7day menu planner
SUNDAY: Dazzle the family with Romaine Peppercorn-Steak Salad (see recipe). Serve it with roasted red potatoes and Blistered Okra. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss okra in a little canola oil and place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with some coarse salt. Roast until blistered, about 15 minutes, turning after 8 minutes. Arrange on a serving plate and sprinkle with more salt if desired. Add wholegrain bread. Key lime pie is for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pie for Monday.
MONDAY: Buy any package of cooked, carved chicken (or prepare your own) and make Curried Chicken Salad. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and mix with 1 ½ cups fresh peach chunks, ½ cup sliced green onions, ½ cup golden raisins, 6 ounces plain low-fat yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon curry powder. Top with toasted walnuts. Spoon onto a bed of mixed lettuce. Add sliced cucumbers in cider vinegar and naan to the meal. Leftover pie is dessert.
Plan ahead: Prepare enough chicken salad for Tuesday.
TUESDAY: Use the leftover curried chicken salad for Bagelwiches. For one serving: Spread bottom half of a wholewheat bagel “thin” (such as Thomas’ or another brand) with mayonnaise and layer with lettuce, the leftover chicken salad, 2 slices Swiss cheese, 2 slices tomatoes and 2 red bell pepper rings. Top with remaining bagel half. Serve with veggie chips. Add chicken noodle soup if desired. Enjoy fresh plums for dessert.
WEDNESDAY: Change it up with Lentil Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce (see recipe). Serve with a lettuce wedge and garlic bread. Slice cantaloupe for dessert.
Plan ahead: Make the sauce 4 to 6 hours before serving for the best flavor.
THURSDAY: Treat the kids to Tex-Mex Chicken Fingers. Mix 1 ½ cups finely crushed baked tortilla chips and 1 teaspoon cumin on wax paper. Beat 1 egg in a shallow bowl with a fork until frothy. Cut each of 1 pound chicken tenders in half lengthwise. Dip in egg, then coating. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes, turning as needed, or until golden and cooked through. Meanwhile, make dipping sauce by mixing ¾ cup bottled taco sauce, ¼ cup sour cream and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro; serve with chicken. Add Mexican rice (from a mix), sliced avocados and corn tortillas. Enjoy peaches for dessert.
FRIDAY: Keep the food costs down with your own broiled catfish. Serve the fish with Melted Swiss and Mushroom Topper. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add 8 ounces sliced white button mushrooms, 8 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms, 1 medium chopped onion, ¾ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring, or until lightly browned and moisture evaporates from mushrooms. Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in 1 cup coarsely shredded Swiss or Emmentaler cheese and ¼ cup pitted sliced kalamata olives. Season to taste with coarse salt, if desired. Spoon over fish. Add mixed salad greens, corn-on-the-cob and cornbread. Fresh figs are your dessert.
SATURDAY: Take your guests to the tropics for Fiery Island Pineapple Pork Chops (see recipe) for dinner. Serve with rice, steamed fresh zucchini, a bibb lettuce salad and baguettes. For dessert, spoon fresh blackberries over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Romaine PeppercornSteak Salad
1 bunch romaine, coarsely
chopped (about 8 cups) 1 (5-ounce) package baby
1 medium red onion, thinly
2 tablespoons black
peppercorns, crushed 2 (6-ounce) lean beef tenderloin steaks, about 1 ½ inches thick ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 pint grape tomatoes ⅓ cup light balsamic vinaigrette dressing 2 tablespoons finely crumbled
In a large bowl, combine romaine, arugula and onion. Chill.
Meanwhile, rub the peppercorns on both sides of steaks.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high. Add steaks; cook 4 minutes per side for mediumrare. Sprinkle with salt and let stand 5 minutes; thinly slice each steak into 10 pieces.
Toss salad mixture with tomatoes and dressing. Arrange salad evenly on 4 plates. Place the steak on top of salads, sprinkle with cheese and serve. Makes 4 servings. Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 200 calories, 20 g protein, 7 g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 49 mg cholesterol, 483 mg sodium and 5 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1.
Adapted from The All- Natural
Diabetes Cookbook by Jackie Nugent, RDN, CDN; American Diabetes Association
Lentil Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce
6 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (heirloom or homegrown are best)
2 large cloves garlic, minced 15 to 20 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons, plus some for garnish ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil Splash of balsamic vinegar Coarse salt and pepper to
8 ounces lentil pasta Freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired
In a large serving bowl, place tomatoes, garlic, basil and oil. Stir until all ingredients are wellmixed. Cover; macerate 4 to 6 hours at room temperature. Add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare pasta according to directions just before serving; serve with sauce. Garnish with parmesan, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
Note: Macerating sauce for 4 hours is ideal for best flavor, but if you don’t have the time, enjoy immediately.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 386 calories, 14 g protein, 20 g fat, 42 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 10 mg sodium and 13 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 3.
Fiery Island Pineapple Pork Chops
4 boneless pork chops ( ½ inch
4 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning ⅓ cup hot pepper jelly 2 tablespoons pineapple juice 1 teaspoon minced fresh
4 fresh pineapple rings (cored,
½ inch thick)
Coat chops with jerk seasoning; set aside for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, microwave jelly, pineapple juice and ginger on 100 percent power for 30 to 60 seconds or until melted.
Grill pork on medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning once. Baste frequently with jelly glaze. During last 3 minutes of grilling, place pineapple rings on grill. Baste with jelly mixture. Grill pineapple until heated through. Serve chops with pineapple. Makes 4 servings. Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 275 calories, 28 g protein, 8 g fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 86 mg cholesterol, 388 mg sodium and no fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1 ½ .
Romaine Peppercorn-Steak Salad