7day menu planner
SUNDAY: Gather the family for your special recipe of grilled pork loin. While the grill is hot, make Grilled Sriracha Cauliflower Steaks. Cut 1 head cauliflower into ½ -inch-thick steaks, cutting through the core. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Place on medium grill. Turn after 5 minutes and brush with Sriracha sauce. Turn again after 5 minutes and brush other side with sauce. Turn several times at 5-minute intervals or until cauliflower is tender, brushing with sauce after each turn. Remove from heat. Add fresh or frozen green peas for a pretty plate and whole-grain bread. Fresh Apple Squares (see recipe) are a delicious dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pork and apple squares for Monday. MONDAY: Enjoy leftovers with Pork Paninis. Heat a ridged grill pan or large skillet on medium. Meanwhile, lay 8 ( ½ -inch-thick) country white bread slices on a cutting board; coat with cooking spray. Turn 4 slices and spread other side with 1 tablespoon bottled mango chutney. Turn and top remaining 4 slices with 2 slices each leftover pork, slices of red onion, drained roasted red peppers (from a 12-ounce jar) and sliced Jarlsberg or other cheese. Cover with other bread slices, chutney-side down. Grill 4 to 5 minutes, turning once, until cheese melts. Serve with vegetable chips. Munch on leftover apple squares for dessert.
TUESDAY: It’s fast and delicious, so Zucchini a la Toscana won’t disappoint. Cook 8 ounces of your favorite pasta; drain. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on low. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Stir in 3 cups garden vegetable pasta sauce and ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley. Add 1 ½ pounds zucchini (halved lengthwise and sliced), ⅛ teaspoon coarse salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Cook, covered, 20 to 30 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Spoon over pasta. Serve with a spinach salad and garlic bread. Nectarines are your dessert.
WEDNESDAY: Call it Pizza Baked Potatoes and then call the kids. Bake 4 medium potatoes any way you prefer. Meanwhile, heat 1 ½ cups chunky spaghetti sauce. Spoon sauce over slashed hot baked potatoes. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Garnish with the kids’ favorite pizza toppings. Serve with carrot salad. For dessert, fresh apricots are quick. THURSDAY: We really liked Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs (see recipe). Serve corn-on-thecob, sliced tomatoes and crusty rolls alongside. Fresh peaches are dessert.
FRIDAY: With a few convenience items, you’ll have Roasted Sausages, Peppers and Potatoes on the table in no time. Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, add 3 medium onions (coarsely chopped) and 3 or 4 red, yellow or orange bell peppers cut into evensize chunks. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and sprinkle with coarse salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix well; spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Place 4 to 6 links uncooked Italian sausages among the vegetables. Roast 25 to 30 minutes or until sausages are cooked through and vegetables are browned. Serve with packaged salad greens and whole-grain rolls. Pop some fresh blueberries in your mouth for dessert. SATURDAY: Invite friends for a special dinner of Quinoa Pilaf With Seared Scallops (see recipe). Serve with sugar snap peas and baguettes. Make Mango Splits for dessert. Place mango slices on a dessert plate (or banana split dish); spoon dabs of vanilla ice cream in center of the mango slices; drizzle with caramel sauce and top with whipped cream.
THE RECIPES Fresh Apple Squares
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed light brown sugar 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest ¾ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon coarse salt ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon nutmeg 3 tablespoons canola oil ¼ cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
2 medium-size tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Work in oil and apple juice concentrate with your fingers until coarse crumbs form. Firmly press 2 cups of the oat mixture into prepared pan. Arrange apples over crust in three rows. Mix walnuts into remaining oat mixture. Sprinkle walnut mixture evenly over apples and pat firmly into an even layer. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until top is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife (or 165 degrees). Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Makes 16 squares.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs
8 slices bacon
8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs ½ cup cornmeal 1 teaspoon coarse salt 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave bacon 30 seconds to 1 minute on high (100 percent power) or until limp. Wrap thighs with the bacon. In a flat dish, combine cornmeal, salt, paprika and pepper. Coat chicken in mixture. Arrange on wire rack coated with cooking spray; place in a foil-lined broiler pan. Coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake 30 minutes; turn, bake 10 more minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees, and serve.
Makes 8 servings.
Quinoa Pilaf With Seared Scallops
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive
oil, divided use
3 green onions, sliced, green
and white parts separated 1 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 medium navel oranges ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds ¼ cup chopped cilantro 1 teaspoon cumin, divided use ½ teaspoon ground coriander, divided use ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
12 sea scallops (about 1 pound)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan on medium. Add onion whites; cook 1 minute or until they begin to brown. Add quinoa; cook, stirring 1 more minute, until toasted and fragrant. Add water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, over a large bowl, peel orange, removing pith. Cut segments from membranes into bowl. Add chopped onion greens, almonds, cilantro, ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon coriander and salt to bowl; stir gently to combine. Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of scallops with remaining cumin and coriander. Heat remaining oil in a large iron skillet on medium-high. Add scallops; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden. Do not overcook. Add quinoa to a serving bowl, along with the orange mixture. Gently combine; add scallops to top and serve.
Makes 4 servings.