Mark family day with a feast of Italian roasted pork tenderloin. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mash together (with the back of a spoon) 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and crushed fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 clove minced garlic. Rub over 2 pork tenderloins (about 3/4 to 1 pound each). Bake on a rack, coated with cooking spray, placed in a shallow roasting pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 150 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Slice and garnish each plate with orange slices if desired. Serve with parsley buttered spaghetti, steamed baby carrots, a romaine salad and crusty bread. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pork and pie for Monday; save enough spaghetti for Thursday.
Shopping list: Olive oil, salt, fennel seeds, pepper, garlic, pork tenderloins, cooking spray, oranges if desired, fresh parsley, butter, spaghetti, baby carrots, romaine, crusty bread, Boston cream pie.
>Heat and eat Monday
Use the leftover pork for pork paninis. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto on 8 slices Italian bread. Top 4 slices bread with sliced leftover pork and sliced provolone cheese; top with remaining bread. Coat outer surfaces of bread with cooking spray. Grill on medium-high skillet or panini pan until browned on each side. Serve with bean soup and mixed greens. Leftover pie is your dessert.
Shopping list: Pesto, Italian bread, provolone cheese, cooking spray, bean soup, salad greens.
We really liked the flavor of Creole chicken (see recipe) and its low cost. Serve it over brown rice to catch the juices. Add a spinach salad and baguettes. Bread pudding is the perfect dessert.
Shopping list: Bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, garlic, onion, celery, green bell pepper, canned diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, bay leaf, salt, Creole seasoning, brown rice, fresh spinach, baguettes, bread pudding.
Plan ahead: Save enough Creole chicken for Thursday.
Black beans and rice (see recipe) has lots of flavor and no meat. Serve it with a lettuce wedge with hard-cooked egg slices and Cuban rolls. Sliced kiwifruit is an easy dessert.
Shopping list: Brown rice, onion, green bell pepper, carrots, orange juice, paprika, ground coriander, crushed red pepper, garlic, canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes, canned reduced-sodium black beans, fat-free sour cream, lime, lettuce, eggs, Cuban rolls, kiwifruit.
Make it a quick meal tonight with leftover Creole chicken over hot leftover spaghetti. Toss the spaghetti with some sliced olives. Serve with packaged greens and whole-wheat rolls. Oatmeal cookies are good for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Friday.
Shopping list: Olives, packaged greens, whole-wheat rolls, oatmeal cookies.
Kids will come running for meatball sandwiches. Heat canned condensed tomato soup (thin with water if too thick) with 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, Italian seasoning and pepper; add a package of precooked meatballs (thaw first if frozen). Divide among hero rolls or other sandwich rolls and top with shredded part-skim mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is melted. Serve with carrot sticks. For dessert, how about leftover cookies and some apple slices?
Shopping list: Canned condensed tomato soup, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, pepper, package precooked meatballs, hero rolls, shredded part-skim mozzarella, carrot sticks, apple slices.
>Easy entertaining Saturday
Your guests will enjoy delicious fire-roasted tomato shrimp Veracruz (see recipe). Serve it over rice. Add a sliced avocado salad garnished with reduced-fat sour cream. For dessert, enjoy mango sorbet and butter cookies.
Shopping list: Olive oil, uncooked medium shrimp, green onions, fresh jalapeno pepper, oranges, dried thyme, canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes, rice, avocado, reduced-fat sour cream, mango sorbet, butter cookies.
CREOLE CHICKEN (Tuesday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 6 to 7 hours on low
8 bone-in, skinless well-trimmed chicken thighs
1 clove minced garlic
1 thinly sliced medium onion
1 rib thinly sliced celery
1 chopped medium green bell pepper
2 (14.5-ounce) cans undrained diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, place chicken. Top with garlic, onion, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes and bay leaf. Sprinkle with salt and Creole seasoning. Cover and cook 6 to 7 hours on low. Remove bay leaf and serve.
Per serving: 188 calories, 20g protein, 7g fat (37 percent calories from fat), 2g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrate, 66mg cholesterol, 391mg sodium, 2g fiber.
BLACK BEANS AND RICE (Wednesday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 50 minutes
1 1/4 cups uncooked brown rice
1 medium chopped onion
1 medium chopped green bell pepper
2 medium chopped carrots
1 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced undrained fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans (such as Bush's)
Fat-free sour cream
Cook rice according to directions without salt. Meanwhile, in a 2-quart sauce pan, heat onion, bell pepper, carrots, juice, paprika, coriander, crushed red pepper, garlic and tomatoes to boiling; reduce heat. Cover; simmer about 45 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in beans. In blender or food processor blend one cup of mixture until smooth (see Note). Stir mixture into bean mixture in pan. Cook on medium 3 minutes or until hot. Serve over rice; garnish with sour cream. Sprinkle with additional paprika if desired. Serve with lime wedges.
Note: If you have an immersion blender, use it instead of blender or food processor for easier cleanup.
Per serving: 412 calories, 14g protein, 2g fat (5 percent calories from fat), 0.4g saturated fat, 86g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 143mg sodium, 12g fiber.
FIRE-ROASTED TOMATO SHRIMP VERACRUZ (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus cleaning shrimp
Cooking time: About 12 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound uncooked medium deveined shrimp, tails removed
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 seeded, finely chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon orange zest (orange part only)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (14.5-ounce) can undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until opaque. Remove to a plate; keep warm. Add onions and jalapeno; cook 2 minutes. Add orange zest and thyme; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp; cook 2 more minutes or until heated through.
Per serving: 151 calories, 20g protein, 4g fat (26 percent calories from fat), 0.7g saturated fat, 9g carbohydrate, 168mg cholesterol, 449mg sodium, 2g fiber.