams sodium, 16 grams fiber. Carb count: 4.

** ** **

CHILI-LIME PORK TENDERLOIN (Saturday)

Makes: 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: less than 30 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes

1 (1- to 1 1/4-pound) pork tenderloin

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix chili powder, juice, soy sauce and sugar. Rub mixture on pork. Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet until hot. Add pork; sear on all sides, turning with tongs, about 4 minutes. Place skillet in oven; roast 20 to 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. While roasting, baste pork with accumulated juices. Add water, 2 tablespoons at a time, if needed. Remove tenderloin to a cutting board; tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Slice on the diagonal and serve.

Per serving: 192 calories, 24 grams protein, 10 grams fat (46% calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 74 milligrams cholesterol, 239 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Carb count: 0.

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