Seven-Day Menu Planner

8/ 30

Family Sunday

Gather the family for HERB-CRUSTED MEDITERRANEAN PORK TENDERLOIN. Place 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin on large piece of plastic wrap. Rub with olive oil; sprinkle 2 teaspoons dried oregano and 3/4 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning evenly over surface. Cover tightly in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight.

When ready to cook, heat grill to medium. Unwrap pork. Make lengthwise cut through center of, but not through, pork. Open, so pork lies flat. Spread 3 tablespoons mixed olive tapenade on half of pork. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese. Fold other half of pork over to form original shape. Tie pork with twine at 2-inch intervals. Grill, uncovered, 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees; turn halfway. Remove pork to cutting board; cover loosely with foil and let cool 5 to 10 minutes. To serve, remove twine and slice.

Serve with ASPARAGUS, ORZO and DINNER ROLLS. Finish with PEACH SHORTCAKE (sliced pound cake topped with fresh peaches and light whipped cream).

PLAN AHEAD: Grill an extra plain pork tenderloin and save enough peaches for Monday.

8/ 31

Heat-and-Eat Monday

No cooking is necessary when (leftover) PORK-APPLE SUMMER SALAD (see recipe) is on the menu. Just add CRUSTY BREAD on the side. Leftover peaches are a simple dessert.

9/ 1

Kids Tuesday

The kids won’t be late for PIZZA MACARONI — two of their favorite “food groups.” In a large nonstick skillet, cook 1 pound lean ground beef for 6 minutes on medium-high or until no longer pink; drain, wipe pan with paper towel and return meat to pan. Stir in 1 cup pizza sauce, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook 3 minutes on medium. Add 2 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni; cook 3 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese.

Serve with CHOPPED LETTUCE SALAD and SOFT BREAD STICKS. Fresh PINEAPPLE CHUNKS are good for dessert.

9/ 2

Wednesday Express

Here’s a new twist on an old favorite of mine, BLT&G (bacon, lettuce, tomato and guacamole). Spread 4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas with 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese; top with some salsa and shredded lettuce; spread evenly. Place 2 slices cooked bacon on each tortilla; top each with 2 tablespoons guacamole. Roll and serve immediately. Add BAKED CHIPS, PICKLES and CELERY STICKS. For dessert, LEMON SHERBET is cool.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough sherbet for Friday.

8/ 3

Meatless Thursday

I confess that I ate almost the entire batch of this VEGETABLE STEW myself! I thinned the few remaining leftovers for soup. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium-high. Add 2 cups diced potatoes and 2 cups chopped onions; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and onions are softened. Add 2 cups sliced fresh zucchini, 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice, 1 cup unsalted vegetable broth and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes on low or until zucchini is tender.

Serve with deli EGG SALAD SANDWICHES on whole-grain bread with lettuce. Pop FRESH CHERRIES into your mouth for dessert.

8/ 4

Budget Friday

Canned tuna is a guaranteed cost-cutter, and TUNA AND WHITE BEAN SALAD (see recipe) has guaranteed good flavor. Serve with ITALIAN BREAD. Leftover SHERBET is an easy dessert.

8/ 5

Easy Entertaining Saturday

No guest will be able to resist your SHRIMP AND PEPPERS OVER POLENTA (see recipe). Serve with fresh GREEN BEANS and a BIBB LETTUCE SALAD. Add GARLIC BREAD.

For dessert, TURTLE TERRINE is only slightly decadent. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with foil; spread with 1 pint softened chocolate-chocolate chip ice cream. Drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel sauce; top with 1 pint softened butter pecan ice cream. Repeat layers once. Freeze until hardened. Remove from freezer, turn upside-down, peel off foil and let stand a few minutes. Slice and top with light whipped cream and toasted pecans.

** ** **

THE RECIPES

PORK-APPLE SUMMER SALAD (Monday)

For the salad:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds cooked (leftover) pork tenderloin, diced

2 ribs celery, chopped

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 medium Granny Smith apple, diced

2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon less-sodium seasoned salt

6 cups salad greens

1/4 cup toasted walnut halves, for garnish

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

In a large serving bowl, mix together pork, celery, onion, bell pepper, apple, basil and seasoned salt. In a separate bowl, mix together vinegar, sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over pork salad and toss to mix. Arrange greens on 4 individual plates; top with pork salad. Garnish with walnuts and serve. Serves 4.

Per serving: 320 calories, 34 grams protein, 13 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 3.5 grams saturated fat, 18 grams carbohydrate, 93 milligrams cholesterol, 496 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

** ** **

TUNA AND WHITE BEAN SALAD (Friday)

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 cup chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed

3 (6-ounce) cans water-packed albacore tuna, drained and flaked

1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained

8 cups mixed greens

Combine all ingredients (except mixed greens) in a large bowl; toss to coat and let stand 15 minutes to blend flavors (if time permits). Arrange greens on a serving platter, top with tuna mixture and serve. Serves 6.

Per serving: 289 calories, 29 grams protein, 9 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 36 milligrams cholesterol, 709 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

** ** **

SHRIMP AND PEPPERS OVER POLENTA (Saturday)

1/2 cup chopped Canadian bacon

1 large green bell pepper, cut into strips

1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 (10-ounce) can no-salt-added or regular diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1 (16-ounce) package refrigerated cheese polenta

In a large nonstick skillet, cook bacon on medium heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned; stir frequently. Add both peppers; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes; cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are pink and opaque throughout. Stir in onions.

Meanwhile, slice and heat polenta according to package directions. Serve shrimp and peppers over polenta. Serves 4.

Per serving: 242 calories, 26 grams protein, 2 grams fat (9 percent calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 188 milligrams cholesterol, 873 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

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