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Seven-Day Menu Planner


4/ 30

Family Sunday

Add some extra flavor to the usual family feast with Mexican Roast Chicken With Olive Salsa (see recipe). On the side, add packaged yellow rice, reduced-sodium pinto beans, a lettuce wedge and fat-free flour tortillas. Make butterscotch pudding (from a mix) with 1 percent milk for dessert and top with light whipped cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough chicken, olive salsa and black olives, along with any leftover rice and beans, for Monday.

5/ 1

Heat-and-Eat Monday

Make good use of Monday’s leftovers and enjoy Chicken Tacos (see recipe) tonight. Serve with a spinach salad and any leftover rice and beans. For a quick dessert, try kiwifruit.

5/ 2

Meatless Tuesday

Skip meat tonight for Pea and Pasta Soup. Bring 6 cups unsalted vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot on medium-high. Add 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, 3/4 cup orzo or ditalini pasta and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons apple juice. Spoon into bowls; top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches and cherry tomatoes. Pears are an easy dessert.

5/ 3

Budget Wednesday

Keep costs down with Grilled Ham Reuben Sandwiches. Spread rye bread with reduced-fat Russian dressing. Top with sliced ham, refrigerated (rinsed) sauerkraut, reduced-fat Swiss cheese and another slice of bread. Coat bread with cooking spray; cook in a nonstick skillet on medium until both sides are browned.

Serve with baked chips, dill pickles and celery sticks. Dessert is chunky applesauce.

5/ 4

Express Thursday

Make Stuffed Tomatoes tonight. Hollow out medium-size ripe tomatoes and stuff with deli seafood salad. Add deli coleslaw on the side, along with toasted bagels. Nibble on oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Friday.

5/ 5

Kids Friday

The kids will like Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry. In a large nonstick skillet, stir-fry 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-size pieces) in 1 tablespoon hot canola oil for 2 or 3 minutes or until browned. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. To skillet, add 1 red bell pepper (cut into strips) and 2 carrots (cut into thin strips) and cook 2 minutes. Add juice from 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks and 1 1/2 cups stir-fry sauce; cook 5 minutes. Stir in pineapple chunks and chicken; cook 1 minute.

Spoon over hot rice. Serve with sesame bread sticks. For dessert, leftover cookies go with halved red and green grapes.

5/ 6

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Serve your lucky guests Cumin-Rubbed Steaks With Avocado Salsa Verde (see recipe). On the side, add corn-on-the-cob, mixed salad greens and whole-grain rolls. Dessert is easy if you buy fruit tarts.

** ** **

THE RECIPES

Mexican Roast Chicken With Olive Salsa (Sunday)

1 (5- or 6-pound) chicken to roast

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cup sliced (ripe) black olives, pitted

3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed manzanilla olives

1 (11-ounce) jar chunky salsa

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat chicken with cooking spray; sprinkle chicken evenly with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast about 1 3/4 to 2 hours, or until internal temperature of breast is 165 degrees.

Meanwhile, combine olives, salsa and cilantro; refrigerate until ready to use. (Reserve 2/3 cup olive salsa for later.) Remove chicken from oven; transfer to carving board. Tent with foil; let stand 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serve chicken with salsa. Serves 10-12.

Per serving (white meat without skin): 146 calories (percent calories from fat, 14), 29 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrate, no fiber, 2 grams fat (0.6 gram saturated fat), 72 milligrams cholesterol, 143 milligrams sodium.

Per serving (dark meat without skin): 129 calories (percent calories from fat, 33), 20 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrate, no fiber, 5 grams fat (1.1 grams saturated fat), 80 milligrams cholesterol, 143 milligrams sodium.

Per serving (salsa): 24 calories (percent calories from fat, 57), no protein, 2 grams carbohydrate, no fiber, 1 gram fat (0.1 gram saturated fat), no cholesterol, 227 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Chicken Tacos (Monday)

2 cups shredded cooked (leftover) Mexican roast chicken breast

2/3 cup (leftover) olive salsa

8 heated taco shells (from a 4.6-ounce box with 12 tacos per box)

1 cup shredded 50 percent light jalapeno cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded lettuce

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1 ripe Hass avocado, diced

In a medium bowl, combine chicken and olive salsa; cover and microwave on medium (50 percent power) for 5 minutes or until hot. Divide mixture evenly among tacos shells; top with cheese, lettuce, olives and avocado. Makes 8 tacos.

Per serving: 182 calories (52 percent calories from fat), 11 grams protein, 11 grams fat , 2.8 grams saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 495 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

** ** **

Cumin-Rubbed Steaks With Avocado Salsa Verde (Saturday)

2 teaspoons cumin

2 flat-iron (or other well-trimmed boneless steaks), cut 1-inch thick (about 8 ounces each)

3/4 cup tomatillo salsa

1 small avocado, diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Coarse salt to taste

Press cumin evenly onto steaks. Heat large nonstick skillet on medium. Place steaks in skillet; cook 12 to 15 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine salsa, avocado and cilantro in a small bowl. Carve steaks into slices; season with coarse salt as desired. Serve with salsa. Serves 4.

Per serving: 268 calories (percent calories from fat, 56), 22 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 17 grams fat (5.1 grams saturated fat) 71 milligrams cholesterol, 430 milligrams sodium.



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