It takes a little extra time, but Apple Glazed Pork Loin Roast With Pineapple Stuffing (see recipe) is worth the effort. Serve the combo meal with your roasted red potatoes with bacon. Wrap partially cooked, bite-size red potatoes in 1/2 slice bacon; secure with wooden pick. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and bacon is done. Add a spinach salad and whole-grain bread. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough of the pork entree, dressing and potatoes for Monday; save enough pie for Tuesday.
Yesterday’s Pork and Dressing is good enough for an encore performance tonight. On the side, add any leftover potatoes along with fresh broccoli, a lettuce wedge and whole-grain rolls to round out the meal. Plums are an easy dessert.
Kids will like this ooey-gooey Creamy Chicken and Pasta. Cook 12 ounces penne pasta according to directions; drain.
Meanwhile, heat 1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth in a large nonstick skillet on medium; add 1 pound chicken tenders and cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in 1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese (cut into cubes) and 1 (5-ounce) package fresh spinach leaves. Return to simmer and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 10 halved cherry tomatoes and cook 3 more minutes. In a large bowl, mix together the pasta and sauce. Let stand a few minutes and then serve immediately.
Add green beans and bread sticks. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.
Tip: Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water to thin pasta sauce mixture if necessary.
Make a no-meat meal of Tex-Mex Stuffed Potatoes. Bake 4 (8-ounce) potatoes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped red bell pepper and 1 teaspoon minced garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 (15- or 16-ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce (undrained), 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon minced pickled jalapeno peppers. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Split potatoes, fluff with fork and top with bean mixture. Sprinkle with shredded Monterey Jack cheese; top with reduced-fat sour cream.
Serve with a romaine salad and fat-free tortillas. Make instant chocolate pudding with 1 percent milk for dessert.
This version of White Bean Chili (see recipe) is another good recipe to add to your collection. Serve it with mixed greens and cornbread (from a mix). Keep dessert light with red and green grapes.
Plan ahead: Save some grapes for Friday.
There’s little to do for dinner tonight beyond adding leftover halved grapes and chopped apple to deli Chicken Salad. If you have any walnuts or pecans, toss in a few of those, too. Spoon the salad on lettuce and serve. For a little warmth, serve it with any vegetable soup and flatbread. Fresh pineapple spears are a perfect dessert.
Easy Entertaining Saturday
Treat your lucky guests to Herb-Braised Chicken With Mushrooms and Tomatoes (see recipe); this recipe is going into my keepers file. Serve it over brown rice and add steamed fresh zucchini on the side. Add sourdough bread. Buy or make cherry cobbler for dessert and top it with vanilla ice cream.
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Apple Glazed Pork Loin Roast With Pineapple Stuffing (Sunday)
For the stuffing:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
12 slices dense white bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the roast:
3- to 4-pound top loin pork roast
1 tablespoon dried basil
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
For the apple glaze:
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup less-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup less-sodium Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the stuffing: In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer about 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated before adding the next egg. Add pineapple with juice and bread pieces and stir until evenly coated with egg mixture. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until browned on top; cool 10 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, rub pork roast with basil, salt and pepper. Place roast fat-side up in a roasting pan. In a bowl, add apple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Using a basting brush, baste roast with apple glaze. Place roast in oven and cook 20 minutes per pound or until pork has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes. Slice pork and serve alongside stuffing. Serves 12-15 (3 ounces of meat).
Per serving (stuffing): 223 calories (percent calories from fat, 42), 4 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 10 grams fat (5.4 grams saturated fat), 82 milligrams cholesterol, 274 milligrams sodium.
Per serving (pork roast with glaze): 200 calories (percent calories from fat, 26), 25 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrate, no fiber, 6 grams fat (1.7 grams saturated fat), 71 milligrams cholesterol, 228 milligrams sodium.
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White Bean Chili (Thursday)
1 (12-ounce) package less-fat, less-sodium chicken sausage (such as Al Fresco All Natural or another brand)
1/2 pound ground chicken or ground turkey breast
1 (14-ounce) package frozen blend of onions, bell peppers and celery
1 tablespoon minced roasted garlic (in produce section)
1 (1.25-ounce) package reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans reduced-sodium great northern beans, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (16-ounce) can refried beans with green chilies
Heat a large saucepan on medium-high; add sausage, chicken or turkey, frozen blend of vegetables and garlic. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix; cover and cook 1 minute. Stir in beans, chicken broth, green chilies and refried beans; cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes and serve. Makes 9 cups.
Per cup: 247 calories (percent calories from fat, 20), 19 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 5 grams fat (1.2 grams saturated fat), 50 milligrams cholesterol, 794 milligrams sodium.
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Herb-Braised Chicken With Mushrooms and Tomatoes (Saturday)
2 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (8-ounce) package sliced crimini mushrooms
1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia), halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
6 bone-in skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
In a large deep skillet or Dutch oven, cook bacon on medium for 4 minutes or until lightly browned but not crisp and some fat has been rendered, turning frequently. Add mushrooms and onion; cook and stir about 8 minutes or until onion is softened, stirring occasionally. Mix basil, oregano, salt and chipotle pepper together, and sprinkle evenly over both sides of chicken thighs. Add chicken and tomatoes to skillet. Bring to boil, stirring to get all the browned bits from skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes; turn chicken and cook 15 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally and spooning sauce over chicken. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Per serving: 232 calories (percent calories from fat, 43), 24 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 11 grams fat (3.2 grams saturated fat), 123 milligrams cholesterol, 309 milligrams sodium.