Celebrate BBQ Season with Braised Brisket

SUNDAY: Family day

Try this BBQ Braised Brisket for a family day out. Mix together 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 11/2 teaspoons garlic powder. Squeeze the mixture onto a flat half of a 3 lb. boneless beef brisket. Place fat side up in a 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 liter slow cooker. Combine 3/4 cup barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup dry red wine. Pour the brisket into the stove. Cook at high temperature for 4-6 hours or at low temperature for 8-10 hours or until the meat is tender. Delete; get warm. Remove fat from liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally. Trim fat as desired. Cut diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with sauce.

Garnish with potato salad, mixed greens, and whole grain buns. Buy a chocolate meringue pie for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough beef for Monday and enough pie for Tuesday.

SHOPPING LIST: Chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, flat half boneless beef brisket, BBQ sauce, dry red wine, potato salad, lettuce, whole grain buns, chocolate meringue pie.

MONDAY: Warm up and eat

Celebrate Memorial Day with leftover beef brisket sandwiches on the menu. Serve them on whole grain buns with pickled cucumbers. Add veggie baked beans and coleslaw to your holiday table. How about a light brownie and peach sorbet for dessert?

PLAN EARLY: Save enough brownies for Wednesday.

SHOP LIST: Whole grain buns, pickles, veggie baked beans, coleslaw, light brownies, peach sherbet.

TUESDAY: Lenten meals

Pasta with Tomato Basil Sauce (see recipe) is so easy and so good you’ll want this recipe in your favorites file. Serve with spinach salad and Italian bread. The leftover pie slice is perfect for dessert.

SHOP LIST: packaged chilled fettuccine, olive oil, garlic, canned dried, diced unsalted tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, coarse salt, basil leaves, pepper, Parmigianino-Reggiano cheese, fresh spinach, Italian bread.

WEDNESDAY: Children’s favorite

The kids will be happy to have you serve pizza for dinner. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out one (13.8 oz) chilled pizza crust dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square. Cut the dough into four 6-inch squares. Spread 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce on each square so that the edges are within 1/2 inch. Top with grated carrots, pepperoni slices and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Fold each square in half on top of the filling. Press the edges to seal. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm. For dessert, peach slices and brownie leftovers are all you need.

SHOP LIST: chilled pizza dough, flour, pizza sauce, grated carrots, pepperoni slices, grated parmesan cheese, chopped peaches.

THURSDAY: Budget kitchen

It’s good for your wallet and tastes good at the same time, so try the sausage and pea penne (see recipe) tonight. Serve with a slice of lettuce and garlic bread. For dessert, fresh pineapple is light.

SHOPPING LIST: Whole wheat penne pasta, olive oil, chicken sausage with sun dried tomatoes or other flavor, garlic, tomatoes, coarse salt, unsalted chicken broth, frozen green peas, parmesan cheese, lettuce, garlic bread, fresh pineapple.

FRIDAY: express dinner

Make a quick dinner with crab cakes (frozen) and tartar sauce today. Add toasted potatoes (chilled), broccoli salad and crispy bread. Enjoy fresh blueberries for dessert.

SHOP LIST: frozen crab sticks, tartar sauce, chilled potatoes fried in okroshka, broccoli salad, crispy bread, fresh blueberries.

SATURDAY: light entertainment

Treat your guests to a delicious balsamic-glazed pork tenderloin with lentils (see recipe). Serve combo with fresh yellow pumpkin, arugula salad and baguettes. For dessert, top strawberry ice cream with chocolate sauce.

SHOP LIST: Green lentils, apple, celery, parsley, lemon, olive oil, coarse salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, pork tenderloin, fresh yellow zucchini, arugula, baguettes, strawberry ice cream, chocolate sauce.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be contacted by email: [email protected] Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The menu planner is also available at 7daymenuplanner.com. Read Susan’s blog: Makingthemenu.com.

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PASTA WITH TOMATO-BASIL SAUCE (Tuesday)

Makes: 4 servings

Cooking time: no more than 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes

1 (9 oz) pack of chilled fettuccine

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves minced garlic

1 (14.5 oz) can of unsalted diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup torn basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigianino-Reggiano cheese

Boil pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and salt; cover and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from fire; stir in basil and pepper. Add tomato mixture to pasta; stir to combine. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Per serving: 305 calories, 11 g protein, 11 g fat (32% calories from fat), 2.5 g saturated fat, 43 g carbohydrates, 9 mg cholesterol, 427 mg sodium, 3 g fiber. Amount of carbohydrates: 3

PENNE WITH SAUSAGE AND PEA (Thursday)

Makes: 6 servings

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes plus pasta

12 ounces whole grain penne pasta

1 teaspoon olive oil

5 oz chicken sausage with sundried tomatoes or other flavor, cut diagonally

2 cloves minced garlic

1 pound seeded and chopped tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth

1 cup frozen small green peas, thawed

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Boil pasta according to instructions; drain. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage; cook 3 minutes, turning, until browned. Put the sausage on a plate with a slotted spoon. Reduce heat to medium; add garlic. Cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and salt; cook 2 minutes. Add broth, peas and fried sausages. heating through. Combine pasta, sausage mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Per serving: 289 calories, 13 grams protein, 6 grams fat (17% calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 49 grams carbs, 22 milligrams cholesterol, 346 milligrams sodium, 9 grams fiber. Amount of carbohydrates: 3

PORK TENDERLOOK IN BALSAMIC GLAZING WITH LENTILS (Saturday)

Makes: 4 servings

Cooking time: 20 minutes; Standing time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 16-20 minutes plus lentils

1 cup washed green lentils

1 red apple, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 celery stalk thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 pork tenderloin (1 1/4 pounds)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil; add lentils and cook, stirring occasionally, 20-30 minutes or until soft; drain and rinse under cold water to cool. In a medium bowl, mix lentils with apple, celery, parsley, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the vinegar and sugar. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook 6-8 minutes until browned. Send to the oven; roast 10-12 minutes or until pork is 145 degrees. Drizzle twice with the vinegar and sugar mixture during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove from oven; cover with foil and let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with lentils and any drip from the pan.

Per serving: 465 calories, 45g protein, 13g fat (25% calories from fat), 2.4g saturated fat, 44g carbs, 92mg cholesterol, 208mg sodium, 8g fiber. Amount of carbohydrates: 3

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