7day menu planner


Photographs by Courtesy of Kristina LaRue

Quinoa Taco Salad Bowls

SUNDAY: Forget the same ol', same ol' for family day and enjoy pork chops with sauerkraut and apples. Heat a large skillet on medium. Brown four well-trimmed pork loin chops (about 1 pound total) on both sides 4 or 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups refrigerated sauerkraut (rinsed and drained), 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion, 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, 2 chopped Granny Smith apples and 1/4 cup chicken broth. Add to skillet; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until apples and pork are tender. Serve with mashed sweet potatoes and rye rolls. Carrot cake is for dessert.

Plan ahead: Prepare brown rice for Monday. Save enough cake for Wednesday.

MONDAY: Southwestern Rice and Beans (see recipe) is a great-tasting way to save food dollars. Serve it with sliced avocados and tortilla chips. Cool lime sherbet is your dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough rice and beans and sherbet for Tuesday.

TUESDAY: There won't be any heat but lots of flavor in stuffed tomatoes. Choose medium or large tomatoes and scoop out seeds and pulp. Stuff with the leftover rice and beans and serve. Add a bowl of beef barley soup, a spinach salad and crusty rolls. Scoop the leftover sherbet for dessert.

WEDNESDAY: Skip meat tonight and be bowled over with Quinoa Taco Salad Bowls (see recipe) for dinner. Serve it with hard-cooked egg wedges. Slice the leftover cake for dessert.

THURSDAY: Not Your Mother's Stroganoff (see recipe) makes good use of convenience products, has a great flavor and is so easy. Serve it with salad greens and whole-grain rolls. Fresh tropical fruits make a refreshing dessert.

FRIDAY: Let the kids choose their favorite burgers, whether lean beef, turkey or vegetable, for burger night. Serve them on whole-grain buns and add whatever accompaniments the kids will love. Add a carrot salad and veggie chips. Kiwi is a perfect dessert.

SATURDAY: Invite guests for simple and tasty Honey Lime Tuna. In a glass dish, combine 1/4 cup canola oil, 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil. Add 1 pound tuna steaks. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove tuna. Grill each side 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Baste with leftover marinade during grilling; discard remaining marinade. Allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes and serve. Serve the tuna with brown rice with toasted slivered almonds, grilled zucchini, a Boston lettuce salad and baguettes. Cheesecake with fresh strawberries is dessert.


Southwestern Rice and Beans

For the salad:

3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled

1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans or black beans, rinsed

1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed

1 cup sliced celery

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia

1/4 cup chopped parsley

For the vinaigrette:

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup water

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Leaf lettuce

In a large salad bowl, combine the rice, both beans, peas, celery, tomatoes and green chiles, onion and parsley. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss to mix. Cover and chill. Serve on leaf lettuce.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with reduced-sodium beans) contains approximately 355 calories, 13 g protein, 11 g fat, 53 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 257 mg sodium and 11 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 3 1/2.

Quinoa Taco Salad Bowls

8 cups chopped romaine

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup cooked black beans

1 cup chopped mango

4 plum tomatoes, diced

2 cups crushed blue corn chips

2 small diced Hass avocados

1/2 cup fresh salsa

In each serving bowl, layer romaine. Arrange quinoa, beans, mango, tomatoes, corn chips, avocados and salsa in rows. Serve. (Adapted from registered dietitians Kristina LaRue's food blog loveandzest.com.)

Makes 4 bowls.

Nutrition information: Each bowl contains approximately 431 calories, 12 g protein, 20 g fat, 57 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 82 mg sodium and 16 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 4.

Not Your Mother's Stroganoff

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 sliced red bell pepper (1/4 inch thick)

8 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms

11/2 cups water

6 ounces extra-wide egg noodles

1 (17-ounce) package fully cooked beef pot roast

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a Dutch oven or large pot, combine butter, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, water and noodles. Cover and bring to boil on medium-high. Remove cover when mixture begins to boil. Boil 5 or 6 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, remove pot roast from package (reserving gravy) and cut into bite-size pieces. Stir beef and reserved gravy into noodle mixture. Cook, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes or until hot, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in yogurt or sour cream and season with pepper. Serve.

Makes 5 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with no-yolk noodles and Greek yogurt) contains approximately 307 calories, 28 g protein, 7 g fat, 32 g carbohydrate, 61 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 2.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:


Food on 09/13/2017

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