7-day menu planner, June 2-8

Credit: 7-Day Menu Planner

Credit: 7-Day Menu Planner

SUNDAY (Family)

Fire up the grill today for your own Grilled Chicken Breasts and use your favorite spice rub to boost the flavor. Serve with herb-roasted potatoes: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut 2 pounds medium new potatoes into 1/2-inch wedges; place in large bowl. Pour 2 Tablespoons olive oil over potatoes; toss. In a small bowl, blend 2 cloves pressed garlic, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; sprinkle over potatoes and toss to coat. Spread potatoes evenly on a foil-lined, rimmed shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.

Add steamed fresh asparagus and dinner rolls to your meal. Serve these easy fruit tarts (see recipe) for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Grill enough plain chicken (without rub) and save some tarts for Monday.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

Cobb Salad makes good use of leftover chicken. In a large bowl, toss 12 cups torn romaine with 1/3 cup reduced-fat blue cheese dressing; divide among 4 dinner plates. Divide and arrange 2 cups diced cooked chicken, 2 slices cooked and crumbled bacon and 3 seeded and chopped medium tomatoes among the plates. Top each salad with 1 to 2 Tablespoons more blue cheese dressing.

Serve immediately with any Bean Soup and crackers. Leftover tarts are your dessert.

TIP: To make your own reduced-fat blue cheese dressing: Whisk together 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, 2 Tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream and 2 Tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise. Stir in 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley and 1 Tablespoon sliced green onion. Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste.

TUESDAY (Meatless)

Fusilli Vegetable Toss (see recipe) makes an easy no-meat meal. Add a Spinach Salad with hard-boiled egg wedges on the side. Serve with garlic bread. For dessert, halve some kiwis and dig in.


Put extra pennies in your pocket when you serve Beany Sloppy Joes. In a large skillet, combine 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed and drained black-eyed peas, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed and drained kidney beans, 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, 1/2 cup frozen cut green beans, 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder; mix well. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer 12 minutes or until peppers are tender. Spoon onto toasted whole-grain hamburger buns.

Accompany the sandwiches with hash browns (from frozen) and a mixed green salad. For dessert, peaches are the answer.


The kids will be home early for Spaghetti and Meatballs. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 pound 95% lean ground beef, 1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 12 (2-inch) meatballs. Place on rack in broiler pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Meanwhile, cook 8 ounces spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Combine the cooked meatballs and 1 (24- to 26-ounce) jar any red pasta sauce in a large saucepan; heat through, stirring occasionally. Serve over spaghetti.

Add a chopped lettuce salad and Italian bread. Let the kids make refrigerated ready-to-bake brownies for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough brownies for Saturday.

FRIDAY (Express)

Make a quick Pork Stir-Fry tonight. Heat 1 Tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add a 1-pound pork loin cut into 1/2-inch-by-1/2-inch strips and cook 2 minutes or until cooked through. Add 1 (16-ounce) package any frozen vegetable stir-fry mixture and 1/2 cup stir-fry sauce. Continue to stir-fry 3 minutes or until mixture is hot.

Serve it over quick-cooking rice. Add a packaged green salad and whole-grain rolls. Enjoy tropical fresh fruits for dessert.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

What guest could resist Baked Snapper with Tomato-Orange Sauce (see recipe)? Serve with couscous and a Bibb Lettuce Salad.

For dessert, marinated strawberries are close to perfect. Combine 4 cups halved fresh medium strawberries, 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Toss and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Toss before serving. Serve with leftover brownies.


Servings: makes 10 tarts

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: 9 to 13 minutes; cooling time: 30 minutes

1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts

5 cups fresh berries (such as blueberries, raspberries or sliced medium strawberries)

1 (16-ounce) jar strawberry glaze

Light whipped cream

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Unfold crusts; press out fold lines. With 4-inch round cutter, cut 5 rounds from each crust. Fit rounds over backs of ungreased muffin cups. Pinch 5 equally spaced pleats around sides of each cup. Prick each pastry cup generously with a fork. Bake 9 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 30 minutes or until completely cooled. (Remove from muffin cups to cool.) Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine fruit and glaze; stir gently to mix. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until thoroughly chilled. Just before serving, spoon 1/2 cup fruit mixture into each cooled tart crust. Garnish with whipped cream and serve immediately.

Per tart: 242 calories, 2 grams protein, 9 grams fat (32% calories from fat), 3.7 grams saturated fat, 41 grams carbohydrate, 7 milligrams cholesterol, 253 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.


Servings: makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: pasta; chilling time: 2 hours

3 cups fusilli pasta

1 cup fresh broccoli florets

1 cup shredded carrots

1 (14-ounce) can water-packed quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

4 green onions, sliced

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 cup Italian Parmesan dressing

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Cook fusilli according to directions. One minute before pasta is done, add broccoli and carrots and cook 1 minute; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain. Return to pot and stir in artichoke hearts, tomatoes, green onions, oregano and basil. Add dressing; toss to coat. Cover and chill 2 hours. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve cold.

Per serving: 267 calories, 9 grams protein, 4 grams fat (14% calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 48 grams carbohydrate, 2 milligrams cholesterol, 265 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

3 cups chopped red tomatoes (about 2 pounds)

2 cups chopped yellow tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 (6-ounce) red snapper fillets (or grouper or other firm white fish)

Olive oil cooking spray

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine red and yellow tomatoes, onion, wine, orange zest, juice and garlic in an 11-by-7-inch baking dish. Bake 20 minutes. Arrange fish on top of tomato mixture; coat fish with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout. Spoon sauce over fish and serve immediately.

Per serving: 245 calories, 37 grams protein, 3 grams fat (11% calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 17 grams carbohydrate, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 211 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: susan@7daymenu.com. Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The Menu Planner is also accessible at 7daymenuplanner.com. Read Susan’s blog: makingthemenu.com. And check out Susan’s book: “7-Day Menu Planner for Dummies” is on shelves now. Order yours on Amazon.com.

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