Seven Day Menu Planner

12/ 3

Family Sunday

Make today’s family meal as simple as possible with your Roasted Turkey Breast. Alongside, enjoy Quinoa Salad With Sugar Snap Peas (see recipe), steamed sliced carrots, red-tipped lettuce salad and sourdough bread. Slice angel food cake and top the slices with strawberries and light whipped cream for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough turkey and strawberries for Monday.

12/ 4

Budget Monday

Turn leftover turkey into economical and flavor-packed Southwestern Turkey Noodle Bake (see recipe). Serve it with a lettuce wedge. For dessert, enjoy leftover strawberries.

Plan ahead: Save enough Turkey Bake for Tuesday.

12/ 5

Heat-and-Eat Tuesday

Don’t you love it when a delicious leftover such as Southwestern Turkey Bake is ready to reheat for a fast dinner? To round out the meal, add a spinach salad. Refreshing peach sorbet is dessert.

12/ 6

Express Wednesday

Please invite me for dinner when you have BLT Pasta. Cook 12 ounces rigatoni pasta according to directions. Drain; transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, cook 4 slices Canadian bacon in a large skillet on medium-high. Remove bacon to plate. Using the same skillet (leaving any bacon drippings), reduce heat to medium and add 1 package arugula; stir 45 seconds or until wilted. Transfer to pasta bowl. Return skillet to medium heat and add 1 pint halved grape tomatoes and 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil; cook 2 minutes. Add to pasta and arugula and toss. Chop the bacon and sprinkle over top. Season with pepper, toss again and serve. Add mixed greens if you like, and whole-grain bread. For a simple dessert, fresh tropical fruit works well.

12/ 7

Kids Thursday

Be a hero and serve the kids Chicken Ranch Tacos. Heat 1 (5-ounce) package taco shells (10 shells) in oven as directed. Meanwhile, place 3 cups diced cooked chicken breast in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with 1 (1.25-ounce) package reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix; toss to coat. Microwave chicken, uncovered, on high (100 percent power) 2 to 3 minutes or until hot. Stir in 1/2 cup reduced-fat or regular ranch dressing. Spoon warm chicken mixture into heated shells. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomato and shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Add a kid favorite, carrot sticks, for munching. For dessert, have a slurp fest with popsicles.

12/ 8

Meatless Friday

Look for Mushroom Lover’s Burgers (frozen, such as Morningstar Farms or another brand) for an easy no-meat dinner. Serve with such favorite toppings as lettuce, tomato, low-fat mayonnaise and mustard. Add hash-browned potatoes (from frozen) on the side. Grapes are good for dessert.

12/ 9

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Invite guests for Chicken With Charred Rosemary Vinaigrette (see recipe). Add roasted red potatoes, a romaine salad and sourdough bread. For dessert, top vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and toasted pecans.

** ** **

Quinoa Salad With Sugar Snap Peas (Sunday)

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained

1/2 pound sugar snap peas

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Coarse salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup minced chives

Prepare quinoa according to directions; fluff and transfer to a large bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan of boiling water, simmer the peas about 1 minute or until bright green and tender-crisp. Drain; spread on a large plate to cool. Pat dry. Cut peas on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. In a small bowl, combine the oil and vinegar with salt and pepper to taste.

Add peas to quinoa along with the pumpkin seeds, chives and dressing; toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled. (Adapted from Food and Wine.) Serves 6.

Per serving: 333 calories (percent calories from fat, 50), 10 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 19 grams fat (2.7 grams saturated fat), no cholesterol, 28 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Southwestern Turkey Noodle Bake (Monday)

3 cups dried wide egg noodles

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cups water

1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies, undrained

1 (1.25-ounce) package reduced-sodium taco seasoning (such as McCormick)

2 cups shredded cooked turkey

4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed

2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided

Reduced-fat sour cream, if desired

Guacamole, if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare noodles as directed. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan on medium. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomatoes, water, chilies and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in noodles, turkey, cream cheese and 1 cup Mexican cheese. Pour mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Cover with nonstick foil. Bake 15 minutes. Remove foil. Stir mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with assorted toppings as desired. Serves 8.

Per serving: 302 calories (percent calories from fat, 44), 21 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 15 grams fat (7.4 grams saturated fat), 78 milligrams cholesterol, 550 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Chicken With Charred-Rosemary Vinaigrette (Saturday)

4 (4-inch) rosemary sprigs, divided

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

Coarse salt

Black pepper

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen artichokes, thawed

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

1/2 cup rinsed capers

10 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs

5 slices Canadian bacon or lean bacon, halved

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast rosemary sprigs directly on oven rack for 5 minutes or until charred. Leave oven on. Strip leaves; finely crush. Discard stems. In small bowl, whisk half the rosemary with the vinegar, mustard and 1/4 cup of the oil. Season with coarse salt and pepper; set aside. Increase oven heat to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the remaining chopped, charred rosemary leaves, artichokes, tomatoes, olives and capers with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Spread mixture evenly on a rimmed sheet pan or other large rimmed pan covered with foil. Place chicken on pan. Top each thigh with half a slice of bacon. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Serve, passing sauce at the table. Makes 10 thighs.

Per thigh: 341 calories (percent calories from fat, 51), 33 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 19 grams fat (4.1 grams saturated fat), 164 milligrams cholesterol, 596 milligrams sodium.

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