Burgers are always welcome around here, and we especially liked these no-meat black bean burgers with cilantro lime aioli (see recipe). Serve on whole-grain hamburger buns, with lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Make or buy potato salad and add coleslaw to go on the side. Pick up some brownies for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough coleslaw and brownies for Monday; save enough potato salad for Tuesday.
Celebrate Memorial Day with family and friends. Everyone will enjoy quick-cured pork loin with mustard-dill sauce (see recipe). Serve it with leftover coleslaw and your own baked beans. Add crusty bread. For dessert, sliced watermelon goes well with leftover brownies. Plan ahead: Save enough pork, baked beans and watermelon for Tuesday.
TUESDAY (Heat and Eat)
Create pork barbecue sandwiches on whole-grain buns with the leftover pork. Slice and heat the pork and top with your favorite barbecue sauce. Alongside, add leftover potato salad and leftover baked beans. There will be plenty of leftover watermelon for dessert.
Grilled sausage with tomatoes and peppers makes a low-cost dinner and a pretty plate. Heat grill or broiler. Thread wedges from 4 ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds) on metal skewers. On other skewers, thread 1 pound Italian sausage (cut into 2-inch pieces) and 1 yellow bell pepper (cut into 8 pieces). Brush each skewer with 1/3 cup balsamic or Italian vinaigrette (discard any leftover vinaigrette). Place skewers on grill or broiler pan. Grill or broil sausage and peppers 7 minutes on each side or until sausage is cooked through. Grill tomato skewers 4 minutes or until hot and the skin is lightly browned in spots. Remove from skewers and serve over a bed of RICE. Add a lettuce wedge on the side and sourdough bread. Try papaya for dessert. Ripen firm papayas at room temperature in a loosely closed plastic bag. Refrigerate ripe fruit in a plastic or paper bag up to three days.
Chicken salad-stuffed pitas are easy. Add a chopped apple and chopped fresh dill to taste to 2 cups deli chicken salad. Pile it into lettuce-lined whole-wheat pitas. Serve with baked chips and tomato wedges. Sliced melon (any) is a good dessert.
Make a quick meal of cheesy chicken crunchers. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In one of three shallow bowls, place 3/4 cup flour with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; in second bowl, whisk together 2 eggs with 1/2 cup 1 percent milk; and in third bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups crushed cornflakes and 1 cup 50 percent light shredded cheddar cheese. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Dip 1 pound chicken tenders first in flour mixture, then in egg mixture. Lastly, roll in cornflakes mixture, coating entire piece of chicken. Place in baking pan. (Discard coating mixtures.) Bake 25 minutes, turning halfway through to ensure even browning. Continue the crunch with carrot and celery sticks and (any) dip. Mashed potatoes are kid-friendly. Peaches are dessert.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Broiled garlic shrimp makes a good company meal. Coat 1 pound uncooked large peeled and deveined shrimp with garlic-flavored or other cooking spray. Place shrimp in a large resealable plastic bag along with 1/2 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs and shake until shrimp are coated. Place them on a nonstick foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 6 minutes, turning once, or until golden and cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges and roasted tomatoes with cannellini beans and capers (see recipe) and a bibb lettuce salad. Add crusty bread. For dessert, island bananas with coconut is light. Grate zest from 2 limes; set aside. Toss 4 medium-firm sliced bananas with 1 tablespoon lime juice. Add 1/4 cup salted peanuts and 2 tablespoons honey; mix well. Spoon into dessert dishes. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flaked coconut and lime zest.
Quick-Cured Pork Loin With Mustard-Dill Sauce
For the pork:
1/4 cup canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin roast
For the sauce:
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
In a small bowl, combine oil, garlic and salt and rub over roast, coating well. Place roast in a resealable plastic bag; seal and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. Remove roast and discard marinade and any accumulated liquid. Place roast on grill. Cover and grill 1 to 1 1/4 hours on medium or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Remove from grill and tent with foil; let stand 5 minutes and slice. For the sauce, in a small bowl combine mayonnaise, mustard, parsley and dill. Serve with pork.
Per serving: 195 calories, 23 grams protein, 10 grams fat (46 percent calories from fat), 2.9 grams saturated fat, 3 grams carbohydrate, 64 milligrams cholesterol, 406 milligrams sodium, no fiber.
Yield: makes 12 (3-ounce) cooked servings
Black Bean Burgers With Cilantro Lime Aioli
For the burgers:
2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 cups seasoned panko crumbs
2 tablespoons canola oil
For the aioli:
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
In a food processor, process half the beans with the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt until blended. Transfer mixture to bowl; mix in egg, remaining beans and panko crumbs. Shape into 4 patties. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Cook burgers 7 to 8 minutes, turning once, until cooked through. For aioli: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, cilantro, juice and chili powder. Mix well. Serve with burgers. (Adapted from Gwynn Galvin’s Swirls of Flavor blog, swirlsofflavor.com.)
Per serving: 398 calories, 16 grams protein, 11 grams fat (24 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 65 grams carbohydrate, 47 milligrams cholesterol, 948 milligrams sodium, 16 grams fiber.
Yield: 4 servings
Roasted Tomatoes With Cannellini Beans And Capers
1 1/4 pounds plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon chopped orange zest
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium cannellini beans
1 tablespoon small rinsed capers, patted dry
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread tomatoes in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and drizzle with oil. Roast tomatoes 25 minutes or until they begin to brown on edges. Remove from oven. Meanwhile, combine parsley, herbes de Provence and orange zest on a cutting board and chop together finely. Add beans, capers and parsley mixture to tomatoes and stir gently just to blend. Return to oven and roast about 5 minutes or until all ingredients are heated through. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 138 calories, 5 grams protein, 4 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 0.5 gram saturated fat, 21 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 269 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.
Yield: makes 4 servings