7day menu plan­ner

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NOTHWEST/TELEVISION - su­san@7day­menu.com SU­SAN NI­CHOL­SON Su­san Ni­chol­son is an At­lanta-based cook­book au­thor and reg­is­tered di­eti­tian. She can be reached by email:

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

feta cheese

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 .

Cour­tesy of Amer­i­can Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion and Tara Donne Pho­tog­ra­phy

Ro­maine Pep­per­corn-Steak Salad

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