- Susan Nicholson Seven-Day Menu Planner
Make the day special and serve Roasted Pork Loin With Pine Nut Stuffing (see recipe). Serve the juicy pork roast with aromatic basmati rice. Add a red-tip lettuce salad and naan. Slice angel food cake for dessert and top it with a dab of strawberry ice cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough pork, rice and cake for Monday. Save enough ice cream for Tuesday.
Warm the leftover Pork Slices. Toss cooked tiny green peas (from frozen) with warmed leftover rice and stir in chopped fresh mint. Add whole-grain rolls. Spoon peaches over leftover cake for dessert.
Start with a few ingredients and end with Chicken-Tabbouleh Toss. You’ll need 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (from rotisserie or other cooked chicken) and 2 cups tabbouleh from the deli. Toss them both with Dole’s (or another brand) Sunflower Ranch Salad kit using half the salad dressing. Serve with crusty rolls. Scoop leftover ice cream for dessert.
Tip: Use your favorite salad kit if you can’t find the Sunflower Ranch kit.
For an easy budget meal, Italian White Beans With Chicken has a good flavor. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium. Add 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil and 1 clove minced garlic. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, 1/2 cup drained chopped sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed), 1/4 cup sliced black olives and 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium white beans. Cook, stirring frequently, until hot. Serve with mixed greens and garlic bread. Fresh pears are dessert.
Tip: Press tomatoes between several layers of paper towels to remove excess oil.
Make it slow cooker time with Lentil Stew (see recipe). Serve with mixed greens and sourdough bread. Plums are a simple dessert.
Ham and Cheese Melt will satisfy kids and adults, too. Spread one side of 8 slices multigrain bread with 1/2 teaspoon softened butter. Place 4 slices bread, buttered side down, on grill. Add 4 thin slices provolone cheese, 4 well-drained pineapple rings and 4 thin slices ham. Add second slices of bread, buttered side up. Cook over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes per side or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Serve with oven fries (from frozen). Dip apple slices in vanilla yogurt for dessert.
Easy Entertaining Saturday
Invite guests for simple and delicious Seared Shrimp With Peas and Yellow Rice (see recipe). Serve with a romaine salad and baguettes. Bread pudding is dessert.
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Roasted Pork Loin With Pine Nut Stuffing (Sunday)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1 (15-ounce) can pears, drained and diced
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin roast, well-trimmed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat; stir in spinach, bread crumbs, pears, pine nuts, salt, sage, pepper and thyme. Set aside. Cut a lengthwise pocket in roast to 1/2 inch of ends and uncut side. Spoon stuffing into pocket; tie securely with heavy string. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place on rack in large roasting pan. Bake 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven; cover and let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Makes 15 servings.
Per serving: 224 calories (percent calories from fat, 43), 26 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 11 grams fat (3.3 grams saturated fat), 68 milligrams cholesterol, 107 milligrams sodium.
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Lentil Stew (Thursday)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
3 cups water
1 small acorn squash (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups marinara sauce
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium baking potato cut, into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut green beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water (if needed)
Combine lentils and water in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine squash, marinara sauce, bell pepper, potato, onion and garlic; mix well. Add to slow cooker. Cook on low 6 hours; add green beans and oil. If too thick, stir in additional water. Cook 1 more hour or until lentils and vegetables are done; serve. Makes about 14 cups.
Per 1-cup serving: 140 calories (percent calories from fat, 11), 8 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 2 grams fat (0.3 gram saturated fat), no cholesterol, 175 milligrams sodium.
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Seared Shrimp With Peas and Yellow Rice (Saturday)
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1 (12-ounce) package yellow rice mix (such as Zatarain’s or another brand)
3/4 cup green peas (thawed from frozen)
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Lemon slices for garnish
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add 1/3 of the shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until browned on both sides. Remove shrimp; keep warm. Repeat with remaining shrimp and oil as needed. Add water and butter to same skillet; bring to a boil. Stir in rice mix; return to bowl. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in shrimp, peas, onions and juice until well-mixed. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with lemon slices. Serves 4.
Per serving: 490 calories (percent calories from fat, 18), 32 grams protein, 70 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 198 milligrams cholesterol, 1,328 milligrams sodium.