Follows are ideas for a week’s worth of healthy dinners, all in Ahwatukee.
Monday: Head over to Trader Joe’s and pick up some Heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. Take home, toss together and drizzle balsamic vinegar. Need more protein? Buy some pre-cooked “ready to eat” chicken while you’re there. This will make good leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.
Tuesday: Stop by A.J’s and pick up one of three fresh, hot, prepared meals complete with a protein, starch and vegetable. Pricey? Maybe, but one meal can technically feed two adults with mild appetites.
Wednesday/Thursday: Fry’s and Safeway both have two locations in Ahwatukee so head over to either one and pick up two dinners worth of ingredients. For Wednesday, go vegetarian with Black Bean croquettes and V8 Broccoli soup. Purchase low sodium canned black beans, whole wheat breadcrumbs, frozen corn, tomatoes and cilantro. Mash the beans with a fork and combine them with the ingredients you purchased. Form the mixture into small balls and add some olive oil in a bowl with some bread crumbs. Use this to coat your croquettes. Cook at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve with salsa and steamed broccoli.
For Thursday, purchase a cut of pork tenderloin or pork shoulder for a pulled pork sandwich. Get whole wheat buns and cabbage. You will need a slow cooker for this. Do an Internet search for pulled pork and slaw and you will find many ways to easily make this dish.
Friday: Try one of Ahwatukee’s newest restaurants, Secreto. Go for the Ahi Tuna Salad, dressing on the side.
Saturday: Another new restaurant, Pomegranate Café, has brought some excitement to the healthy dining scene in our neighborhood. Technically they don’t serve dinner but head over around 4 p.m. (they close at 4:30) and try pretty much anything on the menu. Save some for later in the evening if the hunger creeps in.
Sunday: If you aren’t going to grandma’s house for a family dinner, keep it simple. Pizza and salad. You earned it after your hard week.
• Michael Murphy is a registered dietitian living in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach him at (480) 415-8803 or visit www.nutritiontoyou.com.