7-Day Menu Planner

8/ 20

Family Sunday

Gather the family for Mustard-Garlic Roast Pork Loin. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Make a paste with 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (crushed), 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Massage into a 3- to 4-pound boneless pork loin roast. Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature is 145 to 160 degrees. Remove from oven. Cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes.

Serve with Farro Salad With Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs (see recipe), mixed salad greens and flatbread. Everyone will like banana pudding (made with 1 percent milk) for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough pork for Monday and enough farro salad for Tuesday.

8/ 21

Heat-and-Eat Monday

Use Sunday’s leftover pork for Cuban Sandwiches. Fill Kaiser rolls with sliced pork, deli sliced ham, Swiss cheese and pickles. Wrap sandwiches in foil; heat in 350-degree oven to melt cheese. Serve with plantain chips. Fresh blueberries are good for dessert.

8/ 22

Budget Tuesday

They’re economical and have great taste, so put Baked Chicken Pesto Packets on the menu.

For 1 packet: Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place 1 chicken thigh, 1 tomato slice and 1/4 of a zucchini (sliced) on one side of an 18-by-12-inch sheet of heavy-duty foil. Spoon 1 teaspoon pesto over chicken mixture. Fold foil over chicken and vegetables so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again. Allow space on sides for air circulation and expansion. Repeat for more servings. Place packets on baking sheet; bake 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Place packets on plates. Cut a large “X” across the top of each packet; be careful of steam when you fold back foil and serve.

Add leftover farro salad and whole-grain rolls. Fresh cherries are your dessert.

8/ 23

Kids Wednesday

Kids will love them, and so will the adults, so Root Beer Sloppy Joes work for the whole family. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add 2 teaspoons canola oil and 3/4 cup chopped onion and cook 3 minutes. Add 12 ounces lean ground sirloin; cook 4 minutes or until beef begins to crumble; stir. Add 1/2 cup unsalted tomato sauce, 1/4 cup chili sauce, 1/4 cup root beer, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon tomato paste. Bring to simmer. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Serve on whole-grain buns. Add oven fries and celery sticks with any dip. Finish with creamsicles.

8/ 24

Express Thursday

Make a fast meal with Tuna, Tomato, Red Onion and Olive Pita. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 3 (5-ounce) cans drained solid white tuna (or cooked fresh tuna), 1/2 small red onion (chopped), 1/2 cup grape tomatoes (halved), 1/4 cup kalamata olives (pitted and halved) and 1/4 cup roughly chopped flatleaf parsley. Gently toss to combine. Open 4 small whole-grain pita halves and fill.

Serve with baked beet (or other) veggie chips. Slice cantaloupe for dessert.

8/ 25

Meatless Friday

Skip meat and enjoy the vegetables of the season with Zucchini-Onion Frittata (see recipe). Serve with fresh okra and corn-on-the-cob. Fresh pineapple with toasted coconut is a delicious dessert.

8/ 26

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Invite friends for Lemon-Oregano Chicken Kebabs (see recipe). Serve over couscous and add corn salad with feta and mint. In a large bowl, place 3 cups fresh cooked corn (about 5 ears) and 1 cup of crumbled feta. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and toss. Add 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves; toss again. Add coarse salt and pepper to taste. (Adapted from “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” by Mark Bittman; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007.) How about fruit tarts for dessert?

** ** **


Farro Salad With Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs (Sunday)

1 1/2 cups farro (see Tip)

1 teaspoon coarse salt plus more to taste

1 pound heirloom, garden grown or other tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped

1/2 cup seeded and chopped cucumber

1/4 cup snipped fresh chives

1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Rinse farro under cold running water 2 minutes; drain. Cook farro with 1 teaspoon salt according to directions, drain. Transfer to large bowl to cool. When cool, add tomatoes, onion, cucumber, chives and parsley. Toss to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, vinegar, salt to taste, pepper and oil. Add to salad and toss to mix. Refrigerate overnight or serve immediately at room temperature. Makes 8 cups.

Tip: I cooked the farro in a slow cooker with 5 cups water for 3 hours on high, then drained and cooled. It’s your choice how you cook it.

Per (1 cup) serving: 206 calories (percent calories from fat, 30), 6 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), no cholesterol, 268 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Zucchini-Onion Frittata (Friday)

1 tablespoon butter

2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

4 whole eggs

8 egg whites

1/4 cup 1 percent milk

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Chopped seeded plum tomatoes for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large ovenproof skillet, melt butter on medium-high. Add zucchini and onion; cook 12 to 14 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons Parmesan. In a large bowl, whisk together all eggs, milk, salt, pepper and basil. Pour over vegetable mixture. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Garnish with tomatoes. Slice and serve. Makes 6 wedges.

Per serving: 126 calories (percent calories from fat, 46), 12 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat), 133 milligrams cholesterol, 360 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Lemon-Oregano Chicken Kebabs (Saturday)

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 tablespoons fresh or 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces

16 to 20 cherry tomatoes

10 to 12 green onions cut into 2-inch pieces

2 lemons cut into thin slices

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cut chicken into 16 bite-size pieces. Combine the chicken, oil, garlic and oregano. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes to 8 hours.

Thread alternating pieces of chicken, zucchini, tomatoes, green onions and lemons onto 4 metal skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush remaining marinade over skewers. Grill on medium-high 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from grill; let stand 2 minutes and serve. Serves 4.

Per serving: 278 calories (percent calories from fat, 28), 38 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 8 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), 109 milligrams cholesterol, 343 milligrams sodium.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Food

Moms get 25 percent off meals every Tuesday in Decatur
Moms get 25 percent off meals every Tuesday in Decatur

Moms receive 25 percent off food when they visit Big Tex in Decatur. Photo credit: Tori Allen PR. This dining deal is just for your momma. Moms receive 25 percent off food when they visit Big Tex , a Decatur-based restaurant that offers a mix of Texas-style and southern comfort food like smoked wings with Texas...
Pasteles, a Puerto Rican tradition, have a special savor now
Pasteles, a Puerto Rican tradition, have a special savor now

After Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, it took two weeks for Harry Franqui-Rivera to reach his 76-year-old mother, Amelia Rivera de Franqui, by phone at her home on the island’s west coast. When he did, Franqui-Rivera, a history professor at Bloomfield College in New Jersey, found that her main concern was not the lack of...
'Recipes are dead': What the future of cooking might look like
'Recipes are dead': What the future of cooking might look like

There will be no more cookbooks from chef Tyler Florence. Sure, you've welcomed him into your home through his books "Tyler Florence Fresh" and "Dinner at My Place," and such Food Network shows as "Tyler's Ultimate." But he will not print any more recipes. Why bother?  "I'll publish a cookbook and I'll have 125...
Toblerone vs. Poundland: a food fight with peaks and troughs

Call it the candy bar war that peaked. When the makers of the distinctive Swiss confection Toblerone reconfigured their triangular treat last year to slim down its hallmark summits and widen the valleys between them, a potential rival — Britain’s Poundland discount chain — saw a niche in the market. What Poundland perhaps did not...
Love the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar? Re-create your own Bliss
Love the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar? Re-create your own Bliss

Peppermint white chocolate mochas and eggnog lattes are certainly top sellers this time of year at the 13,000-plus Starbucks outlets nationwide. But what lures many devotees into the nation’s largest coffee chain during November and December is the company’s seasonal baked-good behemoth, the Cranberry Bliss Bar.  And why not? It&rsquo...
More Stories