A week's worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families.
SUNDAY: Prepare your roasted pork tenderloins and serve with Roasted Root Vegetables With Pecans (see recipe). Add a green salad and whole-grain rolls. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pork and Boston cream pie for Monday.
MONDAY: Heat Sunday's leftovers and make pork sandwiches with Swiss cheese on rye bread spread with honey mustard. Serve with vegetable soup on the side. Slice the leftover Boston cream pie for dessert.
TUESDAY: Prepare budget-wise Chicken Sausage, Pepper and Onions for dinner. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Arrange 2 packages (about 14 ounces) chicken sausages on one side of skillet; cover and cook 6 minutes. Cut 2 green bell peppers into strips and add to other side of skillet; cook 2 minutes. Meanwhile, cut 1 medium onion in half lengthwise, then lengthwise again into thin strips; add to peppers. Turn sausages. Cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausages are lightly charred and cooked through and vegetables are lightly browned and softened. Serve with hash-browned potatoes and whole-grain bread. Try kiwi for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough sausages and vegetables for Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY: Split the leftover sausages and heat them along with the vegetables. Top sliced, toasted hoagies with the mixture, and you'll have a kid-friendly meal. Serve with oven fries, celery sticks, cherry tomato halves and vegetable dip. For dessert, pineapple spears are fun.
THURSDAY: Cheese Tortellini With Tomato Pesto Sauce makes a quick meal. Mix sun-dried tomato pesto with canned diced tomatoes. Heat, then toss with cooked cheese tortellini (from frozen or refrigerated). Serve with mixed greens and garlic bread. Orange slices are good for dessert.
FRIDAY: This Edamame Lo Mein (see recipe) is nothing like the takeout version. Serve it with a spinach salad and bread sticks. Enjoy fresh tropical fruits for a refreshing dessert.
SATURDAY: Any guest will enjoy Peach-Spiced Lamb Chops (see recipe). Serve with brown rice tossed with toasted almonds, green beans, a green salad and flatbread. Buy fruit tarts for dessert.
Roasted Root Vegetables With Pecans
3 medium carrots, peeled
3 medium parsnips, peeled
2 large golden beets, peeled
8 ounces baby purple potatoes
3 tablespoons olive or pecan oil
1½ teaspoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup pecan pieces
¼ cup chopped parsley
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil.
Remove stems and root tips from carrots, parsnips and beets and chop into 1½-inch pieces. Halve or quarter potatoes according to size. Spread vegetables onto baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and golden on edges. Sprinkle with pecans and parsley before serving.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 184 calories, 2 g protein, 12 g fat, 19 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 406 mg sodium and 5 grams fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1.5.
Edamame Lo Mein
8 ounces spaghetti
2 cups frozen edamame or baby lima beans
4 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup oyster sauce (vegetarian or regular)
¼ cup unseasoned rice-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons toasted (dark) sesame oil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup shredded carrots
2 small red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
Cook spaghetti and edamame in boiling water according to package directions or for 8 to 10 minutes; drain.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together green onions, oyster sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and crushed red pepper until sugar is dissolved.
Heat canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add carrots and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pasta and edamame. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is crispy in spots. Add sauce, stir to combine, and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 415 calories, 21 g protein, 10 g fat, 62 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 1,139 mg sodium and 13 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 4.
Peach-Spiced Lamb Chops
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon black pepper
8 (4-ounce) bone-in lamb loin chops, trimmed
⅓ cup peach preserves
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, onion powder, chile powder, paprika, oregano, ginger, allspice and black pepper; mix well. Rub mixture evenly over lamb chops.
Coat a grill pan with cooking spray; heat to medium-high. Add chops; cook 3½ minutes on each side. Brush each chop with about 1 teaspoon preserves. Turn; cook 1 minute. Brush with remaining preserves. Remove from heat and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 274 calories, 26 g protein, 9 g fat, 22 g carbohydrate, 82 mg cholesterol, 206 mg sodium and 1 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1.5.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:
Food on 12/05/2018
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner