> Family Sunday
Pork tenderloin with ginger-peachy glaze (see recipe) is perfect for family day or even for entertaining. Serve the savory entree with couscous, green beans, a lettuce wedge salad and sourdough bread. A piece of lemon meringue pie is a delicious dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pork for Monday; save enough pie for Tuesday.
Shopping list: 30 percent less-sodium seasoned salt, dried thyme, pork tenderloins, cooking spray, all-fruit or sugar-free peach preserves, Worcestershire sauce, ground ginger, couscous, green beans, lettuce, sourdough bread, lemon meringue pie.
> Heat and eat Monday
Use the leftover pork for a quick stir-fry. Heat a little canola oil on medium-high in a large nonstick skillet or wok until hot. Choose your favorite combination of frozen stir-fry vegetables and follow package directions for cooking. Mix in a stir-fry sauce and some leftover cooked pork, cut into strips. Cook until hot throughout. Serve over brown rice and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with mixed greens and bread sticks. How about pears for dessert?
Shopping list: Canola oil, frozen stir-fry vegetables, stir-fry sauce, brown rice, toasted sesame seeds, salad greens, bread sticks, pears.
> Budget Tuesday
We're always ready to save money and to enjoy another version of chicken chili. In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cubed), 2 (15- to 19-ounce) cans rinsed white beans, 2 (14.5-ounce) cans drained diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers (or other spicy tomatoes), 1 cup frozen (thawed) corn. Mix together 1 (1.25-ounce) package slow cooker chili seasoning mix and 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth until blended; add to cooker. Cover and cook 6 hours on low. Serve over cornbread squares (from a mix). Add a romaine salad. For dessert, slice the leftover pie.
Plan ahead: Save enough chili for Thursday.
Shopping list: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, canned white beans, canned diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers (or other spicy tomatoes), frozen corn, slow cooker chili seasoning mix, low-sodium chicken broth, cornbread mix, romaine.
> Kids Wednesday
What kid could resist bean and veggie wraps? Heat 4 fat-free flour tortillas (6- to 8-inch) as directed. In a large nonstick skillet on medium, cook 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms about 5 minutes or until they lose their moisture. Stir in 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed black beans; heat through. Stir in 4 cups fresh spinach leaves; remove from heat. Divide bean mixture among tortillas. Sprinkle 1 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese among the tortillas. Fold one end of each tortilla about 1 inch over filling; fold right and left sides over folded end, overlapping. Fold remaining end down. Open mouth. Eat.
Serve with corn-on-the-cob and celery sticks. Fresh pineapple spears are dessert.
Shopping list: Fat-free flour tortillas, sliced fresh mushrooms, canned black beans, fresh spinach, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, corn-on-the-cob, celery sticks, fresh pineapple spears.
> Express Thursday
Heat the leftover chili and garnish it with shredded 50 percent reduced-fat jalapeno cheese, chopped green onions and reduced-fat sour cream. Serve with a packaged green salad and baked tortilla chips. Kiwifruit is a simple dessert.
Shopping list: 50 percent reduced-fat jalapeno cheese, green onions, reduced-fat sour cream, packaged green salad, baked tortilla chips, kiwifruit.
> Meatless Friday
This chickpea and tomato curry (see recipe) will make you forget about meat tonight. Serve it with basmati rice, a spinach salad and flatbread. For dessert, make instant vanilla pudding with 1 percent milk and top it with caramel sauce.
Shopping list: Olive oil, onion, garlic, fresh ginger, curry powder, canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, lemon, coarse salt, plain yogurt, basmati rice, fresh spinach, flatbread, instant vanilla pudding, 1 percent milk, caramel sauce.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Your guests will enjoy beef kebabs with cucumber yogurt sauce (see recipe). Serve them with rosemary roasted red potatoes, green beans and multigrain rolls. For dessert, buy fruit tarts.
Shopping list: Olive oil, dried oregano, garlic, black pepper, beef top sirloin or beef tenderloin steaks, whole mushrooms, red, yellow or green bell peppers, plain yogurt, cucumber, crumbled fat-free or reduced-fat feta cheese, garlic, coarse salt, fresh rosemary, red potatoes, green beans, multigrain rolls, fruit tarts.
> THE RECIPES
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH GINGER-PEACHY GLAZE (Sunday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
1 1/2 teaspoons 30 percent less-sodium seasoned salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins
1/2 cup all-fruit or sugar-free peach preserves
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoons ground ginger
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, mix seasoned salt and thyme. Rub evenly over pork. Place pork on a rack coated with cooking spray in a foil-lined roasting pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature is 150 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix preserves, Worcestershire sauce and ginger. Spoon over pork during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove from oven; carefully tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
Per serving: 166 calories, 24g protein, 3g fat (14 percent calories from fat), 0.8g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrate, 74mg cholesterol, 254mg sodium, no fiber.
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CHICKPEA AND TOMATO CURRY (Friday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: About 20 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 (14.5-ounce) cans undrained regular fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Plain yogurt for garnish if desired
Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add onion, garlic, ginger and curry powder; cook 5 minutes or until the onions are softened. Stir in chickpeas and tomatoes. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro, juice and salt. Garnish each serving with yogurt if desired.
Per serving: 263 calories, 12g protein, 6g fat (21 percent calories from fat), 0.5g saturated fat, 41g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 1,036mg sodium, 10g fiber.
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BEEF KEBABS WITH CUCUMBER YOGURT SAUCE (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 7 to 11 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound beef top sirloin or beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1-inch thick
8 ounces medium whole mushrooms
2 medium red, yellow or green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
Cucumber Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup finely chopped seeded cucumber
2 tablespoons crumbled fat-free or reduced-fat feta cheese
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
In a large bowl, combine oil, oregano, garlic and pepper. Cut beef into 1 1/4 -inch pieces. To bowl, add beef, mushrooms and bell pepper pieces; toss to coat. Alternately thread beef and vegetables evenly onto 8 (12-inch) metal skewers, leaving small spaces between pieces. Grill kebabs 7 to 11 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning once.
Meanwhile, combine yogurt, cucumber, feta cheese, garlic, pepper and salt to make sauce. Serve sauce with kebabs.
Per serving: 248 calories, 28g protein, 12g fat (42 percent calories from fat), 2.7g saturated fat, 9g carbohydrate, 42mg cholesterol, 223mg sodium, 2g fiber.