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Warm up guests with maple pork

 Nothing complements a crisp fall night better than a pork cutlet bathed in maple syrup sauce with tangy apple slices.
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Date published: 10/17/2012

SUNDAY (Family)

Family day will be special with braised chicken with mustard, fennel and tomatoes (see recipe) because the combo will win everyone's approval. Serve it over angel-hair pasta, and add mixed greens and baguettes.

Buy a lemon meringue pie for a good finishing touch.

;"> Plan ahead: Save enough chicken and pie for Monday.

;"> Shopping list: Yellow mustard seeds, fennel seeds, bone-in skinless chicken thighs, coarse salt, black peppercorns, olive oil, onion, dry white wine, fresh parsley, canned diced tomatoes, angel-hair pasta, salad greens, baguettes, lemon meringue pie.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

Turn Sunday's leftover chicken into Indian chicken bake (see recipe). Add flatbread on the side.

Slice the leftover pie for dessert.

;"> Shopping list: Cooking spray, basmati rice, canola oil, cauliflower florets, escarole, mild curry cooking sauce, flatbread.


Treat the kids to beany enchiladas for dinner. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread fat-free whole-grain tortillas with vegetarian refried beans; sprinkle with shredded jack cheese and roll.

Arrange in a baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with enchilada sauce and more cheese. Bake about 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve with a carrot salad.

For dessert, munch on oatmeal cookies.

;"> Shopping list: Fat-free whole-grain tortillas, vegetarian refried beans, jack cheese, cooking spray, enchilada sauce, carrot salad, oatmeal cookies.

WEDNESDAY (Meatless)

Fettuccine with red peppers and cannellini beans is an easy meal. Toss a rinsed 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, cup sliced roasted red peppers (from a jar, drained) and cup fresh lemon juice with hot fettuccine and serve. Add a spinach salad and garlic bread.

Fresh tropical fruits are a simple dessert.

;"> Shopping list: Canned cannellini beans, jar roasted red peppers, lemons, fettuccine, fresh spinach, garlic bread, fresh tropical fruits.

THURSDAY (Express)

Stop by the deli for corned beef and swiss sandwiches.

Pick up some German potato salad and pickled beets to serve on the side.

For dessert, chunky applesauce is all you'll need.

;"> Shopping list: Deli corned beef and Swiss sandwiches, deli German potato salad, pickled beets, chunky applesauce.

FRIDAY (Budget)

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Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: about 40 minutes Makes 4 servings of chicken and sauce now; 4 servings chicken for later

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs (4 to 6 ounces each) teaspoon coarse salt 1 tablespoon olive oil teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed 1 cup onion, coarsely chopped cup dry white wine 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

Directions: 1. Heat large skillet on medium-high. 2. Add mustard and fennel seeds; cook and stir about 2 minutes or until fragrant. 3. Immediately pour out of pan to avoid overtoasting. 4. Finely crush seeds using small food processor, rolling pin, or mortar and pestle. Pour into small bowl; set aside. 5. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. 6. Heat oil in same skillet on medium-high, then cook chicken in batches (if necessary), 5 minutes per side or golden brown. 7. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm. 8. Add onion, cook and stir for 5 minutes or until softened. 9. Add wine, parsley, tomatoes and crushed seeds and stir until blended. 10. Add chicken; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. 11. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove cover and simmer 5 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately. Nutritional information per serving: 196 calories, 18 grams protein, 9 grams fat (39 percent calories from fat), 2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 57 milligrams cholesterol, 336 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber


Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: about 40 minutes Makes 4 servings

3 cups water, divided 1 cup basmati rice 1 tablespoon canola oil 4 cooked leftover chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces 3 cups cauliflower florets 4 cups fresh escarole, shredded 1 (15-ounce) jar mild curry cooking sauce (such as Patak's or another brand)

Directions: 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Coat a 2-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray. 3. Bring 3 cups water to boil in medium pan. Add rice and boil 10 minutes. Drain; spread rice in prepared dish. 4. Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high; add chicken and heat 1 minute. Remove to plate; keep warm. 5. Reduce heat to medium and add cauliflower and escarole. 6. Add cup water; cover and simmer 5 minutes. 7. Stir in cooking sauce and chicken with any accumulated juices. Pour over rice in dish and bake for 15 minutes. Nutritional information per serving: 453 calories, 22 grams protein, 14 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 58 grams carbohydrate, 57 milligrams cholesterol, 620 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber Recipe adapted from: Family Circle magazine


Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: about 15 minutes Makes 4 servings

4 pork loin chops (-inch thick) teaspoon each coarse salt and pepper 2 tablespoons butter 12 baby carrots with tops, halved lengthwise 1 medium apple, seeded and sliced crosswise cup pure maple syrup

Directions: 1. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. 2. In large nonstick skillet, melt butter on medium; add chops and cook 2 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium-low. 3. Add carrots, apples and syrup. Cover and simmer 8 minutes or until chops are 145 degrees. 4. Using slotted spoon, transfer chops, carrots and apple slices to a platter. 5. Bring syrup mixture to boiling; boil gently, uncovered, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. 6. Pour over chops.Nutritional information per serving: 306 calories, 25 grams protein, 11 grams fat (32 percent calories from fat), 5.5 grams saturated fat, 27 grams carbohydrate, 90 milligrams cholesterol, 250 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber Recipe from: "Better Homes and Gardens Budget-Friendly Meals," by Jan Miller and Lisa Kingsley, editors; Wiley Publishing, 2009.