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Menu planner for the week of April 25

Menu planner for the week of April 25

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Black bean chili

Black bean corn chili

Family Sunday

Make family day special with ginger pork loin (see recipe). Serve it topped with mango salsa: In a small bowl, combine 1 peeled and finely chopped mango, ½ cup finely chopped red onion, ½ finely chopped cucumber, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, ½ teaspoon lime zest and ¼ teaspoon cumin. Cover and let stand at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours before serving.

Add brown rice, snow peas and whole-grain rolls to round out the meal. Buy a carrot cake for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough pork, rice and cake for Monday.

SHOPPING LIST: orange marmalade, lemon, fresh gingerroot, garlic, Dijon mustard, less-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, boneless pork loin, mango, red onion, cucumber, lime, cumin, brown rice, snow peas, whole-grain rolls, carrot cake.

Heat-and-eat Monday

Use the leftover pork for pork and broccoli stir-fry. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon less-sodium soy sauce and 1 tablespoon dry sherry; add to ¾ pound cooked leftover pork (cut into strips); stir to coat. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil on medium-high heat. Add pork mixture and stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons minced gingerroot and 3 cups broccoli florets; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup water; cover and steam 2 minutes or until broccoli is softened. Stir in 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce if desired. Serve over hot leftover rice and add bread sticks on the side. For dessert, slice the leftover cake.

SHOPPING LIST: cornstarch, less-sodium soy sauce, dry sherry, canola oil, garlic, fresh gingerroot, broccoli florets, hoisin sauce if desired, bread sticks.

Kids’ Tuesday

Treat the kids to the ultimate chicken fingers: Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil. In a resealable plastic bag, combine 2/3 cup reduced-fat baking mix (such as Bisquick), ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, ¼ teaspoon coarse salt and ½ teaspoon paprika. Dip 1 pound chicken tenders (several tenders at a time) into 2 lightly beaten egg whites and then toss in bag. Shake off excess coating mixture and place tenders on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes.

Serve with oven fries (from frozen) and green beans. Peaches are your dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Soak Wednesday’s black beans overnight.

SHOPPING LIST: reduced-fat baking mix (such as Bisquick), parmesan cheese, coarse salt, paprika, chicken tenders, eggs, cooking spray, frozen oven fries, green beans, peaches.

Meatless Wednesday

Black bean corn chili (see recipe) makes an excellent no-meat meal. Serve with a red-tipped lettuce salad and whole-grain rolls. Enjoy pears for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: dried black beans, unsalted vegetable broth, frozen sweet corn, yellow onion, canned tomato paste, garlic, agave nectar, barbecue sauce, crushed red pepper, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, red-tipped lettuce, whole-grain rolls, pears.

Express Thursday

Fettuccine with cherry tomatoes will be on the table in no time. Cook a 9-ounce package refrigerated fettuccine according to directions; drain and return it to pot. To pot, add ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 (6- to 10-ounce) package refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips. Return pot to low heat; toss to coat and heat through. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved) and ½ cup pitted ripe olives (halved). Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste; toss again and serve.

Add a packaged green salad and garlic bread. Fresh tropical fruit is a light dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: refrigerated fettuccine, parmesan cheese, olive oil, refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips, cherry tomatoes, pitted ripe olives, coarse salt, pepper, packaged green salad, garlic bread, fresh tropical fruit.

Budget Friday

For a low-cost meal, try this upscale tuna salad and make tuna paninis: In a medium bowl, combine 3 tablespoons minced red onion, 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, ¼ teaspoon pepper, 3 slices cooked and crumbled bacon and 2 (5-ounce) cans albacore tuna in water, drained and flaked. Mix well and spread on 4 slices sourdough bread. Top tuna with 1 slice provolone cheese and another slice of bread. Heat a large skillet on medium high; lightly coat each sandwich with cooking spray. Grill sandwiches until lightly browned, pressing flat with another heavy skillet throughout cooking time (see TIP). Halve sandwiches and serve.

Add baked chips and apple slices. Enjoy a sugar cookies for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: red onion, low-fat mayonnaise, lemon, fennel seeds, pepper, bacon, canned albacore tuna in water, sourdough bread, provolone cheese, cooking spray, baked chips, apples, sugar cookies.

TIP: Use a panini pan if you have one.

Entertain-the-family Saturday

Dijon chicken (see recipe) has a great flavor for special guests. Serve it with mashed potatoes to catch the sauce and add sugar snap peas, a romaine salad and a baguette on the side. For a special dessert, enjoy key lime pie.

SHOPPING LIST: boneless skinless chicken cutlets, coarse salt, black pepper, olive oil, red bell pepper, sweet onion, low-sodium chicken broth, flour, Dijon mustard, potatoes to mash, sugar snap peas, romaine, baguette, key lime pie.

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