7-day menu planner, June 23-29

Credit: 7-Day Menu Planner

Credit: 7-Day Menu Planner

SUNDAY (Family)

Serve the family Stuffed Pork Loin with Tropical Salsa (see recipe) and be ready for compliments. Enjoy the juicy pork with couscous and fresh green beans. Add sourdough bread. Slice pound cake and top it with strawberries for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough pork for Monday.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

Use the leftover pork for Soft Tacos with Pork. Cut leftover pork into strips. Spread warm corn tortillas with heated canned vegetarian refried beans. Top with pork, shredded lettuce, chopped onion and chunky salsa. Roll and eat. Serve with sliced steamed zucchini and sliced avocado. Make Flan (from a mix) for dessert.

TUESDAY (Budget)

Two-Cheese Pasta saves money and time. Cook 10 ounces rotini (twists) according to directions and add 2 cups (loosely packed) frozen cauliflower, broccoli and carrot mixture during the last 5 minutes of cooking; drain. In the heated saucepan, combine 1 cup 1% milk, 3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook and stir on low until cream cheese melts. Return pasta and vegetable mixture to pasta pot. Toss to coat with cream cheese mixture. Stir in 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with mixed salad greens and garlic bread. Fresh pineapple chunks with toasted coconut is a light dessert.


Be a hero by making a fast meal of Meatball Heroes. Heat broiler. In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, heat 1 (12-ounce) package frozen precooked turkey meatballs (thawed), 1 1/2 cups red pasta sauce and 1/4 cup water until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 5 minutes or until meatballs are heated through; stir occasionally. Meanwhile, place 4 hero (or other) sandwich rolls (sliced horizontally almost through) cut side up on a large cookie sheet. Sprinkle rolls with 1/2 to 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Spoon meatballs and sauce onto bottom of rolls; close sandwiches and cut in half. Serve with baked potato chips, dill pickles and a lettuce wedge salad. Nectarines are dessert.


Who can resist Mexican Pizza for flavor and simplicity? Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place a 10-ounce ready-to-bake whole-grain thin pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread with 1 (16-ounce) can vegetarian refried beans; sprinkle with 1 cup (4 ounces) packaged reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until crust is crisp and cheese melts. Top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, mild taco sauce and chopped cilantro. Slice and serve with carrot sticks. For dessert, make instant Chocolate Pudding with 1% milk and add some sliced bananas.

FRIDAY (Meatless)

Skip meat and serve Greek Isle Pasta (see recipe). Add a Romaine Salad and Italian Bread. Red and green grapes are dessert.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

Special guests will appreciate your Cilantro Lime Chicken (see recipe). Serve with rice. Add fresh asparagus, an Arugula Salad and baguettes to accompany your delicious meal. For dessert, Cheesecake with raspberries and toasted sliced almonds makes for a special ending to a fine meal.


Servings: makes 12 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes per pound; standing time: 10 minutes

1 Tablespoon butter

6 large thinly sliced onions

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin roast

2 cups salsa

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter on medium. Add onions; cook and stir 15 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in pine nuts; remove from heat and cool slightly. Butterfly and stuff roast (see note) with about 2 cups onion mixture. Tie roast. Spread remaining onion mixture evenly on bottom of baking dish. Place roast on top of mixture. In saucepan, combine salsa and pineapple. Cook and stir until thoroughly heated. Pour mixture over roast. Bake 20 minutes per pound or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven and tent with foil. Let stand 10 minutes. Slice and serve roast with salsa mixture.

Note: “Butterfly” means to cut almost through and open sides to resemble a butterfly.

Per serving: 253 calories, 25 grams protein, 11 grams fat (40% calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 67 milligrams cholesterol, 210 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.


Servings: makes 8 servings

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: pasta only

12 ounces radiatori (or ruffles) pasta

1 cup sliced kalamata olives, rinsed

1 (28-ounce) can drained petite diced tomatoes

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, rolled together and thinly sliced

3 Tablespoons olive oil

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Meanwhile, combine olives, tomatoes, basil and oil and mix well. Stir and spoon sauce over pasta. Serve at room temperature. Garnish with Parmesan if desired.

Per serving: 272 calories, 7 grams protein, 10 grams fat (35% calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 449 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.5.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 to 14 minutes

For the salsa:

2 cups fresh corn kernels (4 medium ears)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 Tablespoons minced fresh red onion

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cilantro lime seasoning or taco seasoning

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For the chicken:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)

1 Tablespoon cilantro lime seasoning or taco seasoning

1 Tablespoon olive oil

For the salsa: In a large mixing bowl, combine corn kernels, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, 1 teaspoon cilantro lime seasoning (or taco seasoning) and salt. Stir until combined and set aside. For the chicken: Rub both side of chicken with cilantro seasoning or taco seasoning. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil on medium heat and cook chicken until cooked through, turning once, for about 5 to 7 minutes per side (until it reaches 165 degrees internal temperature). Arrange chicken on serving platter and top with fresh corn salsa. Garnish with lime slices and cilantro.

Per serving: 290 calories, 41 grams protein, 7 grams fat (21% calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 17 grams carbohydrate, 124 milligrams cholesterol, 353 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: susan@7daymenu.com. Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The Menu Planner is also accessible at 7daymenuplanner.com. Read Susan’s blog: makingthemenu.com. And check out Susan’s book: “7-Day Menu Planner for Dummies” is on shelves now. Order yours on Amazon.com.

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