SUNDAY: Family day
Gather the family for a roast turkey breast (use package directions). Add mashed potatoes, fresh broccoli au gratin, a mixed greens salad and dinner rolls. Buy a cherry crisp for dessert.
PLAN AHEAD: Save enough mashed potatoes for Monday; save enough crisp for Tuesday.
SHOPPING LIST: whole turkey breast, potatoes to mash, fresh broccoli, au gratin sauce, salad greens, dinner rolls, cherry crisp.
MONDAY: Kids favorite
Children and adults alike will enjoy mini meatloaves (see recipe). Serve with leftover mashed potatoes and frozen tiny green peas. Add soft breadsticks. For dessert, munch on peanut butter cookies.
PLAN AHEAD: Save two meatloaves for Tuesday.
SHOPPING LIST: 1 percent milk, egg, lean ground beef, dry bread crumbs, ranch dressing mix, less-sodium Worcestershire sauce, 50 percent light cheddar cheese (if desired), frozen tiny green peas, soft breadsticks, peanut butter cookies.
TUESDAY: Heat and eat
The family will be amazed at how you turned leftover meatloaf into apple-raisin pizza. Crumble the two leftover meatloaves over a ready-to-bake large pizza crust. Sprinkle with 1 thinly sliced Granny Smith apple (peeled and cored), golden raisins, some chopped celery and shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. Bake according to package directions. Serve with a green salad. Warm the leftover crisp and top with vanilla ice cream.
PLAN AHEAD: Save extra ice cream for Friday.
SHOPPING LIST: ready-to-bake large pizza crust, Granny Smith apple, golden raisins, celery, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, salad greens, vanilla ice cream.
WEDNESDAY: Meatless meal
It’s easy and delicious, so Vidalia onion and rice casserole (see recipe) works for a no-meat entree. Add a spinach salad with egg wedges and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, enjoy banana pudding made with 1 percent milk.
SHOPPING LIST: brown rice, butter, Vidalia or other sweet onions, 1 percent milk, Swiss cheese, cooking spray, fresh spinach, eggs, whole-grain rolls, instant banana pudding.
THURSDAY: Budget dining
When your food budget needs a little help, tuna melts can come to the rescue. Top both halves of whole-grain English muffins with deli (or your own) tuna salad and a slice of American cheese. Add a slice of tomato if desired. Broil until the cheese melts. Serve with oven fries (frozen) and bell pepper rings. Peaches are a simple dessert.
SHOPPING LIST: whole-grain English muffins, deli or your own tuna salad, sliced American cheese, tomatoes (if desired), frozen oven fries, bell peppers, peaches.
FRIDAY: Express cooking
For a quick meal, pan-fried ham steaks are hard to beat, especially when you accompany the ham with refrigerated polenta (follow the package directions). Pick up deli Waldorf salad and biscuits, and you’re almost home. Leftover ice cream makes a cool dessert.
SHOPPING LIST: ham steaks, refrigerated polenta, deli Waldorf salad, biscuits.
SATURDAY: Entertain the family
Roasted salmon fillets will be a treat for the family (see recipe). Serve with packaged long-grain and wild rice and sugar snap peas. Add a mixed lettuce salad and sourdough bread.
The family will love these easy fruit tarts. Mash or puree 1 cup fresh strawberries until saucy. In a medium bowl, stir 4 ounces softened, reduced-fat cream cheese until smooth; gradually blend in mashed strawberries. Stir in 1 tablespoon honey. Divide mixture among six purchased graham cracker crumb tart shells. Top with 11/2 cups assorted fresh fruit (blueberries, kiwifruit, strawberries and/or raspberries).
SHOPPING LIST: skin-on salmon fillets, canola oil, coarse salt, pepper, packaged long-grain and wild rice, sugar snap peas, mixed lettuce, sourdough bread, fresh strawberries, reduced-fat cream cheese, honey, graham cracker crumb tart shells, assorted fresh fruit.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: [email protected] Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The Menu Planner is also accessible at 7daymenuplanner.com. Read Susan’s blog: makingthemenu.com.
** ** **
MINI MEATLOAVES (Monday)
Makes: 6 mini meatloaves
Preparation time: about 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35-45 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
1/4 cup 1 percent milk
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (any flavor)
1 (0.4-ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon less-sodium Worcestershire sauce
Shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese, if desired
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat milk and egg with fork in large bowl. Mix in beef, bread crumbs and ranch dressing mix (dry). Shape into 6 small loaves. Place in ungreased rimmed baking pan. Brush loaves with Worcestershire sauce. Bake, uncovered, 35 to 45 minutes or until meatloaves register 160 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with cheese, if desired.
Per meatloaf: 213 calories, 17 grams protein, 9 grams fat (48 percent calories from fat), 3.1 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 75 milligrams cholesterol, 326 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Carb count: 1/2
VIDALIA ONION AND RICE CASSEROLE (Wednesday)
Makes: 10 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 1 hour, plus rice
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 tablespoons butter
5 medium Vidalia or other sweet onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups 1 percent milk
8 ounces grated Swiss cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice according to package directions. Heat butter in a Dutch oven; add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, 12 minutes or until softened. Add cooked rice, milk and cheese. Combine thoroughly. Spoon into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, 50 minutes or until bubbly.
Per serving: 216 calories, 9 grams protein, 10 grams fat (40 percent calories from fat), 6.1 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 87 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber. Carb count: 1 1/2
ROASTED SALMON FILLETS (Saturday)
Makes: 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8-12 minutes
4 (6- to 8-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and place foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on rack. Heat to 500 degrees. On salmon skin, make 4 or 5 shallow slashes, about 1 inch apart on each fillet (be careful not to cut into flesh). Pat dry with paper towels, rub with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reduce temperature to 275; use oven mitts to remove pan from oven. Carefully place salmon skin side down on hot sheet. Return to oven and roast until center is translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and registers 125 degrees (8 to 12 minutes for medium rare). Transfer salmon to platter and serve.
Per serving: 242 calories, 36 grams protein, 10 grams fat (39 percent calories from fat), 1.6 grams saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 370 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Carb count: 0
(Adapted from “Foolproof Fish,” America’s Test Kitchen Staff; ATK, $35.)