> Family Sunday
Perk up family day with spicy pork tenderloin with green beans (see recipe). Serve the combo with roasted potatoes, mixed greens and sourdough bread. Buy a lemon pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pie and prepare an extra pork tenderloin for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Stir-fry sauce, spicy barbecue sauce, honey, pork tenderloin, fresh or frozen green beans, sliced almonds, potatoes to roast, salad greens, sourdough bread, lemon pie.
> Budget Monday
Prepare this economical chili for tonight. In a large nonstick skillet, cook 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, 1 chopped onion, 1 small chopped red bell pepper and 2 cloves minced garlic on medium 8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; drain. Spoon into a 4-quart or larger slow cooker; stir in 2 (16-ounce) cans rinsed red kidney beans, 2 (14.5-ounce) cans undrained diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon each black pepper and cumin. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours. Serve over brown rice. Add a lettuce wedge and cornbread (from a mix). Enjoy blueberries for dessert.
Shopping list: Lean ground beef, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, canned red kidney beans, canned diced tomatoes, chili powder, salt, black pepper, cumin, brown rice, lettuce, cornbread mix, blueberries.
> Heat and eat Tuesday
Heat and slice the leftover pork tenderloin along with your favorite barbecue sauce and spoon it into whole-grain tortillas. Wrap and garnish with reduced-fat sour cream. Serve with canned reduced-sodium pinto beans and sliced avocado salad on lettuce. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.
Shopping list: Favorite barbecue sauce, whole-grain tortillas, reduced-fat sour cream, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, avocado, lettuce.
> Kids Wednesday
Call it a funny name like spaghetti with orange and green stripes and the kids will like it. Cook 1 pound spaghetti according to directions. Add 1 pound zucchini and 1 pound carrots (slice into "ribbons") 1 minute before pasta is done. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in same pot on medium. Add 1 clove minced garlic; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Return pasta and vegetables to pot. Add 1 teaspoon each lemon zest and juice and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; toss. Add reserved water as necessary. Serve with cherry tomatoes and the kids' favorite dip and bread sticks. Peaches are a simple dessert.
Tip: Use a vegetable peeler to make the vegetable ribbons.
Shopping list: Spaghetti, zucchini, carrots, butter, garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, cherry tomatoes, kids' favorite dip, bread sticks, peaches.
> Express Thursday
For an easy meal, we tried another of McCormick's "Recipe Inspirations" (pre-measured spices with recipe card). We liked the apple and sage pork chops. Alongside, try refrigerated sweet potatoes, a packaged green salad and whole-grain bread. Buy tapioca pudding for a sweet treat.
Tip: I used only one apple and decreased the olive oil amount recommended on recipe card.
Shopping list: Recipe Inspirations with appropriate ingredients, refrigerated sweet potatoes, packaged green salad, whole-grain bread, tapioca pudding.
> Meatless Friday
You won't miss meat with Mexican lasagna (see recipe) tonight. Serve it with guacamole. Plums are an easy dessert.
Shopping list: Cooking spray, olive oil, onion, zucchini, cumin, canned diced tomatoes with chilies, canned reduced-sodium black beans, no-salt-added corn kernels, canned mild enchilada sauce, fresh cilantro, whole-wheat flour tortillas, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, guacamole, plums.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
For an elegant guest meal, enjoy fillet of sole with white grape and chardonnay sauce (see recipe). Serve it with rice, green beans and baguettes. For dessert, citrus sorbet and butter cookies are perfect.
Shopping list: Leek, white grapes, olive oil, butter, sugar, chardonnay wine, half-and-half, fresh dill, sole (or flounder or tilapia) fillets, rice, green beans, baguettes, citrus sorbet, butter cookies.
Spicy Pork Tenderloin With Green Beans (Sunday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
2 tablespoons stir-fry sauce
2 tablespoons spicy barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 (1- to 1 1/4 -pound) pork tenderloin
3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) green beans
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed shallow roasting pan with nonstick foil. In small bowl, mix stir-fry sauce, barbecue sauce and honey until well-blended. Place pork in pan, tucking under small end. Brush pork with sauce. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven. Arrange green beans around pork; drizzle with any remaining sauce. Sprinkle beans with almonds. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more, brushing pork occasionally with drippings. Remove from oven when pork's internal temperature is 150 degrees; tent pork with foil. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve pork with green beans.
Per serving: 118 calories, 13g protein, 3g fat (22 percent calories from fat), 0.5g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrate, 37mg cholesterol, 117mg sodium, 1g fiber. ** ** **
Mexican Lasagna (Friday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 pound diced zucchini (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans
1 (11-ounce) can no-salt-added rinsed corn kernels
1 (10-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
5 (8-ounce) whole-wheat flour tortillas
1 1/4 cups shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
Reduced-fat sour cream for garnish
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 3-quart round baking dish with cooking spray. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cumin and cook 5 minutes or until zucchini is softened. Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn and enchilada sauce; bring to simmer. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Place 1 tortilla in baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 cups zucchini mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers 4 times; cover with foil and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly around edges and cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)
Per serving: 304 calories, 16g protein, 8g fat (22 percent calories from fat), 2.8g saturated fat, 4g carbohydrate, 13mg cholesterol, 1,069mg sodium, 10g fiber.
Fillet of Sole With White Grape and Chardonnay Sauce (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 20 minutes
10 ounces white grapes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup chardonnay wine
3/4 cup half-and-half
Chopped fresh dill to taste
4 (4- to 6-ounce) sole (or flounder or tilapia) fillets
Dice white part of leek into small cubes; peel grapes and cut into fourths; set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter on medium. Add leek and sugar; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Stir in wine. Bring to boil; simmer 10 minutes to reduce liquid. Stir in half-and-half, grapes and dill to taste.
Meanwhile, in another nonstick skillet, heat remaining oil and butter on medium. Add fish fillets; cook 1 minute on each side or until browned. Serve the fish with sauce. (Adapted from "Chilean Fruit in the Kitchen," Chilean Fresh Fruit Association; recipes by Juana Muzard; price not available.)
Per serving: 371 calories, 24g protein, 19g fat (46 percent calories from fat), 8.2g saturated fat, 20g carbohydrate, 86mg cholesterol, 159mg sodium, 1g fiber.