7 Day Menu Planner

10/ 29

Family Sunday

Make the day special for the family with Grilled Sirloin Steaks for dinner. Pair the steaks with colorful Herbed Corn and Edamame Succotash (see recipe). Alongside, add mixed greens and dinner rolls. Enjoy lemon sherbet for dessert.

Plan ahead: Grill 1 pound extra steak and save some edamame succotash for Monday.

10/ 30

Heat-and-Eat Monday

For a quick dinner, try Grilled Beef Salad. Slice 1 pound leftover steak into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, combine steak, 1 package mixed greens, diced avocado and halved grape tomatoes. Toss with balsamic vinaigrette. Serve with the leftover edamame succotash and bread sticks. Peaches are dessert.

10/ 31

Kids Tuesday

What kid doesn’t like Meatball Subs, especially before trick-or-treating? Heat 16 refrigerated or (thawed) frozen meatballs in marinara sauce. Spoon onto toasted submarine rolls. Top with shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese and serve with green beans.

For a fun dessert, make Scarecrow Cookies with the kids. Prepare 1 (17-ounce) package sugar cookie mix according to directions, adding 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cut out rounds with a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Bake and cool cookies as directed. Frost cookies with 1 (16-ounce) container vanilla frosting. For the scarecrow’s hat, break a wafer cookie in half. Press wafer cookie half into the top of the frosted cookie. Place a whole wafer cookie below the cookie half. Press broken shredded wheat around sides of face for straw hair. Use candy-coated pieces and red string licorice to decorate the face.

Plan ahead: Save some cookies for Wednesday.

11/ 1

Express Wednesday

Make a quick dinner tonight with a frozen Pot Pie (such as Blake’s). Look for one with natural ingredients that is low in sodium. Add a packaged Italian salad. For dessert, enjoy leftover cookies.

11/ 2

Budget Thursday

It’s easy and inexpensive to prepare, so Lentil Soup (see recipe) is a perfect entree. Serve it with a romaine salad and whole-grain rolls. Try pears for dessert.

11/ 3

Meatless Friday

Skip meat for Grilled Portobello Quesadillas. Brush one side of 8 medium whole-grain tortillas with olive oil. Place 4 grilled Portobello mushrooms on each of 4 tortillas (oiled side down). Sprinkle with grated pepper jack cheese. Top with remaining tortillas, oiled side up. Grill 1 to 3 minutes per side or until cheese is melted and tortillas are crisp. Cut into wedges.

Serve with avocado salad. In a medium bowl, toss 2 cups corn with 1 diced avocado, 2 thinly sliced green onions, 1 tablespoon olive oil and some coarse salt and pepper. Scoop a little strawberry ice cream for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.

11/ 4

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Make your guests feel special with Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta With “Alfredo” Sauce (see recipe) on the menu. Add a Boston lettuce salad and baguettes. Top leftover ice cream with warm fudge sauce for dessert.

** ** **

Herbed Corn and Edamame Succotash (Sunday)

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen shelled edamame

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups corn

3 tablespoons dry white wine or water

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook edamame according to directions; drain. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently or until vegetables start to soften. Stir in corn, wine or water, and edamame; cook 4 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Serve immediately. (Adapted from Eating Well magazine.) Serves 6.

Per serving: 138 calories (percent calories from fat, 28), 7 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams fat (0.2 gram saturated fat), no cholesterol, 167 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Lentil Soup (Thursday)

2 (14-ounce) cans unsalted chicken broth

1/4 cup water

12 ounces beer or 1 1/2 cups more chicken broth

1 cup dried lentils

1 cup sliced carrots

2 ribs celery, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 fully cooked smoked low-fat kielbasa sausage (about 3 ounces), thinly sliced

2 teaspoons dried or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a large pot, heat broth, water, beer and lentils to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes or until lentils are tender, but not mushy. Stir in carrots, celery, onion, sausage, basil, bay leaf and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf and serve; sprinkle each serving with cheese. Makes 8 cups.

Per cup: 152 calories (percent calories from fat, 7), 10 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 1 gram fat (0.5 gram saturated fat), 7 milligrams cholesterol, 176 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta With “Alfredo” Sauce (Saturday)

1 pound angel hair pasta

1 pound uncooked shelled and deveined shrimp, tails removed

1 (5- or 6-ounce) package fresh spinach

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more to taste)

1 teaspoon butter

3 (0.75-ounce) wedges soft Swiss cheese (such as Laughing Cow)

Cook pasta according to directions; add shrimp the last 3 minutes of cooking; drain pasta over spinach in colander and return to pot. In a small bowl, combine milk, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, red pepper, butter and soft cheese. Cover and cook on low 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts and sauce has thickened slightly; stir often. Pour sauce over pasta and serve. Serves 6.

Per serving: 394 calories (percent calories from fat, 10), 28 grams protein, 59 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams fat (1.8 grams saturated fat), 132 milligrams cholesterol, 284 milligrams sodium.

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