7day menu plan­ner

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - SU­SAN NI­CHOL­SON Su­san Ni­chol­son can be reached by email: su­san@7day­menu.com

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.

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