By Susan Nicholson
Sunday (Family) — Everyone wanted seconds of the peach-glazed pork loin roast. Serve the flavor-packed roast with rice and petite green peas (toss hot cooked rice with microwaved frozen petite peas). Add a bibb lettuce salad and dinner rolls. Slice chocolate layer cake for dessert.
Plan ahead: Prepare Monday’s rice and the lemon-mustard dressing today. Save enough pork for Monday and enough cake for Tuesday.
Shopping list: cumin, less-sodium seasoned salt, cinnamon, boneless pork loin roast, all-fruit peach preserves, Worcestershire sauce, ground ginger, rice, frozen petite green peas, bibb lettuce, dinner rolls, chocolate layer cake.
Monday (Heat and Eat) — Wild rice and pork salad was a hit at our house. Prepare 1 (6-ounce) package long grain and wild rice according to directions, using fat-free chicken broth as the liquid. Cool. Mix together the rice, 2 cups (leftover) chopped pork, 2 ribs thinly sliced celery, 1 medium chopped green bell pepper and 1 medium chopped red onion; set aside.
For the lemon mustard dressing: Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; mix well. Pour over rice/pork mixture and toss to mix.
Serve with steamed fresh zucchini and crusty bread. Enjoy fresh figs for dessert.
Shopping list: packaged long grain and wild rice, fat-free chicken broth, celery, green bell pepper, red onion, olive oil, lemons, dry mustard, black pepper, fresh zucchini, crusty bread, fresh figs.
Tuesday (Express) — No messing around with cooking dinner tonight because a rotisserie chicken is on the menu. Serve with deli potato salad, a fresh spinach salad and whole-grain rolls. Leftover cake is your dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough chicken for Wednesday.
Shopping list: rotisserie chicken, deli potato salad, fresh spinach, whole-grain rolls.
Wednesday (Budget) —Make an economical B.C.L.T. sandwich tonight (bacon, leftover chicken, lettuce and tomato) on whole-grain toast. Serve with oven fries (frozen).
No one will call you cheap (how rude!) when you bring out the blueberry-kiwi dessert pizza. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice 1 (18-ounce) package any refrigerated cookie dough as directed on package. Arrange slices in an ungreased 14-inch pizza pan. Using floured fingers, press dough evenly in pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Spread 1 cup prepared marshmallow fluff (from 7 1/2-ounce jar) over cookie crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange 2 cups fresh blueberries and 1 peeled and sliced kiwifruit on top. Sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts. Slice and serve.
Shopping list: bacon, lettuce, tomato, whole-grain bread, frozen oven fries, any refrigerated cookie dough, flour, jar marshmallow fluff, fresh blueberries, kiwifruit, walnuts.
Plan ahead: Freeze nectarine wedges for Thursday’s smoothie.
Thursday (Kids) — The kids will go for the fruity flavor of orange chicken with rice. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Divide and place 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders in center of 4 (12-by-18-inch) sheets heavy-duty foil. Place 1/2 cup uncooked quick rice around chicken (in each sheet). Top each serving with 1/4 cup sliced celery and 2 tablespoons orange marmalade. Drain 2 (11-ounce) cans of mandarin oranges and reserve juice. Divide and place orange sections over other ingredients. Bring up foil sides. Double-fold tops of foil and one end. Through open end, divide and pour in reserved juice. Double-fold remaining end to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Bake 18 to 22 minutes on a cookie sheet. Remove from oven; open packets away from your face.
Stir and serve immediately.
For dessert, continue the fruit-fest with this cantalope-nectarine smoothie. Put 1 large nectarine (cut into 1/2-inch wedges) in airtight container; freeze overnight. When ready to make smoothie, place nectarine in blender. Add 1 1/2 cups cantaloupe wedges (cut 1-inch chunks), 2/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon (any kind) milk, 1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate, 1 1/2 teaspoons honey and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.
Shopping list: boneless, skinless chicken tenders, quick-cooking rice, celery, orange marmalade, canned mandarin oranges, fresh green beans, soft rolls, nectarines, cantaloupe, plain fat-free Greek yogurt, any kind milk, frozen orange juice concentrate, honey, pure vanilla extract.
Friday (Meatless) — It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t lick the plate after eating the delicious garbanzo tomato stew. Serve the high-fiber, high-flavor stew over couscous.
Shopping list: olive oil, onion, garlic, canned diced tomatoes, canned reduced-sodium garbanzo beans, vegetable broth, no-salt-added tomato paste, dried rosemary, dried oregano, Greek seasoning, coarse salt, pepper, fresh baby spinach leaves, parsley, reduced-fat feta cheese, couscous, iceberg lettuce, whole-grain pitas, fat-free strawberry ice cream.
Saturday (Easy Entertaining) — Invite guests for the Indian flavors of garam masala and sour cream chicken bake. Serve with aromatic basmati rice. Add color and flavor with steamed asparagus.
Alongside, serve cucumber raita. In a small pan, heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil on medium. Add 1 minced garlic clove and cook 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and add 1 medium peeled, seeded and finely chopped cucumber, 2/3 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon rice-wine vinegar, a pinch of cumin, a dash of hot sauce, and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve immediately with flatbread.
PEACH-GLAZED PORK LOIN ROAST (Sunday)
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: about 40 to 50 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon less-sodium seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2- to 2-pound boneless pork loin roast, well-trimmed
1/3 cup all-fruit peach preserves
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cumin, seasoned salt and cinnamon; mix well. Rub on all sides of roast. Place on rack in baking dish and bake 20 minutes per pound. Meanwhile, combine preserves, Worcestershire sauce and ginger. Spoon preserve mixture over pork. Bake 10 more minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
Per serving: 205 calories, 23 grams protein, 8 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 64 milligrams cholesterol, 145 milligrams sodium, no fiber.
GARBANZO TOMATO STEW (Friday)
Makes about 7 1/2 cups
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: less than 30 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15- to 19-ounce) can reduced-sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 (14-ounce) can vegetable broth
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese for garnish
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, beans, broth, tomato paste, rosemary, oregano, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and parsley; cook 5 minutes. Garnish with cheese. Serve immediately.
Per cup: 104 calories, 5 grams protein, 3 grams fat (21 percent calories from fat), 0.3 gram saturated fat, 17 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 602 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.
GARAM MASALA AND SOUR CREAM CHICKEN BAKE (Saturday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: less than 60 minutes; marinating time: 4 to 6 hours
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs and/or legs
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Coarse salt to taste
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onion and cook 10 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, cut shallow slits in chicken to help infuse spices. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked onions, sour cream, yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, turmeric and salt. Mix until smooth. Pour into a resealable plastic bag, add chicken and turn to coat; place bag in shallow pan and let marinate in refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.
When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer chicken and marinade into an 8-by-12-inch baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve chicken with sauce immediately. (Adapted from “The Spice Is Right,” Monica Bhide; Callawind Publications, 2001.)
Per serving: 280 calories, 30 grams protein, 15 grams fat (49 percent calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 164 milligrams cholesterol, 116 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.