7-day menu planner, May 29-June 4, 2024

Credit: 7-Day Menu Planner

Credit: 7-Day Menu Planner

SUNDAY (Family)

The family won’t be able to resist Glazed Lamb Chops (see recipe) today. Serve them with fresh green beans and Mediterranean Market Salad: In a large nonstick skillet on medium heat, warm 1 1/2 Tablespoons canola oil. Add 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli florets, 1 1/2 Tablespoons minced garlic and 1 teaspoon pepper; cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until broccoli is softened. Add 3 cups water and the seasoning packets from any 2 (6.5-ounce) packages wild mushroom (or another flavor) couscous; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in couscous and cover. Let stand 7 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup quartered Kalamata olives. Buy Bread Pudding for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough lamb, salad and bread pudding for Monday.

TIP: If lamb chops are out of your budget, use pork chops.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

Make Stuffed Pitas from Sunday’s leftovers: Chop leftover lamb and combine with the leftover market salad. Moisten with a little plain yogurt. Line whole-grain pitas with lettuce leaves, fill with lamb mixture and serve.

To accompany the pitas, make this Cucumber Salad: Peel, halve lengthwise, remove seeds and slice 2 medium cucumbers. Combine 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint and 3 Tablespoons golden raisins; mix well. Spoon over cucumbers and toss to coat; serve.

Warm the leftover Bread Pudding for dessert.

TUESDAY (Meatless)

There were no complaints at our house when Black Bean Soup was on the menu: In a large saucepan on medium low heat, combine 2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium black beans with liquid, 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth and 1 to 3 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce; bring to a simmer. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until beans begin to break down. Process half of soup in blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Return soup to pan and return to a brief simmer. Off heat, stir in 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt and adjust consistency with additional hot broth as needed. Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lime wedges.

Pair the soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, and you have a quick and tasty no-meat dinner. Serve with a Romaine Salad topped with sliced hard-boiled eggs. Enjoy plums for dessert.


Treat the kids to Chicken Nuggets (from frozen) for an easy entree. Add some honey-mustard sauce on the side. Serve with oven fries (from frozen), petite green peas (from frozen) and dinner rolls.

For dessert, make Kiwi Mint Lemonade: In a medium pan, heat 1 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar on medium, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup packed mint leaves. Let stand 20 minutes to cool. Meanwhile, peel 3 kiwis; cut into chunks. Puree fruit in food processor or blender; pour into pitcher. Strain cooled syrup into pitcher; discard mint. Refrigerate until cold. When ready to serve, add juice from 2 or 3 lemons according to taste. Pour into glasses; top with sparkling water. Garnish each glass with a slice of kiwi.


To save on the grocery bill, we added Fettuccine with Peppers and Sausage (see recipe) to our list of favorites. Serve with a mixed green salad and garlic bread. For dessert, fresh strawberries are colorful.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough strawberries for Friday.

FRIDAY (Express)

Take it easy tonight and prepare Veggie Burgers (from frozen). We always jazz them up with Pepper Jack cheese, lots of sliced dill pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, low-fat mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Serve on toasted whole-grain hamburger buns. Add baked chips. Angel Food Cake with leftover strawberries is dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough cake for Saturday.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

Invite your guests for some melt-in-your-mouth Almond Crusted Pork with Mango Relish (see recipe). Serve with rice tossed with chopped fresh parsley, steamed fresh sugar snap peas and a baguette. For dessert, top leftover Angel Food Cake with sliced peaches and light whipped cream.


Servings: makes 18 rib chops

Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 2 hours

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

3/4 cup dry red wine

1/3 cup orange juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 shallots, minced

2 Tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 Tablespoons olive oil

18 (2- to 3-ounce) lamb rib chops

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 Tablespoons honey

Whisk together wine, juice, garlic, shallots, rosemary, oregano and oil. Reserve 1/4 cup. Pour remaining marinade into resealable plastic bag; add lamb chops. Chill 2 hours. Remove chops from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chops on rack of roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Stir together reserved 1/4 cup marinade and the honey. Broil chops 3 inches from heat for 5 minutes on each side or to desired doneness, basting with honey mixture after 3 minutes.

Per chop: 77 calories, 9 grams protein, 3 grams fat (40% calories from fat), 1.1 grams saturated fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 29 milligrams cholesterol, 132 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0.


Servings: makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 25 minutes, plus pasta

12 ounces fettucine

12 ounces hot or sweet Italian turkey or other sausage, casings removed

2 large red, yellow or orange bell peppers, cut into strips

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 cups dry white wine

1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage on medium-high for 5 minutes or until light brown, breaking up clumps. Reduce heat to medium. Add peppers, onion and garlic and cook 12 minutes or until softened. Add wine; simmer 6 minutes or until liquid is slightly reduced. Add cooked pasta to skillet; toss to combine. Season with the salt and pepper.

Per serving: 361 calories, 16 grams protein, 6 grams fat (16% calories from fat), 1.7 grams saturated fat, 50 grams carbohydrate, 48 milligrams cholesterol, 461 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.5.


Servings: makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes

2 large mangos, peeled, pitted and diced

1/4 cup minced red onion

1/4 cup minced red bell pepper

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

3/4 cup finely chopped toasted almonds, divided

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins

1 1/2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Arugula for garnish

In a medium bowl, combine mangos, onion, bell pepper, vinegar, mint and half the salt and pepper; set aside. Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a shallow container, mix together 1/2 cup almonds, brown sugar, cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Brush pork with oil; season with remaining salt and pepper. Roll tenderloins in almond mixture; place on a foil-lined rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast pork 20 to 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes. Place on serving platter. Top with mango mixture and remaining almonds; garnish with arugula as you serve.

Per serving: 359 calories, 33 grams protein, 15 grams fat (36% calories from fat), 2.4 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 82 milligrams cholesterol, 228 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

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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