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Posted: Sunday, Sep. 14, 2008

Menu Planner, Sep. 14 - Sep. 20

Published in: Food
  • Thursday

    2 tablespoons pickling spice (such as McCormick or another brand)

    1 large onion, cut into thin wedges

    3 to 31/2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken thighs

    1/4 cup flour

    1 teaspoon garlic salt

    1/4 teaspoon turmeric

    1 (14-ounce) can fat-free chicken broth

    1 (14.5-ounce) can drained no-salt-added or regular diced tomatoes

    1 cup (about 6 ounces) pitted dates

    1/2 cup sliced almonds

    PLACE pickling spice in the center of a piece of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Tie tightly with a long piece of string; set aside. Layer onion and chicken in a slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix flour, garlic salt and turmeric. Sprinkle over chicken. Add pickling spice bundle, broth, tomatoes, dates and almonds. Cover. Cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Remove spice bundle and serve.

    Yield: Makes 8 servings.

    Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 4 hours on high; 8 hours on low. Per serving: 320 calories; 27g protein; 25g carbohydrate; 13g fat (36% of calories from fat, 3g saturated fat); 86mg cholesterol; 299mg sodium; 4g fiber.


  • Sunday

    For the flank steak:

    1/3 cup chipotle pepper sauce (such as Tabasco's)

    1 tablespoon cumin

    1 large garlic clove, crushed

    1 pound flank steak

    For the corn salad:

    2 cups frozen corn or corn cut from 4 ears cooked fresh corn-on-the-cob

    2 large chopped tomatoes

    1 small chopped red onion

    1 ripe diced avocado, peeled

    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    1 tablespoon chipotle pepper sauce

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    PREPARE flank steak: In baking dish large enough to accommodate steak, combine chipotle pepper sauce, cumin and garlic; mix well. Add steak. Turn to coat; cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes up to overnight.

    MICROWAVE corn according to directions; drain. In medium bowl, combine corn, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, basil, lime juice, olive oil, chipotle pepper sauce and salt; toss to mix well.

    PREHEAT grill. Grill flank steak 17 to 21 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning once. To serve, thinly slice steak across grain. Serve with corn salad.

    Yield: Makes 4 servings.

    Preparation time: 20 minutes; marinating time: 30 minutes to overnight. Cooking time: 17 to 21 minutes. Per serving: 406 calories; 27g protein; 30g carbohydrate; 22g fat (46% of calories from fat, 4.9g saturated fat); 45mg cholesterol; 470mg sodium; 7g fiber.


  • Saturday

    2 tablespoons fresh flatleaf parsley

    1 clove minced garlic, divided

    1 teaspoon lemon zest

    4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

    4 medium zucchini, cut into ribbons (see note)

    3 medium carrots, cut into ribbons

    1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

    4 (5- or 6-ounce) tilapia fillets

    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    COMBINE parsley, half of the garlic and the lemon zest in a small bowl for the gremolata; set aside.

    HEAT 2 teaspoons oil on medium-high In a large nonstick skillet; cook zucchini and carrots 8 minutes, stirring occasionally or until tender. Stir in remaining garlic and half the salt; cook 30 seconds. Arrange vegetables on a serving platter and keep warm.

    SEASON tilapia with remaining salt. In same skillet, heat remaining oil on medium-high; cook tilapia 5 minutes or until opaque throughout, turning once. To serve, arrange tilapia on vegetables; sprinkle with lemon juice. Evenly top with gremolata mixture.

    NOTE: Use a vegetable peeler to make the vegetable ribbons.

    Yield: Makes 4 servings.

    Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: about 15 minutes. Per serving: 233 calories; 32g protein; 13g carbohydrate; 7g fat (27% of calories from fat, 1.7g saturated fat); 71mg cholesterol; 277mg sodium; 4g fiber.


  • Related Images

    FAMILY SUNDAY

    Grilled Flank Steak With Corn and Avocado Salad

    Gather the family for a really good Grilled Flank Steak With Corn and Avocado Salad (see recipe). It goes well with roasted red potatoes and baguettes. For dessert, chocolate layer cake and fat-free strawberry ice cream will please.

    Plan ahead: Save enough cake for Monday and enough ice cream for Wednesday.

    EXPRESS MONDAY

    Cubano Quesadillas

    For a quick meal, Cubano Quesadillas are easy. Spread 8 (6-inch) fat-free flour tortillas with 1/4 cup yellow mustard. Divide 4 ounces sliced ham, 8 dill pickle slices, 4 ounces thinly sliced roast pork (deli or your own) and 4 ounces thinly sliced Swiss cheese on 4 tortillas. Top with remaining tortillas, pressing firmly. Grill in a large nonstick skillet until light brown and cheese melts; turn once. Transfer to cutting board and let stand 1 minute before cutting into wedges and then serve. Add packaged yellow rice and tomato wedges on the side. Slice leftover cake for dessert.

    KIDS' TUESDAY

    Tex-Mex Mac and Cheese

    The kids will stand in line for Tex- Mex Mac and Cheese. Stir a 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies into a mac-and-cheese mix. Heat through. Serve with celery sticks and soft rolls. Popsicles are dessert.

    MEATLESS WEDNESDAY

    Artichokes With Plum

    Tomatoes Over Linguine

    We really liked the flavor of Artichokes With Plum Tomatoes Over Linguine. Cook 8 ounces linguine according to directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil on medium until hot. Add 1 large finely chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia). Cook 8 minutes or until softened. Add 1 clove minced garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in 1/4 cup vegetable broth, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes. Break up tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in 1 (14-ounce) can drained and quartered artichokes packed in water and 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives. Cook 1 minute or until heated through. Add a spinach salad and garlic bread. Enjoy leftover ice cream for dessert.

    BUDGET THURSDAY

    Moroccan Chicken

    No one will be able to resist economical Moroccan Chicken (see recipe). Serve it over couscous. Add cucumber spears in cider vinegar on the side along with flatbread. Apricots are good for dessert.

    Plan ahead: Save enough Moroccan Chicken for Friday.

    HEAT AND EAT FRIDAY

    Moroccan Chicken

    The flavors of the leftover Moroccan Chicken will be even better tonight. For a change, serve it over brown rice. Serve with mixed greens and whole wheat rolls. Fresh pineapple is an easy dessert.

    Plan ahead: Cook enough brown rice for Saturday.

    EASY ENTERTAINING SATURDAY

    Tilapia Gremolata With

    Vegetable Ribbons

    Invite friends for delicious Tilapia Gremolata With Vegetable Ribbons (see recipe). Serve it with leftover rice, a Bostonlettuce salad and sourdough bread. Buy a cheesecake for dessert and jazz it up with cherry topping.

    Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based registered dietitian. E-mail her at menuplanner@mindspring.com.

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