7 Day Menu Planner

12/ 17

Family Sunday

The family will enjoy the wonderful aroma and delicious taste of Roasted Pork Loin With Apples and Cinnamon (see recipe). On the side, enjoy baked sweet potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts, mixed greens and dinner rolls. For dessert, enjoy a small amount of strawberry ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough pork and bake extra potatoes for Monday.

12/ 18

Heat-and-Eat Monday

Slice and heat the leftover Pork and serve with baked sweet potato wedges. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice leftover potatoes into wedges, coat with cooking spray and bake 10 minutes or until hot. Add well-rinsed, refrigerated sauerkraut mixed with some caraway seeds and rye bread. Peaches are your dessert.

12/ 19

Meatless Tuesday

Pasta Skillet With Tomatoes and Beans (see recipe) is easy and has great flavor. Add a romaine salad and garlic bread. Fresh orange sections are a light dessert.

12/ 20

Budget Wednesday

Save money a delicious way with Sweet-and-Spicy Glazed Catfish (see recipe). We liked it with corn-on-the-cob, green beans with toasted pecans and whole-grain bread. Make dessert easy with kiwifruit.

12/ 21

Express Thursday

“Yum, yum” is the description of Saucy Italian-Style Chicken Thighs. In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, arrange 12 skinless boneless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds). In a medium bowl, combine 1 (14-ounce) can undrained diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, 1 (6-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato paste with Italian seasoning, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; mix well. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour; reduce heat to low and cook 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender. Serve it over brown rice to soak up some of the flavorful sauce. Add an arugula salad and Italian bread. For dessert, plums are good.

12/ 22

Kids Friday

Remember your childhood and let the kids help prepare Hot Dogs in Crescents. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll lowest-sodium, lowest-fat hot dogs in refrigerated crescent rolls. Place on baking sheet; bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Serve them with mustard and pickle relish. Add deli carrot salad. For dessert, top fresh pineapple with shredded coconut.

12/ 23

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Invite guests for Lamb Kebabs. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 2 1/2 pounds lamb (cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes), 1/4 cup olive oil and 4 fresh rosemary sprigs. Chill 3 hours. Remove lamb; discard marinade. Divide lamb among 8 metal skewers. Alternate lamb with red onion quarters (using 2 onions), 1-inch green bell pepper pieces (1 pepper), fresh mushrooms (1/2 pound), a lemon slice (1 lemon) and canned pineapple chunks (1 cup). Sprinkle kebabs with 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Grill, covered, on medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side. Serve the kebabs with rice pilaf, fresh zucchini, a bibb lettuce salad and crusty bread. Buy fruit tarts for dessert.

** ** **

Roasted Pork Loin With Apples and Cinnamon (Sunday)

2-pound boneless pork loin roast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground ginger, divided

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1/2 cup dry white wine (or unsalted chicken broth)

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 apples, cored, peeled and sliced into wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dry pork with paper towels and rub with olive oil, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Roast pork in a shallow pan for 40 minutes or 20 minutes per pound, until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Remove from oven; let stand about 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the other half of the spices with the wine, honey, lemon juice and apple wedges. Simmer in a small saucepan 10 minutes or until apples are tender; stir in any pork roast juices. Serve sliced pork with apples and sauce. Serves 8.

Per serving: 245 calories (percent calories from fat, 35), 23 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams fat (3.1 grams saturated fat), 64 milligrams cholesterol, 47 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Pasta Skillet With Tomatoes and Beans (Tuesday)

6 ounces angel hair pasta

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups chopped tomato

2 cloves garlic, minced

12 to 16 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add tomato and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add cooked pasta, basil, pepper and chickpeas; cook 2 minutes. Spoon into a large serving bowl; stir in cheese and vinegar; serve. Serves 4.

Per serving: 344 calories (percent calories from fat, 23), 15 grams protein, 52 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 9 grams fat (2.9 grams saturated fat), 13 milligrams cholesterol, 410 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Sweet-and-Spicy Glazed Catfish (Wednesday)

4 catfish fillets (about 6 ounces each)

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

3 tablespoons orange marmalade

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (yellow part only)

1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Lemon and orange wedges

Heat broiler. Rinse fish and pat dry. Season each fillet with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. In a small bowl, combine marmalade, lemon juice, paprika, lemon zest, garlic and cayenne pepper. Spread mixture on top of each fillet. Arrange fillets on a rack coated with cooking spray in a broiler pan. Broil 6 inches from heat 8 to 10 minutes or until opaque throughout. Serve immediately with fruit wedges. Serves 4.

Per serving: 202 calories (percent calories from fat, 22), 28 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrate, no fiber, 5 grams fat (1.2 grams saturated fat), 99 milligrams cholesterol, 322 milligrams sodium.

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