Serve colorful pork chops Veracruz (see recipe) for family day along with rice and steamed fresh yellow and zucchini squash. Add baguettes. For dessert, raspberry sherbet is refreshing. Plan ahead: Save enough sherbet for Monday.
Black beans with corn and tomatoes takes advantage of garden-fresh vegetables. In a large bowl, combine 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium black beans, 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, 2 teaspoons chopped parsley, 2 cups cooked (and cooled) fresh corn, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; mix well. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve with a lettuce wedge with hard-cooked egg slices and sourdough rolls. Leftover sherbet is a smooth dessert.
Make these four-ingredient Italian beef sandwiches and have them on the table in 15 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a 7-inch diameter loaf of focaccia bread in half horizontally. Layer with 4 provolone cheese slices (1/2 ounce each), 1/4 cup giardiniera (from jar), 3/4 pound deli roast beef slices and 4 more cheese slices. Top with other half of bread. Cut sandwich in fourths and place on a nonstick foil-lined baking sheet. Press down on sandwiches with spatula. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts and sandwiches are hot. Serve immediately with a spinach salad. Try chocolate mint cookies for dessert.
Keep costs down with Monte Cristo strata. Coat a 12-by-7-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place 4 slices deli ham on bottom. Top with 3 slices Swiss cheese and 4 slices whole-grain sandwich bread. Layer with 4 more slices ham, 3 slices cheese, 4 slices bread and 3 slices cheese. In a bowl, whisk together 4 whole eggs, 1 cup 1 percent milk, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour over strata. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 20 minutes; uncover and bake 25 minutes more or until hot. Broil top to crisp if desired. Serve with peas and carrots (fresh or frozen) and a Caesar salad. For dessert, try plums.
Treat the kids to little turkey “cupcakes.” Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-size (or two 6-size) regular muffin pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine 1 pound ground turkey breast, 2 teaspoons canola oil, 1/2 cup quick-cooking rice and 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed chicken and stars soup. Divide mixture and spoon into the muffin pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes before serving with macaroni and cheese, green beans and whole-grain bread. Enjoy grapes for dessert. Plan ahead: Save some turkey cupcakes for Friday.
FRIDAY (Heat and Eat)
Make turkey tacos tonight. In a pan, heat crumbled leftover turkey cupcakes with a little unsalted chicken broth. Spoon into heated taco shells. Top with shredded lettuce, salsa, reduced-fat sour cream and chopped jalapeno peppers. Serve with canned black-eyed peas. Enjoy nectarines for dessert.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Invite friends for rotini with halibut and peas (see recipe). Serve with rice and a traditional Israeli salad (see recipe). Add hummus and pita bread. Dessert is baklava.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: email@example.com. Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The Menu Planner is also accessible at www.7daymenuplanner.com. Read Susan’s blog: http:www.makingthemenu.com.
Pork Chops Veracruz
Yield: makes 4 servings
4 boneless well-trimmed pork chops (about 1 1/4 pounds, 1/2-inch thick)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup thinly sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives (about 20 small)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with salt. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add chops; cook 5 to 8 minutes, turning once, until browned and just cooked through. Remove to a plate; cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Add onion and garlic to skillet; cook on medium for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened and browned. Add tomatoes, chilies with liquid, cumin and cinnamon. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until onions are very tender and mixture is saucy. Stir in olives and lime juice. Return chops to skillet; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.
Per serving: 270 calories, 30 grams protein, 12 grams fat (40 percent calories from fat), 3.1 grams saturated fat, 11 grams carbohydrate, 75 milligrams cholesterol, 668 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Rotini With Halibut And Peas
Yield: makes 6 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
12 ounces halibut, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or other firm white fish)
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 (14-ounce) can unsalted vegetable broth
12 ounces multigrain rotini pasta
Freshly chopped parsley to garnish
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add halibut and cook about 3 minutes or until almost cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove fish with slotted spoon, place in a bowl and set aside. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return fish to skillet; season with salt and pepper and heat thoroughly. Place fish and tomatoes in a bowl and set aside. Heat remaining olive oil in same skillet over medium. Add onion and cook 3 minutes or until onion is softened. Add peas and vegetable broth to skillet. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Process peas and broth mixture in a blender until smooth. Return mixture to skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook rotini according to package directions; drain and return to pot. Add fish mixture to hot rotini and toss. Pour pea sauce on a large platter. Top with fish and rotini mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Per serving: 364 calories, 20 grams protein, 9 grams fat (23 percent calories from fat), 1.1 grams saturated fat, 51 grams carbohydrate, 28 milligrams cholesterol, 146 milligrams sodium, 9 grams fiber.
Traditional Israeli Salad
Yield: makes 6 servings
3 cups chopped tomatoes
3 cups seeded chopped cucumbers
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon coarse salt
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, oil, juice and salt. Toss well to combine, and serve. (Adapted from “Zahav,” Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.)
Per serving: 65 calories, 1 gram protein, 5 grams fat (63 percent calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 327 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.